BackgroundInterview Date:July 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Homosexual
Graduation Year: 2019
High School Experience: Public school in Southern California and I graduated with almost 1,000 kids. It was a very new high school, so, when it first opened, there wasn’t really a culture of going to college. It took them a couple of years to get people going to college. The resources we had didn’t expand for the people who didn’t want to go to those 2 or 3 schools, so for my instance and a few of my other friends who wanted to go away, we had to do a lot of stuff on our own because we didn’t have the resources. Our counselors wanted us to go to those schools that everybody else was going to. I was one of seven or eight people who went out of state.
First Generation College Student: No
Extracurricular Activities: I’m a student-athlete, I’m part of an organization called DIG, which stands for the Denison Diversity and Inclusion Athlete Advisory Group. It’s basically where we talk about diversity and inclusion things and ways to make it better for everybody at Denison.
What impact has DIG had on your experience?
It’s been eye-opening coming from my background. In Southern California, there’s a little bit of everything, so it’s natural to interact with different races and different ethnicities and types of people. Even at my high school, nobody cared if somebody was black or white, everybody hung out with everybody.
Do you feel like that doesn’t exist at Denison?
I think it’s gotten a lot better because the school really does push diversity and inclusion and getting out of your comfort zone. Denison’s a private liberal arts school, so they have that stereotype of rich, white, preppy people. When I stepped on campus I saw that, but then again, I also saw the whole diversity and inclusion part that they were pushing. [About 23% of students are domestic students of color.]
Being in DIG has made me realize how much better it is at Denison and just the things the club has done has made it so much better at Denison. People have been going out a lot more of their comfort zone, people are discussing a lot of the issues we have at Denison, and people are more aware and more comfortable trying to fix them. I am Black and I and gay, so being accepted at Denison is great. I’ve never run into any problems or anything like that. I’ve made great connections with everybody, whether it’s a white person, a black person, or an international student, and I think that shows how far Denison has come.