A. Ray Olpin University Union

The University of Utah

A photo of the Union in fall.

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    What the Union Means to Me

    What the Union Means to Me

    Written by: Joren (Ren) Plunkett

    What the Union Means to Me is a newsletter article that features current Union student employees as well as current and past Union Scholarship recipients. This month we are featuring Krystal Bustamante. Krystal is one of two students to receive the West High & Union Student Leadership Scholarship which was awarded for the first time in the spring of 2017. She is majoring in Kinesiology and minoring in Nutrition. We recently caught up with Krystal between classes to see how her first few weeks of school and work at the Union Services Desk was going.

    How has the transition been into college?

    It’s been an adjustment. I wasn’t expecting the large classes and all the online homework on Canvas. It’s sort of funny I go to my class every week and meet a new person because the class is so big. There’s always so much going on especially in the Union that sometimes I get distracted because I want to get involved in different things. But I keep reminding myself that school comes first so I don’t procrastinate on assignments.

    Speaking of the Union, how has it been working here?

    It has been so much fun! I was a little nervous at first because I was like “I’m new and I’m a freshman and I have to help other freshman figure out where to go and how to get help”. In the mornings, it’s always busy in the Union with people looking for directions or they just want to talk. Around 7pm is when it kind of quiets down. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit in the quiet but other times it’s a little boring so the building staff like the crew and janitors come by and keep me company, they even bring me snacks!

    That’s awesome! It sounds like you’ve found a community within the Union?

    Yeah! I practically live at the Union, the scholarship and opportunity to work at the Services Desk has lifted a financial burden for my family because college is so expensive! When I was in high school, I worked my butt off to meet deadlines and get good grades for scholarships but there isn’t a lot out there for DACA recipients so receiving the scholarship that I did gives me hope that I can do it and that people are rooting for me. It hasn’t really set in yet that the DACA repeal happened; it feels like I’m in a dream. But the other day I was working at the desk and a man came in and said, “DACA students deserve to be here” and I just said thank you that means a lot because I’m a Dreamer. It’s those small acts of kindness and connections that make me feel like I have a family at the Union and remind me that even if I don’t see it- people are there to support me.

    The A. Ray Olpin University Union is proud to have Krystal Bustamante as a current scholarship recipient and student employee. Creating a home for ALL students, staff, and faculty is the mission of the Union and as such, the Union supports and welcomes all DACA recipients. Please read the Union’s full statement of solidarity for DACA recipients: Union’s Statement

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