An Interview On
UNC – Chapel Hill

Background

Interview Date:January 2019

Gender Identity: Male
Race/Ethnicity: African-American
Sexual Orientation: Homosexual
Graduation Year: 2021
High School Experience: Public school in Pennsylvania with a graduating class of about 500 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: Yes
Major: Mathematics
Minor: Social and Economic Justice
Extracurricular Activities: None

Academic Experience

Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
We have problem sets that you have to turn in during the week.

Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
They offer resources for students who need them if they’re struggling in class. I sometimes don’t think the Math department pays attention to social issues and other things like that.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think it depends on the person who you work with. The majority of classes that you work with are collaborative. If you want to work with people, it will be more or less competitive depending on the person.

What has been your favorite class in your major?
Calculus II

What has been your least favorite class in your major?
I don’t think I’ve had one.

How accessible have your professors been?
Very accessible.

Why did you pick your major? Are you happy with your choice?
I’m very happy with my choice. I chose Math because I have really liked the professors and chose Social and Economic Justice because [I want to be better equipped to help] people in those scenarios.

How was transitioning academically as a first-generation student?
The high school I went to I think prepared me well, so the transition was not difficult for me personally. There is Carolina Firsts, which is an organization for first-generation students that sends out emails.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Ehringhaus Hall in South Campus with seven other suitemates.

Sophomore: Joyner Residence Hall in North Campus with one other roommate.

What has been your favorite living situation?
Joyner, because I like having one roommate only in a hall-style dorm.

How was transitioning from your hometown to Chapel Hill, NC?
There was a lot more to do in your hometown and then coming to Chapel Hill felt limiting. Here you have to travel to Durham or Raleigh to do stuff. There’s not a lot to do in Chapel Hill.

Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
Outside of the protests, I would say I feel safe.

Pros and cons of being in Chapel Hill, NC?
Pros: It’s easily accessible from a lot of different cities.
Cons: The weather isn’t my favorite, but that’s a personal thing.

Social Opportunities

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
Either hanging out with friends or going to a party. My friends and I will watch movies or go out to eat depending on the night.

How happy have you been with the nightlife at UNC? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’d like there to be more places to go out that aren’t White fraternities.

How has identifying as LGBT influenced your nightlife experience at UNC?
It hasn’t because I hang out in communities that are accepting and welcoming.

Campus Culture

How did you meet your closest friends?
Through Ehringhaus Hall.

How did being a first-generation student impact your social transition?
It didn’t.

How would you describe the social scene?
I think it depends on what clubs and organizations you are in because there are a lot of people here.

To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Outside of Greek life, it happens frequently. Inside Greek life, it doesn’t happen very much. It’s always a choice to have people mix, but there are no underlying factors that make groups hang out together. There’s nothing stopping groups from mixing.

How would you describe the student body?
It’s a majority White [student body]. When you don’t look at how many White students there are, it’s diverse in how many other races there are. [About 60% of students are White, 13% are Asian, 8% are Hispanic, and 8% are Black.]

Do you think people are generally happy with their choice of UNC by senior year? Do you think people leave loving UNC?
I am completely happy with UNC, and I think other people are too.

How do you like the size of UNC in terms of undergraduate enrollment? [UNC has 19,117 undergraduate students.]
I like that there are a lot of people. I have a lot more choices because there are so many people.

Careers

What have you used the career office for? How helpful were they?
I’ve used them a little bit and they were pretty helpful.

Have you learned any computer programs or languages through your coursework that will be helpful to you professionally?
No.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something you wish you knew about UNC before entering as a freshman?
The weather can be temperamental.

What is something a prospective Math major may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
Help is out there but it’s just not as easily accessible. I had to do more research than I thought I’d need to to find these resources, but once I’ve found them they’ve been helpful.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
UNC changes daily, so what you see on one day isn’t necessarily the way it is every day. If you come on multiple days, you’ll get a better feel for the school.

Reasons to attend UNC:
1) The name recognition once you graduate.
2) Sports, specifically basketball.
3) The food options on campus and on Franklin Street are good.
4) The transportation system around campus is really good.

Reasons to not attend UNC:
1) If you are the kind of person who needs to see more people like you doing what you do to succeed. For instance, if you wanted to see more minority professors or leaders, don’t come to UNC because you won’t see that. [About 5% of professors are Black and 73% of professors are White.]

Academic Experience

Notice: UNC – Chapel Hill is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by UNC – Chapel Hill.

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