October 4th, 2022
As part of our coverage of the 50th anniversary of UC Clermont, the Lantern will highlight all the aspects that students love about campus. First, we shared the special places that can be found here. For our next installment, we wanted to explore the intangible features that make our campus special. Again, our own editor-in-chief, Shannon Wells, took some time to reflect on the things that can’t be seen or touched, but are still present every day. Here is what she had to offer:
In the afternoon, with the sun slightly setting in the sky, I took a walk at one of my favorite spots on campus – the trails here at UC Clermont. Along the way, as I passed one of the many 50th anniversary signs aligning the light posts on the main entrance to campus, I reflected on the more intangible things I love about UC Clermont. The first things that come to mind are the kindness embodied by the students, the lifelong friendships I will surely develop, and all the helping hands I have had in my short time here. These are the things that hold a special place in my heart
From the first day of my freshman year, I walked inside the campus doors and noticed, right away, that the environment is friendly, warm, and welcoming. Everyone at UC Clermont is passionate about creating bonds, helping each other, and repeating the tradition for the next graduating class. I remember when I was a Student Ambassador for UC Clermont, I enjoyed every minute of helping students become knowledgeable in everything this wonderful place had to offer. The senior Ambassador of UC Clermont, Leslie Phillips, was an amazing mentor, always ready to help anyone, and never afraid to go the extra mile.
This campus has truly made up for its size in the positivity that is shared by our fellow students. Even when students leave at the end of the day, they are likely to share friendly moments with those passing by. One time, when I was walking past student services on my way home, I ran into a friendly acquaintance by the name of Abir Al-Saeed, right as she was leaving one of her classes. After “Hellos,” waves, and smiles, we exchanged numbers and have been best friends ever since. What a great way to end the day!
On top of that, pleasant interactions aren’t limited to acquaintances or the first week of classes. A week before I started the previous fall semester, my classes were in an unfamiliar building. I walked through the halls of Snyder, trying to figure out where my classes were when, all of a sudden, a student asked me if I needed help. I showed him my phone, and he was gracious enough to walk me over to West Woods Academic Center. With a sigh of relief, I was ready for the first week – but not before saying “Thanks!”
But don’t just take it from me! I wanted to get another perspective on the special, intangible aspects of UC Clermont, so I asked Professor Kimberly Clifford about her favorite things at UC Clermont. Clifford had a lot to say, starting with the diversity of the student body. “There are enough people to be interesting, but also you can get to know people. It feels more like a family. I love the students and the variety of students we have at UC Clermont.”
Professor Clifford also enjoys the nontraditional elements that Clermont has to offer. “In some of my classes, I have people who are in CCP. So, they’re high school students and college students and they’re just starting to figure out college. I have other students who are older who have been to college before, or who never had the chance to go to college, and now later on in life, they’re doing that.”
And she didn’t end there. For Clifford, variety is the spice of life. “Then I have students who are looking to get a degree from here or starting here and transferring elsewhere. So, all the different varieties of students that I get to meet, veterans, athletes, people who are interested in just kind of learning what they want to do in life like exploratory students. I also like the small class sizes because I have the opportunity to get to know my students, I get to see them in the hallway, and learn a little bit about their lives.”
In my reflection and exploration of the intangible things that I love about UC Clermont, one thing has become clear: It is no wonder it has survived and grown over fifty years.