April 26th, 2023
The original intent for this article was supposed to be about the experience of students of color at UC Clermont, but after walking around campus it became apparent that this task would be more difficult than anticipated. After spending time on campus looking for students for this piece, the target demographic appeared to be missing. Begrudgingly, the topic resorted to Plan B. Plan B was to find and investigate a club centered around diversity, but that presented a road block, as well. There were not any – or at least any that could be found with an easy search of UC Clermont’s website, or that were advertised openly on campus. After switching the topic multiple times, the story became obvious that, not only is there a lack of diversity at UC Clermont, but also not much to experience for students and faculty outside of the classroom.
What is there to experience at UC Clermont? Well, you can walk, walk… and also walk. And, that walk is short.
Arriving in the afternoon at UC Clermont, it is hard to find something to do on campus after completing your classes for the day. After speaking with multiple students, the realization is clear that their shared experience is craving the enthusiasm and variety of a larger campus. Many students’ thrilling experiences came from their courses, rather than activities and culture on campus.
A student who is studying respiratory care, requesting to remain anonymous, in reference to their own experience, did not have much to say about activities outside of the classroom. They did appreciate what a small campus has to offer, however. “I would say, I mean, I really enjoy the hands-on experience that we get here both in the lab and being able to visit all the hospitals and all. That’s probably my favorite thing overall, is all the hands-on stuff we get to do,” the student said. “We can also do more to build the community.”
Another student, a pre-nursing major, said their UC Clermont experience is mainly in their classes, as well. “My labs are really fun, I like them.” In terms of diversity on campus, they said, “I think we can do a lot more. More people and staff with more diversity.”
They did go on to share something positive about Clermont. “I have some of the best memories at this place.”
The professors and students love the peaceful and easygoing environment Clermont College provides. They love it so much that a wide majority of the professors interviewed for this article have been working at Clermont for five plus years.
Professor Ganesh B Malla, a Mathematics and Statistics professor said, “It’s a wonderful place, I like the location away from the main part of the city, so you can meditate, and you can walk. It’s what I do in my office. Whatever you need, it is there.” Many students and other faculty members believe this, as well.
Two aviation technology majors interviewed spoke of their love for working on cars in the parking lot. They also mentioned how fun it is to play chess in the library.
Some students and professors were very fond of the simple experience, but others agreed with the lack of diversity. Dr. Andy Curran, who has been a Digital Media teacher at Clermont since 2001, mentions the increase in diversity over the years, but admits that the campus has always been small, and the location of the college can explain the lack of diversity and culture compared to main campus. The location of UC Clermont’s campus was a common explanation as to why many people simply just did not experience the overflow of activities and diversity that a more urban campus could provide.
What exactly makes the UC Clermont experience? For the most part, small gatherings for exceedingly small events. Opportunities such as poetry readings, art galleries, and school plays run the gamut of activities offered for students.
Despite there not being many activities and much diversity for students and faculty members, many of them seemed to genuinely enjoy UC Clermont’s mellow, quiet, and relaxed environment.