An Interview On
Elon University

Background

Interview Date:October 2018

Gender Identity: Male
Race/Ethnicity: African-American
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2021
High School Experience: Predominantly African-American public school in Charlotte, NC with a graduating class of 600. About 65% of the school went to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Majors: Political Science and Economics
Minor: Poverty and Social Justice
Extracurricular Activities: Student-Athlete

What impact has being an athlete had on your experience?
They have allowed me to meet new friends and subsequently travel around the country in places I never thought I’d be able to experience in college.

Academic Experience

Can you describe the weekly coursework for your majors?
For Political Science classes, I mainly have readings or have to analyze articles or chapters from a book and respond in an essay format. Both Political Science and Economics classes will assign problem sets as well. Economics has more exams.

Is there anything that you feel either of your majors’ departments do especially well or poorly?
The Political Science department does a good job at research and gearing topics in class towards current events so that they are relevant. However, I think some professors and the department itself could do a better job in not showing their political biases when they teach.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I would say it’s a healthy mix of both. We work together because we’re all interested in what we’re learning about, but we’re also very competitive and want to be the best in whatever we’re doing, whether it’s writing or research. We’re not competing against each other, we’re just competitive in that we want to do well for ourselves.

What has been your favorite class so far?
Comparative Politics.

Why did you choose your combination of majors? Are you happy with your choice?
I picked my majors because I came from an environment where not many people had somebody to stick up for them politically. Politics was something that wasn’t spoken of and wasn’t taught to me in a high school setting, so I came here wanting to learn more about it. I feel that it is in my best interest to give back to people where I’ve come from, and that is why I picked Political Science, Economics, and Poverty and Social Justice. I love it.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Colonnades in a single.

Sophomore: Oaks in a four-person apartment.

How was transitioning from Charlotte, NC to Elon, NC?
Last year it started out rough because my family and I are very close. I knew that coming to college I didn’t want to be far away because they are my rock, so I picked a place that I could go visit if I needed to go home. So far, I’ve transitioned well and have met a lot of people that helped me with that transition.

Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I’ve never been in a situation where I felt unsafe on campus.

What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
I like to go home.

Pros and cons of being in Elon, NC?
Pros:
1) Elon is close to three relatively large cities. Raleigh is an hour away, Greensboro is thirty minutes, and Charlotte is an hour and a half away.
2) Because Elon isn’t in those big cities, the campus itself has its own vibe and charisma to it.
Cons:
1) The student body predominately comes from up North. It would be nice to see more people that are from where I’m from, the South and the West. [Most of Elon’s undergraduate students are from NC, MA, NJ, NY, CT, & MD.]

Social Opportunities

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Elon?
I usually hang out with friends and we decide whether to go to a party or not. I don’t really enjoy frat parties here, and it can be hard to get into frat parties if you’re not involved in Greek life. When I go out with my athlete friends, we often hang out with girls and other sports teams.

How happy are you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change?
I wish the fraternities were more inclusive. I wish there was more inclusiveness between African-American students and White students on this campus when it comes to nightlife activities. [See Elon News Network article, “Elon needs to find its racial identity.”]

What have been some of your favorite times at Elon?
One was an event last year where the team was asked to come in and talk to some kids for an hour and ended up staying for three. Just having fun, dancing, talking with people who were there, and giving back to the community. I loved that. My second favorite day on campus was the day leading up to the November 9th basketball game against the University of North Carolina. That was an amazing night, and there was a great vibe on campus.

Campus Culture

How did you meet your closest friends?
Either through my team, living with people on the hall, or through other friends.

How would you describe the social scene?
I think the social scene here is amazing. I don’t think that people have an issue finding friends here. I feel like everybody has a niche, and everybody finds their person or their group of people to hang out with, whether it be through sports, Greek Life, clubs, or anything else.

How would you describe the student body?
It’s very Northern. It’s inclusive, proactive, and outspoken. They believe in Elon, and they love Elon. I don’t think I’ve met a person here who has said that they don’t love Elon.

To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Although there may not be a lot of inclusiveness in the nightlife, such as between fraternities and sororities and African-American students and other races, I believe that in a classroom setting or a normal social setting, minority students and students of different sexual orientations mix well with everybody. I think Elon is a very inclusive campus in that regard. [17% of Elon’s class of 2022 are students of color.]

Do you think people are happy with their choice of Elon by senior year? Do you think people leave loving Elon?
Yes. I have multiple friends who are getting ready to graduate and they don’t want to leave.
They say your four years at Elon are the best years of your life and they’ve met their lifelong friends here. It feels like Elon is one big family.

Careers

Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
I have used the alumni network to help me find internships. Coming from my background, it can be hard to make connections, so I used the alumni and people I’ve met through my team and other networks at Elon to find opportunities that would benefit me.

Have you used the career office?
I have not.

Have you learned computer programs that will help you professionally in any of your classes?
I’ve learned how to use Excel and all the Microsoft Office programs. I’ve also learned Wolfram Mathematica in my Calculus courses.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something you wish you knew about Elon before entering as a freshman?
I wish I would have known more African American students before I came here. [About 5.6% of students are African-American.]

What is something a prospective African-American student should know that we haven’t touched on?
Even if you don’t feel like you belong here, or you don’t get the vibe that this is the place for you, there is somebody here in that same boat and they have found their niche like I did. There is a place for anybody here. This place is amazing.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Food options here are limited, but if you find great friends they’ll cook for you. [See Elon News Network article, “Life with dietary restrictions at Elon.”]

Reasons to attend Elon:
1) Class sizes are perfect, and the professors truly care about you and your success. [The average class size is 20 students.]
2) The people are warm and welcome. It’s the South, so what do you expect?
3) The people here truly love Elon. The student body has a tremendous amount of school spirit and pride, and you can feel that on campus.

Reasons to not attend Elon:
1) The lack of inclusiveness of different backgrounds in the nightlife, but you won’t hate it here just because you can’t get into a frat party. There are so many other things to do. [See Elon News Network article, “Elon grapples with lingering inclusivity concerns.”]

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

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