An Interview On
Denison University

Background

Interview Date:June 2018

Gender Identity: Male
Race/Ethnicity: African-American
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2019
High School Experience: Public school outside of Chicago, IL with a graduating class of about 830 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First-Generation College Student: No
Major: Economics
Minor: History
Extracurricular Activities: I’m in a fraternity and I work for a sports team on campus.

Academic Experience

Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
Now that I’m going into senior year, it’s not a lot of problem sets. It’s more theoretical problems, a lot of reading, and then talking about the readings in class. I have one or two essays every couple of weeks for the History minor. For Economics, I mostly have tests.

Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
The professors are open for students to coming in and asking questions. They have great officers. They’re very welcoming. I sometimes think in class they go a little too fast and are not as thorough, but if you go in and talk to them one on one they’ll explain everything perfectly.

Can you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s very collaborative. I probably do all my homework with someone else or at least consult someone else on how to do certain problems or what they’re thinking about on a certain essay.

What has been your favorite class in your major?
Econometrics. I took that this year. You work with programs on the computer to understand different data points and analyze the big picture behind all the points.

What has been your least favorite class in your major?
Intro to Economics. It’s not so much learning where everything goes, it’s the big picture. It’s just the foundation you need to understand other classes.

Why did you pick your major? Are you happy with your choice of major?
I took economics in high school and really liked it. I then took a couple of Economics classes at Denison and liked them, so I kept going with that. I’m very happy with it and I think it suits me very well.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Curtis East with one roommate.

Sophomore: Crawford with one roommate.

Junior: Shaw in a seven-man suite.

What was your favorite living situation?
Probably the seven-man because we had a common area where we could hang out.

Can you describe the level of safety you experienced on and around campus?
I’ve never had a single problem. Granville is a very close, small, quaint town. Not many problems happen there. On campus, not a lot goes on so there’s not a lot of stuff to worry about.

What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
Moe’s. it’s a local barbecue place down the hill in Granville.

What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
Columbus. We’re about 30 minutes from Columbus. It’s good to get out of the Denison bubble and go to Columbus, go to Ohio State, and experience something that’s not the exact same thing over and over again at Denison.

Pros and Cons of being in Granville, OH?
Pros: 1) The town is safe and you don’t have a lot to worry about. [Granville is safer than 92% of cities in the United States.]
2) The neighborhood is very nice. People are really nice.

Cons: It’s small, so you see the same thing a lot and go to the same places a lot. There isn’t a lot of variety.

Social Opportunities

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I would go to parties freshman and sophomore year, and that transitioned into bars junior and senior year. I go out Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

What have been some of your favorite times at Denison?
There are two big sorority philanthropy events [that are a lot of fun]. One is a wiffleball tournament and the other is a basketball tournament. Most of the school goes to it and has a good time.

What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
It has a huge impact. I think Greek life kind of controls the going out scene and the party scene because people in Greek life host most of the parties.

How happy were you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m pretty happy with it. At Denison, you’re not allowed to live in your fraternity house. I think that having the fraternities move into the houses would make things better. It would make the spaces a little larger and stop people from having to have parties in their bedroom, living room or where they spend most of their day.

Campus Culture

How was transitioning from such a big high school to a small liberal arts school that is smaller than your high school?
It was weird at first, but I’ve gotten used to it. At my high school, I got in the same routine and saw the same people. Here, I see different people every day even though it’s a small school.

How did you meet your closest friends?
Working for the team is how I met the people who I live with now. Also, the people I lived with freshman year I became really good friends with. We still keep in touch.

How would you describe the overall social scene?
I think it’s a really positive social scene. I don’t think there’s a lot of exclusion. I think people don’t really care who comes as long as everyone is having a good time.

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I think Denison is still working on that. It’s still a little separated, but it’s moving in the right direction. I know a lot of the LGBT community is having parties with fraternities and becoming more social in that they’re hosting their own parties that they’re inviting people to. It’s the same for African-American groups and Asian groups. Everyone is moving in that direction, but maybe at a slower pace than some people would like.

How would you describe the student body?
There are people who are not as affluent, but as a whole Denison has a lot of kids who are very wealthy. [Socioeconomically, 4.7% of students come from the bottom 20% and 35% come from the top 5%.] They generally come from one of the coasts or big cities. There are not a lot of people from rural areas. [Students at Denison come from all 50 states.] It’s very diverse. There are different people who come race-wise and sexual orientation-wise. [23% of students are domestic students of color.] People like to go out at Denison, it’s a really big thing here. But, it’s not a huge bar scene, it’s more of a house party scene.

Do you think people are happy with their choice of Denison by senior year? Do you think people leave loving Denison?
Yes. I think people love going to Denison and enjoy their time here. That’s shown by the different alumni weekends. A ton of people come back and people really enjoy it. Whenever there’s an alumni event you know because a lot of people show up, whether it’s a fraternity event, an athletic event, or with another group.

Careers

Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Yeah, currently the internship I’m in is through a Denison alum who used to be at this company but isn’t anymore. She set up the whole process a couple of years ago and the company really liked Denison students so they kept doing the internship program.

How helpful has the career office been?
They’ve been extremely helpful. I’ve gone to them to fix my resume and to get help with this internship. They’ve been willing to help me in any way they can.

Have you learned any computer programs that will be helpful to you professionally?
In Econometrics we used a program called Stata. I have not personally seen it used widely, but one of the professors said that she used to use it all the time while working for the World Bank. We don’t use Microsoft Excel that much.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something you wish you knew about Denison before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew where to choose your housing. I didn’t go to the pre-orientation and I didn’t look at housing at all. I was put in a quiet dorm even though I didn’t want to be in a quiet dorm. I still had a really good time and enjoyed the people I hung out with, but I would have rather been in one of the more social dorms because being in a quiet dorm is not a great way to meet people.

What is something that a student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The dining halls. The dining halls are good at Denison. I think people don’t think about that until they get here and then they’re expecting this perfect dining hall and they’re let down by it. So, I think it’s important to check out the different places to eat around campus.

What is something a prospective athlete may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
We have a really strong athletic program. The swimming team won the national championship last year and it wasn’t really talked about on campus. Students don’t go to a ton of games. Lacrosse gets a ton of fans, but football and basketball don’t get as many fans.

Reasons to attend Denison:
1) You’re going to meet your lifelong friends that you are going to stay in touch with forever.
2) The professors truly care about you. They’re going to ask you how you’re doing and to get dinner with them. They care about you as a person and not just a student.
3) There’s always something going on on-campus.

Reasons to not attend Denison:
1) It’s small. [There are about 2,300 students.]
I don’t know, I really like Denison a lot and I don’t have a lot to say for this part.

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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