RC Forums

What are the RC Forums?
The RC Forums provide ways for students to connect over topics of interest while contributing to the various communities that surround them.  From planting flowers in the courtyard to reorganizing the Benzinger Library, from appreciating cinema to exploring nearby neighborhoods, the RC forums aim have a positive impact on  the East Quad community and beyond.  The Forums are open to all RC students and community members.  Enrolled students can elect up to 1 credit per term in a forum.  Each credit can fulfill one of the 4 RC class requirements necessary for graduation from the RC.

Forum History
RC students pride themselves on their sense of community.  While most students take classes and live together in East Quad, some upperclassmen move off campus.  In 2007, several RC seniors came together to strengthen connections between RC students of all years.  From their attempt to build a more cohesive RC community, the RC Forums were born.

Fall 2013 Forums

Urban: The Urban Forum welcomes students who are interested in organizing and development in urban communities such as Detroit.  We explore the root causes of inequality, issues of systematic change, and ways that students can get involved.  We also emphasize understanding the historical and cultural influences that have shaped each community.  Past discussion topics have included new urbanism, the criminal justice system, education, emerging industries, immigration, transportation, and sustainability.  Contact: Hannah Nathans 

Film: The Film Forum incorporates love of film with love of community.  Members come together to watch and discuss themes such as foreign language, sexuality, women’s rights, and Oscar nominees. We discuss how these themes have been manifested in our film culture today and how cinema has contributed to and changed society at large. In the past we have studied Miyazaki’s animation, social documentaries, and viewed films such as Amelie, Doubt, The Fall, and The Hurt Locker. Get ready for good friends, good movies, and great times!  Contact: Jessie Micallef 

Health & Wellness: The Health & Wellness Forum is a group of students interested in exploring issues in everyday life concerning mental and physical health. We cover a variety of topics that change each term according to the interests of the members.  In the past, each student has led a session on a topic that they already know about or want to know more about.  We have held events ranging from watching Food Inc. to studying meditation to visiting a teashop for a tasting. It’s great to have supportive peers to push you to stay healthy at a time when all-you-can-eat ice cream is so tempting.  Contact: Rachel Oakford 

Sexual Health: The Sexual Health Forum offers a safe environment to dialogue about topics ranging from basic anatomy to sexual taboos. Our forum seeks to promote the importance of sexual health and wellbeing in the RC community. In the past, we have put on variety shows, had movie screenings, hosted guest speakers and the popular "gender panel." If there are any questions about sex that you’ve always wanted answered, there has never been a more comfortable and fun space to ask. Contact: Adam Molnar 

Book: The Book Forum is a group of students who are interested in books and reading and the roles they play in our lives.We host annual events such as Spelling Bees, Sock Hops, and field trips to used bookstores.  Our ongoing project involves organizing and reopening the Benzinger Library in the new East Quad.  Whether reading, writing, or discussing the written word, our bibliophiles have great times together!  Contact: Rosie Levine 

Dance: The Dance forum gives students the chance to experience the diverse art form of dance from many vantage points. It is open to students who are interested in any and all types of dance; no prior dance experience is necessary. Our goals include working on long and short-term choreography projects and showcasing our work.  Screenings of dance films or recorded performances also take place during meetings.  RC dancers engage with the rest of the U-M and Ann Arbor dance communities by sampling classes at local studios and planning outings to student and/or professional performances.  Contact: Gillian Jakab 

LGBT*QA: This forum aims to create a safe space for open, honest, dialogue about issues involving the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer community. We bring together people from all different backgrounds, including allies, and focus on issues such as gender roles, homophobia, homelessness within the Trans* community and more. In addition to weekly dialogues, we bring in speakers from across campus, collaborate with the Spectrum Center, and hold an annual "Pride Prom" in the spring. Everyone is welcome to join any of our meetings and events. Contact: Danielle Leonard 

Art: The Art Forum sets aside time to explore art and its role in our lives and our learning. While doing weekly art projects, members have the opportunity to explore the mediums of acrylic, mixed-media, and less traditional types of art. The projects include both large-scale projects and personal crafts, varying on member preferences. Additionally, the forum visits local galleries and exhibits to explore how other artists use art in their lives. Finally, the group discusses the personal value of art, beyond its use as a procrastination tool or means of escapism. We look at art as a form of sensuous knowledge, quite different from other academic subjects. Through this lens, we build upon this theme, using our own art as a palette to do so.  Contact: Kayla Silverstein 

Poetry: The Poetry Forum welcomes all those who love to read, write, perform, and breathe poetry. Whether you are a poetry novice or expert, you are invited to connect with other poetry enthusiasts. Our meetings involve getting to know a poet of a member's choice and partaking in creative exercises & activities, or work-shopping. Past exercises include creating found poetry, interview poems, blackout poems, poem forgeries, and poetry tournaments. Our future plans include attending (and putting on!) open-mics, creating collaborative poems, and nurturing a poetic community in the RC. Come join the fun and get to know some great poetry-loving people!  Contact: Conner Wood 

Food: The Food Forum educates and engages students in food production, preservation, and preparation. We emphasize hands-on learning, with particular attention to gardening and cultivation techniques and practices. This hands-on approach is highlighted in the forum’s demonstrations and workshops put on for students by students (i.e. making sauerkraut, canning, pickling). We hope to eventually build the program into a year-round learning and working garden, partnering with other university and community organizations in efforts to keep food at the forefront of our minds, and not just in the pits of our bellies! Contact: Jesse Ostroff 

Photo: The photography forum offers an opportunity for students from any level to explore an art and learn its processes. In the age of technology there are many different ways to get into photography yet film photography maintains a followin. In biweekly meetings students will discuss photography and explore themes in the work of past and present photographers and students work. Many meetings will incorporate workshops to learn techniques ranging from shooting to digital editing. Some meetings will be demonstrations of darkroom processes and the exploration of film photography. The ultimate goal of the forum is to provide a space to discuss photography and keep students excited about digital and film processes. Note, at this time students will not be able to engage in wetroom processes due to occupational hazards. Contact: Ben Case 

General Questions?  Please contact rcforumcore@umich.edu