SGA executive promotes diversity

By Harper Spires – Contributor – hspires@unca.edu

Maya Newlin is out to change the world with plans for medical school and a profession practicing medicine in Africa.

“My career goal is to either become a neonatologist or a neonatal nurse practitioner. My decision is still up in the air just because of the time commitment it takes to become a physician, let alone to fulfill the job. Either way, I would like to practice in Africa for half of my career, and then return to the States to retire,” said Newlin, a sophomore pre-health sociology student with minors in Africana studies and chemistry.

In addition to being Student Government Association’s executive of multicultural affairs, she is also a member of the Black Student Association, Native American Student Association, Health Occupation Students of America, She’s the First, UNC Asheville’s Cheer and Dance team, Connections Peer Mentoring, and is an Ambassador and resident assistant.

Newlin is not interested in studying or pursuing politics, but became a member of SGA in an effort to change the campus dynamic when it comes to racial diversity.

“I appreciate the diversity we have now; however, I believe there are things to be said about the lack of representation of certain cultures, particularly those belonging to students of the minorities,” Newlin said.

Some of her goals as an SGA executive include not having dubstep as the only genre of music played at many campus events, translating the school webpage for Spanish-speaking students and possibly introducing sororities and fraternities of the Divine 9. Also known as the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the Divine 9 is a partnership between nine historically African-American sororities and fraternities.

Although Newlin is not looking for a career directly in politics, the lack of support for those living in poverty or experiencing financial difficulties when it comes to health care and nutrition is a political issue that truly concerns her.

“There is a double standard in our society regarding wealth. It is completely ridiculous that in our culture it is tolerable for some to have roasted potatoes with glazed salmon because they ‘earned’ it, while others who work just as hard in a different profession ‘deserve’ to struggle to keep rice on the table – as if their labor is not worthy of proper self-upkeep,” Newlin said.

Newlin said her passion revolves more around medicine and social injustice.

“I enjoy studying how social constructs affect the daily lives of individuals, rather than studying policies,” said Newlin.

Professors Ward, Mullen and Wood are just some of the few mentors who have guided Newlin in her interests, according to Newlin.

“They are the main reason I chose to continue to be a student at this school, and all are engaging, knowledgeable, challenging, and just great people to talk to in general,” Newlin said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *