An Interview On
Denison University

Background

Interview Date:June 2018

Gender Identity: Male
Race/Ethnicity: Biracial: Half White and Half Asian
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2019
High School Experience: I went to a public school in Fairfield, CT with a graduating class of about 400 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Majors: Double Major in Economics and Communications with a concentration in Organizational Studies
Minor: None
Extracurricular Activities: I’m a student-athlete, I’m in a fraternity, I’m in the Denison Student Athletic Advisory Council, and I work for Denison Sports Network.

Other than your sport, which of your extracurricular activities had the biggest impact on your experience?
Definitely Greek life. It connects you to a lot of people socially, whether they’re in your fraternity or not. It helps you get a better foot in the social scene.

Academic Experience

Can you describe your weekly coursework for your majors?
There are regular problem sets, a paper every three weeks or so, and a test about every month or so.

Is there anything you feel either of your majors’ departments do especially well or especially poorly?
For Economics, I think they do a good job of coming up with new courses. I think Communications has interesting courses, but its coursework can be repetitive. We just have a lot of papers.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I don’t think it’s necessarily competitive. Most people just try very hard.

What have been your favorite classes in your majors?
Economics: Intermediate Macroeconomics. We talked about the housing crisis in 2008, which I thought was a good real-world application of the subject.

Communications: Explore Rhetorical Text because the professor was pretty engaging.

What have been your least favorite classes in your majors?
Economics: Calculus. It was pretty challenging, and then down the road I’m not sure how much I’ll use calculus.

Communications: Theory of Communication. It was repetitive and we read old texts.

Do you feel that people are open to multiple schools of thought in the classroom?
I would absolutely say that we get a good mix of people from different backgrounds. I think people are willing to share their opinions, especially in the more discussion-based classes there is a good back and forth in a healthy way. [Students at Denison come from all 50 states and 20% are first-generation college students.]

How accessible have your professors been?
I don’t think students take advantage of how accessible their professors are. They’re all willing to help and have office hours every week, so it’s up to the student.

How was managing both your sport and your coursework?
Freshman year I would have told you it was pretty tough, but you get used to getting in a routine and there is so much time in the week that it’s really not a problem to get it done.

Why did you pick your majors? Are you happy with your choice?
I started as a Communications major, but I didn’t really see what I could do with it after school so I picked up Economics. I like Economics for the most part. That’s what’s helped me talk in interviews and get the jobs that I want in the future.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Smith Hall in a triple

Sophomore: Crawford in a double.

Junior: Shaw in a six-man, which is three bedrooms, a living room, and a bathroom.

Senior: Good Hall, which is a Sunset Apartment. It’s a four-person, four-bedroom two-bathroom apartment.

What has been your favorite living situation?
I think junior year because next year I know my room is going to get trashed. I was also able to hang out with more people because it was a six-man.

How was transitioning from Fairfield, CT to Granville, OH?
The kids 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?
Broadway Pub

What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
I don’t think I can name a spot where people go off campus to hang out. Other than getting food, I don’t think I can name something.

Pros and Cons of being in Granville, OH?
Pros: (1) You’re not going to run into any trouble. It’s really safe.
(2) It’s a really nice spot to be on the weekend. The town of Granville is nice to walk around.

Cons: (1) It’s pretty far away from stuff. The nearest Chipotle is a 15-minute drive.
(2) I think if you don’t like the school or you feel like an outcast, there’s nowhere else to go other than to be on campus.

Social Opportunities

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I do the typical fraternity and sorority type stuff on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Not everyone will go out on Wednesdays. Pretty much everyone goes to the senior apartments and then go down to the bars or stay and hang out. You get shut down [by campus police for noise purposes] at 11PM on Wednesday and 1AM on Friday and Saturday.

Can you describe a typical night going out freshman year?
Freshman year was kind of different because you don’t know that many people so you sometimes feel out of place at parties and stuff. I didn’t feel as comfortable then.

Do freshman boys have trouble getting into parties?
Not first semester, but second semester, after people rush, if you’re not in that frat it sometimes can be tough to get in.

What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
It’s funny because you’d think at a school where you can’t live in the Greek houses it shouldn’t matter that much, but people value it. It’s a social status thing, which is kind of weird. People care about it freshman, sophomore, and junior year, but then senior year people care less. [Seniors] just want to hang out with who their friends are.

How happy were you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change if you could?
At first, it took me a while to get used to. I don’t like the idea of partying in a small apartment because it’s hard to talk to people there. At the end of the day, I do enjoy it. Freshman year I thought it was bad, but now it’s fun because you’re with all your close friends. I wish there were bigger spaces to have parties because things can get exclusive and cliquey. I also get frustrated by the fact that things get shut down at 1.

Campus Culture

How did you meet your closest friends?
Through my team and through Greek life.

How would you describe the social scene?
People definitely like to go out. There’s not much to do other than drink with your friends. Some people stay in and watch movies and stuff like that. I think it’s dominated by the kids who go to parties and the different fraternity stuff. [Denison allows students 21 and older to drink alcohol in designated spaces on campus.]

It’s funny because you are with the same people basically every night, but when girls have parties, which is rare, then you end up being with a different group of guys and it’s a nice change. Certain Wednesday nights our girl-friends will have parties and then we can hang out with our guy-friends who aren’t in the fraternity. I like that because it’s pretty easy to get closed off and get comfortable with the same people you are with every weekend. Even though you may be friends with them, going into other fraternity’s parties can feel a little weird. The girls give a nice middle ground because we’re all mostly friends with the same girls.

How would you describe the student body?
It’s definitely a mix. You have your stereotypical athlete/frat/sorority type people, there are studious people, there are people who are very into their sport and not really social life, and then there are foreign students. In the classroom it’s a pretty good mix of people. There are a lot of different people at Denison.

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I don’t think people of different races mixing is that much of a problem, but I don’t think people mix with other sexual orientations as much.

Do you think people are generally happy with their choice of Denison by senior year? Do you think people leave loving Denison?
I think it’s mixed. People say they love the people, but I think people wish there were more fun things to do at Denison. People wish that the administration and housing weren’t so overprotective. At the end of the day, I couldn’t see myself anywhere else despite all of that. People who make the most of it really enjoy it. [In Fall 2018, Denison capped the number of people allowed in the Sunnies to 33 people due to structural damage.]

Careers

Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
When I’ve reached out to alumni they are wildly willing to help. I found my internship through the career center. When I’m looking for jobs next year there will be a good network of people who are willing to help.

How helpful has the career office been?
They are surface level helpful. I think you are going to find your deeper connections through your fraternity or through LinkedIn.

Have you learned any computer programs that will be helpful to you professionally?
Not Excel, but next semester I’m taking Econometrics where you do regressions in Stata and do data analytics.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something you wish you knew about Denison before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew that people cared so much about Greek life because I didn’t really know what fraternities were. I feel like I just got thrown into the mix and did what everyone else did. When I was in high school I didn’t think I wanted to be in Greek life but then I ended up doing it because there’s pressure from your friends and older students.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that is worth checking out?
Hanging out on East Quad during the day on a Saturday. It’s one of my favorite places to hang out with people.

Reasons to attend Denison:
1) If you want to play a sport and have a social life while getting a good education.
2) You’re going to meet a lot of very good people.

Reasons to not attend Denison:
1) If you don’t like a small school.
2) If you don’t want to be around a bunch of East Coast rich kids.
3) If you don’t want to be isolated in Granville.

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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