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January 2019: Chance Mitchell

Dec 31, 2018 | Spotlights | 0 comments

SPOTLIGHT

 

Name – Chance Mitchell

School – DePaul University

Year – Senior

Major – Political Science

Minor – Sociology

Orgs – Black Student Union

Bio: My name is Chance Mitchell. I am a fourth-year student at DePaul University. I am currently the Vice President of The Black Student Union at DePaul. After spending most of my time a part of the general body, I decided to take up a more proactive role within the organization. Beyond that, I am employed with the Greater Chicago Food Depository. To be specific, I am a Program Specialist with the Older Adults Program. I am a southside native. Intrinsically linked to Chicago, I have been spending a better half of my 21 years, trying to find ways to improve life for Black and Brown people in Chicago. In the pursuit of that mission, I have been apart of several organizations to try and make this dream a reality. From working with the Alderman of the 4th Ward back in 2016, working with the Mikva Challenge several times between my junior year of high-school and my sophomore year at DePaul, I have been working consistently and diligently to improve conditions for the denizens of Chicago. Though, with the problems facing the city, it sometimes seems like an incredibly daunting task. So much so, that it is easy to become discouraged when you see and hear with some of the decisions being made by elected officials that were put in place to represent our issues and values. Although, I will say that dealing with some of the societal ills that plague Chicago, it has given me a sense of self-reliance and resilience that I take with me always. Even on DePaul’s campus. Even as the Vice-President of the Black Student Union.

This is not my first taste of leadership, either. I was the chair of a youth organization that myself and other e-board members founded back in 2015. And I had been working a youth ambassador role with the Chicago Peace Hub Youth Council since 2016. However, I think being the Vice-President of any major organization on campus comes with a certain level of pressure that I believe that other two positions did not come with. As I previously mentioned though, from utilizing the resilience and other soft skills needed to stay motivated in the fight to better Chicago, the pressure is something I can use to motivate me to provide a stronger foundation for other black students at a PWI. Dealing with some of the experiences that may be jarring for some in initially experiencing them. Creating more engaging thought pieces, promotion more messages of unity as well as togetherness, seems to be my primary mission. However, the other E-Board members have worked tirelessly to reiterate these same sentiments. What makes it so wonderful is the fact that they do it in their own unique ways. This diversity is how we will make the Black Student Union a space where any black person of any upbringing or corner of life can come and find sanctuary.

How would you describe the blk community on your campus? – It depends on the day and who you ask. Sometimes we are unified and we will stand together on issues that concern us. However, currently we are in a state where there is a great deal of divide amongst us.

What do they need? What do they want? – It is difficult to say what they want or need. I know that providing opportunities for them to connect, network, socialize, and grow, we are providing outlets for them to become further unified. I think they could all use a little more financial aid. And, through certain channel, you can acquire it. It just takes some digging. Which should not be the case but this is how some black students are able to provide the money necessary to continue their education at DePaul

How has your school responded to these needs and wants? – For the most part, for every student has access to the resources that DePaul offers. From the career center to the different social organizations on campus. However, there tends to be somewhat of a disconnect between the Black students needs and desires from the higher-ranking stuff on campus.

What have you done to improve the student life of black students on your campus? – In running for the position of Vice-President, I have been continuing what I have been always doing for the black student body. Providing meaningful experiences through the connections I have throughout my network.

Why did you choose to attend a PWI over a HBCU? – It was a matter convenience.

What is your PWI Survival Guide Tip? – Getting acquainted with the financial aid office, meeting with your advisor regularly, establish connections with the professors of color on campus, be as friendly and cordial with the Black Student body, do not reject any populations on campus, and stay on top of your classes.

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