An Interview On
Denison University

Background

Interview Date:June 2018

Gender Identity: Female
Race/Ethnicity: White
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2019
High School Experience: I went to a public school in Grand Rapids, MI with a graduating class of about 250 students. It was a predominantly white community and a lot of people are well off. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Global Commerce with a focus on Europe
Minor: Spanish
Extracurricular Activities: I’m a student-athlete, I’m in a sorority and have executive roles in it, and I do Big Brother Big Sister.

Have any of your extracurricular activities had a particularly big impact on your experience?
Being a varsity athlete has made a huge difference in my college experience, both for the good and the sometimes not so great. It takes up a lot of my time and taught me a lot of skills. I also think that Big Brother Big Sister has made a huge difference. You work right outside of Granville, and it’s such a different community than what we have in Granville. Going there every week and interacting with a really underprivileged little girl really put things into perspective.

Academic Experience

Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
It depends on what classes you’re taking that semester. Global Commerce is a little different than a lot of other majors. You have to take Economics, Statistics, or Math classes during their Global Commerce major, but, at the same time, you have to take History and Political Science classes related to your specific focus. I’m focusing on Europe, so I have to take Political Science classes on Europe and History classes on modern Europe. You also have to take a language, which takes up a lot of time. You get a lot of different work in the major which keeps it interesting.

Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
I’ll be the first class to finish with a major in Global Commerce, so I think we’ve been the guinea pigs throughout this whole process. It’s been a little disorganized and sometimes not very straightforward about what classes we have to take and what counts towards our major. I am sure that will improve within the next couple of years. Another thing the department does poorly is they throw people into hard classes without much background. [I had to take a 300 level Political Science class without having ever taken a Political Science class.]

The major does a really good job of getting students experience in a lot of different areas. It looks at the economy and the business world from a bigger macro perspective but also dives into the little details. I love how it is also a requirement to have international experience by either interning or studying abroad.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think the learning environment can be both collaborative and competitive. There are a lot of really intelligent people who go there. Being in the classroom every day and working with people and hearing what people say makes it more collaborative. It’s also such a small school and we live so close to each other it’s easy to make study groups or get notes from someone in your class.

What has been your favorite class in your major?
Global Financial Markets. It’s really interesting to see the dynamic between countries in a broader perspective.

What has been your least favorite class in your major?
Radical Right Parties and Politics in Europe. It was a 300 level Political Science class and I had never taken a Political Science class. I learned a lot, but it was very, very challenging.

Why did you pick your major? Are you happy with your choice?
I came into college very undecided on what I wanted to do. I took a few economics classes and really enjoyed them. Instead of looking very closely at the economic perspective, I wanted to look at the broader business perspective. I like how Global Commerce doesn’t look at just the mathematics behind the economy but the interactions of the economy as a whole.

How was managing both your sport and your coursework?
That can be tough. It depends on the amount of coursework I have while I’m in season, but I definitely think that being an athlete allows me to have better grades. It makes me a lot more driven, especially before practice when I know I have a certain amount of time to get things done. So, I sit down and just crank out the work. When I don’t have practice and feel like I have the whole afternoon I sometimes push work off. Our coaches are really great in encouraging us to go to study sessions and focus on our schoolwork. There have been some tough times, but overall, I think it’s beneficial to be a varsity athlete in college.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Shorney Hall in West Quad with one roommate. It was an all-girls floor in a co-ed dorm.

Sophomore: Crawford in East Quad in a double.

Junior: I went abroad the first semester and when I came back I lived in Sawyer Hall with five other roommates.

Senior: Brown Hall, which is a Sunset Apartment, with three other people.

What has been your favorite living situation?
Crawford because we got to pick who you lived around, so I got to live around all my friends. But, I still had one roommate so I didn’t have a bunch of people in my space. I also loved being in a six-man, but it got to be a lot sometimes, especially because people had to walk through my room or someone else’s room to go to the bathroom.

How was transitioning from Fairfield, CT to Granville, OH?
The people are pretty much the same because Denison is such an East Coast school. The kids are the same, and you go into town and Granville a nice little town. I don’t think it was too hard to adjust.

What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
In Granville, I love Snapshots Lounge. There some great places also in Easton and downtown Columbus.

What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
I go to Easton. I go with a friend and walk around, go shopping, and get food. There are a lot of places there that people like. I also love running through Granville.

Pros and Cons of being in Granville, OH?
Pros: (1) Granville is a small and really cute town. It’s a really close-knit community of really nice people.
(2) It has great food and there are a couple of bars too.
(3) It’s really close to Columbus if you need to go to the Apple store or want to get better food or something.
(4) It’s a really pretty area around Granville. To the back of Denison is the countryside and it’s really pretty.

Cons: (1) It’s a really small town. It doesn’t have as much to offer as other college towns.
(2) It’s in central Ohio, which a lot of people find not appealing.
(3) Granville is a really pretty area, but outside of it can get a little sketchy.

Social Opportunities

What kind of nightlife do you like to participate in?
We have the [Sunset Apartments] (Sunnies), I go there a lot. It’s really fun being with all the people you know in an apartment. I also go down to the bars in Granville now that I’m 21. When I was younger I would just bounce around apartments. I think the most positive thing about Denison’s nightlife is that you’ll always see a familiar face and it is fun going out with all your friends and meeting up with other friends.

