This week’s spotlight shines on Elizabeth Bickley, a fourth year College student majoring in English Literature and Latin American Studies. Bickley is the chair of Community Outreach in the Latino Student Alliance, has been involved with Class Council for the past four years, and is also carrying out a community-based research project exploring English as a Second Language (ESL) curriculum for adult learners.
Since her first year at UVa, Bickley has been a member of Class Council. This year, as a Trustee, Bickley helped promote the 2014 Class Giving Campaign. “I see this as a great way to begin the life-long practice of investing in education and organizational growth,” said Bickley. Bickley has been motivated to serve in Class Council for the past four years by her belief in student self-governance and love for the University.
One of Bickley’s most significant involvements, the Latino Student Alliance, was compelled by, “unexpected friendship, a restless discomfort with easy answers, and love for cultural expression,” said Bickley. As the chair of Community Outreach, Bickley coordinates field trips to UVa for local Latino students and families to personalize college life, address admissions questions, and encourage students who may have uncertainties about the prospect of attending college due to the limited opportunities presented to them. She is also helping to re-launch the social gatherings “Latinos on the Lawn” and is coordinating “Paseo a UVa,” which provides Latino families a day of fun at UVa during Albemarle School’s spring break. The kids will meet Cav Man, hear a cappella, play soccer, eat in the dining hall, and meet Latino faculty.
Bickley’s involvement with the Latino Student Alliance has greatly impacted the kind of awareness she hopes to spread in the UVa community. “Find a way to personally experience what it means to be the minority and then grow accustomed to it. I have discovered that wrestling with the hyper-self awareness of being different and outnumbered sharpens not only a humble self-knowledge and confidence but also compassion for others and the fearlessness to affirm and challenge each other in the midst of difference.”