Exciting Plans With The Virginia Tech Chapter of NOMAS

Today’s Topics:

  • What is NOMAS?
  • What are we doing?
  • How you can help?

What is NOMAS?

Going into college I knew I wanted to get involved in social change, I wanted to grow as a designer, and I wanted to network with others that have similar interests.

As many of you know, I wear multiple hats. In high school I was in 4 honors societies, the captain of the soccer team, and was part of a string quartet. Transitioning into college, I’ve shifted my time to be in organizations that are about architecture.

Within the first two months of school I sought out and was selected to serve as the first year representative of NOMAS @ VT.

NOMAS stands for ‘National Organization of Minority Architecture Students’. Our chapter was recently brought back after many years of its absence by Ojima Glover, our former president.

We love to stay active and involved in our community by hosting events like our annual faculty cook-off where students have a chance to judge the professors, our talk about it events where we discuss social topics and how they relate to architecture, and we even take trips to the NOMA conference where we gather with industry professionals.

This year I was elected to serve as the Vice President for our chapter of NOMAS!

What Are We Doing?

From the moment I was elected, we started meetings and began to plan out our goals for this school year under Covid-19 as we knew many things will not be the same as before.

In the midst of our planning the tragic events of Minneapolis occurred. As we have seen the power of this event on creating social change, we released a statement on racism:

Releasing this statement has brought the conversation of social change to the top of the list within the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.

Starting off on a strong foot, our message has been heard and change is taking place. Recently we had the chance to take part in the new faculty hire as the student representatives for a position that seeks diversity in candidates.

I am really pleased with how the selection turned out because it felt like our voices were heard, but there is still a lot more for us to do as we have just begun.

We have also begun another initiative to help student voices to be heard in our college. We have multiple student groups that work do work individually occasionally collaborating with the other organizations. We want to make a coalition where all of the student groups can come together, building bonds and sharing values to have a more unified voice within the school.

Alongside our regularly planned events, we have to adapt to life under Covid-19 and plan our events to mainly be virtual in a way that is effective in achieving the intended outcome while also being more involved throughout the school year.

How Can You Help?

There is always something that you can do in support of our goals and missions! Being part of NOMAS or advocating/helping is not only for BIPOC. We are open to all people no matter what race, ethnicity, or gender you are, because we are stronger together.

For students, we welcome and encourage you to join our organization. This a great way for you to support a cause, while also learning about its values and how it impacts the lives of others. On top of that it is a great way to network with others, learn about architecture, and become a better designer!

For professionals, our organization stems from NOMA, the National Organization of Minority Architects. Joining would be just as valuable, with the addition of meeting with professionals in the design field with varying experience. You should check out your local chapter to find out more information.

Thank you for tuning into this week’s blog post. If you have any questions or concerns, let me know down in the comment section. Make sure to subscribe to get weekly notifications of new articles!

Published by Alonzo Colon

Architecture Student at Virginia Tech

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