What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
I think it has a huge impact, especially in my social life and with the people that I interact with. In the spring semester when fraternities and sororities are getting new members, it’s really fun to have mixers with the two. [Greek life is a big factor] in where you go at night. If a certain fraternity or sorority has a party, that’s probably where you’ll end up. I’ll also say that fraternities and sororities can be kind of exclusive on who they include and who they don’t, so that makes a difference as well.

How happy were you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change if you could?
When I first got to Denison I didn’t like it as much because it was very small compared to all my friends at Big 10 schools. Being in a small apartment didn’t seem as appealing to me. But, now that I’m going to be a senior and I have made so many friends, I enjoy going out and seeing them. We make the most of the small apartments, which makes me happy. What I would change is I think security can be a little bit uptight and controlling when there’s really nothing bad going on. Granville police also can be very strict which gets different when people go into Granville. There’s nowhere else to have parties besides the Sunnies, so maybe I would have a better location or a bigger room. [In Fall 2018, Denison capped the number of people allowed in the Sunnies to 33 people due to structural damage.]

Campus Culture

How did you meet your closest friends?
One of my best friends has been my roommate since freshman year. We talked on Facebook trying to find a roommate and it ended up working out really well. My other really close friends came from living in Crawford. My roommate is in a different sorority than me and wanted to live by her friends from her sorority. I didn’t really care, so we lived by a bunch of girls in different sororities and we became really good friends with all of them. All of my friends are athletes. I have friends on [a bunch of different teams], so I think being an athlete and having that commonality made us become really close too. A lot of people get their best friends from their sorority, but my friends are all from different sororities. My friend group has five different sororities in it.

How would you describe the social scene?
It’s like a high school, and a lot of people compare it to summer camp, but that’s because it’s such a small campus with not a lot of people. If somebody breaks up with someone everyone knows about it. That can be tough just because everyone knows your business most of the time. Overall, I love the social scene because you always see a familiar face. You can walk into the dining hall by yourself and probably find someone to sit down with. Denison has a big mix of people hanging out, which I love.

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Denison is a predominantly White community, so my sorority is predominantly White and so are a lot of other sororities. [23% of the student body are domestic students of color.] The people who are of different races mix in, but I also think they hang out with people of the same race a lot of the time. Denison, as a very liberal school, tries to mix people and be as accepting to any sexuality or race as they can. From what I’ve seen, people tend to hang out with people of the same race.

Do you think people are generally happy with their choice of Denison by senior year? Do you think people leave loving Denison?
Yes. I think the people who are seniors end up loving it. The people who don’t love it as much transfer within their first or second year, which is unfortunate. The people that stay for all four years create incredible relationships with people in their class and people who are younger and older than them and end up being really happy that they chose the school. There are Denison people everywhere and everyone who I talk to loves it.

Careers

Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
I have not particularly used the alumni network to get a job yet, but I know that a lot of my friends have. Denison people love helping other Denison graduates, so I definitely will use that in the future. Denison has a big network for such a small school and they’re all very willing to help.

How helpful has the career office been?
I used the career office a lot my sophomore year to help me with interviews and look at my resume. I think they try to be as helpful as they can and people should utilize them more. They’re very engaged and try to help as much as they can.

Have you learned any computer programs that will be helpful to you professionally?
I learned QuickBooks. I haven’t had a class that really worked in Excel that much. I’ve had classes where I’ve needed to use it, and I’ve learned some of it by teaching myself. I think Denison could improve their classes and helping students learn that because it’s so important in every job you get.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something you wish you knew about Denison before entering as a freshman?
I wish I would have known more about the social life. Coming in I had no idea what I was getting into, and my first semester my friends and I were a little unsure if we liked it. It [strongly influenced] people’s Denison experience. I think if people had a better understanding of how to handle it and how to enjoy it more coming in, it would be beneficial for students. I wish I also encouraged myself more to interact with professors and become closer with them. I regret not becoming closer with a lot of my professors during freshman year. They help so much and as I’ve gotten older I’ve created great relationships with professors.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that is worth checking out?
East Quad. I know the tour doesn’t go over there and it’s one of my favorite parts of campus to hang out. On warm days everyone is out there hanging out which is a lot of fun. I also think that would influence a lot of people to come here.

Reasons to attend Denison:
1) The ethos of being a small school. I love the close-knit group of friends I made there and I know so many people on campus and have relationships with them.
2) The alumni network. Everyone’s willing to help. It’s also fun finding people who went to Denison because we all went to a small school. Even though it’s such a small school, it’s a huge network.
3) President Weinberg is a reason to come to Denison. I think he’s the best president. He is so engaged with all the students and cares so much. He goes to basically every sporting event. He reached out to me personally about the food, which shows he cares about all the students’ opinions.
4) The classrooms and professors are great for the most part. Being in a classroom with 15-25 people makes it so much easier to learn and get help from your professors and fellow students.

Reasons to not attend Denison:
1) I would not attend Denison for a big social scene. It’s a lot more relationship-based.
2) If you want big sporting events. We don’t have the big tailgating scene.
3) The food and housing could be greatly improved.

Notice: Denison University is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Denison University.

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