An Interview On
College of Wooster

Background

Interview Date:November 2018

Gender Identity: Female
Race/Ethnicity: Hispanic
Graduation Year: 2021
Sexual Orientation: Pansexual
High School Experience: Public charter school in Chicago, IL with a graduating class of about 100 students. There was a culture of going to college and community college, but some students did start going to work.
First Generation College Student: Yes
Major: Undeclared
Minor: None
Extracurricular Activities: I don’t currently participate in any extracurricular activities.

Academic Experience

What has been your favorite class so far?
In general, any type of Studio Art class. I really liked Intro to Ceramics.

What has been your least favorite class so far?
My English classes.

Is there anything you feel Wooster has done particularly well or poorly so far academically?
Something that’s been done well is the [quality of] professors. Most of my professors have been very open to helping me if I need it and are willing to support me academically.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I don’t think it’s competitive. People usually support each other. If you need help, you just ask and you’ll get the help from students or the professor.

How accessible are your professors?
They have been very accessible. You just have to communicate with them, so sending an email to schedule an appointment or knowing when their office hours are.

How was transitioning academically as a first-generation student? Were there any resources or systems in place that helped you adapt?
Academically, it was difficult. It’s very different from high school and there wasn’t anybody who told me how different it was going to be. But, there is a lot of support from professors and my advisor. There are also a lot of resources like the Writing Center, the Learning Center, and APEX.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Wagner Hall with one roommate.

Sophomore: Holden Hall with two roommates.

How was transitioning from Chicago to Wooster, OH in terms of location?
It was a weird transition. Where I live in Chicago is very loud all the time and then coming here it is very quiet and nothing really happens during the weekdays. That was a weird transition.

Pros and cons of being located in Wooster, Ohio?
Pros:
1) The quiet and general environment. There are a lot of trees around and the quiet makes it very easy to study and walk around campus.

Cons:
1) With the people the surrounding campus, there have been some incidents on Beall Ave.

Social Opportunities

What kind of weekend activities do you like to participate in?
I mostly hang out with my friends. There are some activities that go on in Common Grounds that I like to go to. They have events like karaoke and this upcoming weekend they have a coffee and watercolor event.

What have been some of your favorite times at Wooster?
My favorite times are when I get to hang out with my friends. That’s what makes everything fun. There’s not really much to do around campus or on campus sometimes, so just hanging out with my friends.

How happy are you with the weekend options at Wooster? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I feel like I’m kind of indifferent. I’m not sure what I would change because I want there to be more activities to do, but I don’t know what those activities would be.

Campus Culture

How did you meet your closest friends?
One of my closest friends I met through being in the same ARCH group. The rest I met through other friends.

How would you describe the overall social scene at Wooster?
There are a lot of different groups on campus. I think people try to mix, but it doesn’t usually end up working out. It’s very much cliquey.

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientation mix socially?
With different sexual orientations, there are clubs for that and allies are encouraged to go to meetings. There are also organizations on campus that help get people of the same race or ethnicity together to discuss campus situations and usually meetings are open to everybody. But, usually the people who should be hearing suggestions and advice about it aren’t there. I think they’re trying and little by little it’ll get better. [See Cleveland.com article, “Hundreds of College of Wooster students, concerned over numerous issues, stage sit-in.”]

If at all, how has identifying as pansexual influenced your social life?
I don’t think it’s impacted my social life in any way. When I tell people, they aren’t fazed by it and don’t have anything to say about it.

Financial Aid

Have you used financial aid? If so, how accommodating are they to your needs?
I do use financial aid. It has helped a lot. If I didn’t get financial aid I wouldn’t be able to come here.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something you wish you knew about Wooster before you entered as a freshman?
I would have liked to know how the classes and classwork worked because it’s very different from high school. I also think, as a woman, it’s important to know how to protect yourself physically and emotionally just because of sexual assault issues that are happening [across the United States.]

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
They should go to a club meeting for a club they might be interested in.

What is something a prospective LGBT+ student may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
I would just encourage them to go to the clubs and organizations here on campus, like Queer People of Color (QPOC). They’re very informational and people are always very nice.

Reasons to attend Wooster:
1) It’s pretty easy to find that group of people you can comfortable around.
2) The professors are really encouraging and supportive. They are always willing to talk through things if you’re having a hard time.
3) APEX and the Learning Center are really good to go to if you’re having a hard time.

Reasons to not attend Wooster:
1) There are a lot of cultural barriers in terms of food and celebrations

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