This Month:

May 2020 : Gabriel Gaiusbayode

May 4, 2020 | Spotlights | 0 comments

SPOTLIGHT

 

  • Name: Gabriel Gaiusbayode

  • School: University of Dayton

  • Year: Rising Senior (Class of 2021) 

  • Major: Mechanical Engineering

Orgs: President of Black Action Through Unity | Vice President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Gamma Theta Chapter. 

Personal bio: Gabriel Gaiusbayode is a third year Mechanical Engineering major at the University of Dayton. He is a Nigerian native, raised in Columbus, OH with an Associates Degree of Arts from Ohio Dominican University. He is an intern with General Electric Aviation, and the President of Black Action Through Unity and Vice President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated Gamma Theta Chapter.

Gabriel aspires to develop methods of connecting his profession, extracurricular involvement, and personal interest to the education, sustainability, and development of youth within inner city ghettos. He is also a writer, and spoken word artist.

 

How would you describe the blk community on your campus? –

The Black Community on our campus is a combination of unity, empathy, and tenacity. We do not give ourselves enough credit for the solidarity we sustain within our daily lives as black students at a PWI; whether that is through programs developed within the Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center, Student Organizations, or our own willingness to socially connect. The love we generate is authentic, genuine, and powerful which is often what retains black students interested in the University of Dayton.

This unity and support we offer each other indirectly feeds into our tenacity as a community on campus. 5% of the students at the University of Dayton are black, thus, the expectation would be for our voices to be unheard. Yet, whether our words fall onto deaf ears we continue to make our presence known and felt through the impact, leadership, and culture we bring to UD.

What do they need? What do they want? – 

As black students at a PWI, we do not have the benefit for our wants not to be in synthesis with our needs. We want/need more black students, black faculty/staff, black advisors, an improvement of the racial issues which occur on campus, and mandatory black history curriculum in contrast to the Eurocentric history which dominates our freshman curriculum.

How has your school responded to these needs and wants? –

In 2017, Black Action Through Unity’s (BATU) Executive Board met with the President of the University of Dayton to address various issues concerning black students on campus; one of these topics included microaggressions within the classroom. Subsequently, BATU has worked with administration in developing an online curriculum for incoming students addressing cultural awareness on campus. The President of UD has remained consistent meeting with BATU to discuss the listed challenges black students face and working towards initiatives to alleviate these issues.

What have you done to improve the student life of black students on your campus? – 

I have had the remarkable opportunity to work towards providing resources and spaces for black students that collectively empower us intellectually, such as:

Establishing the first University of Dayton Digital Black History Timeline to provide students the opportunity to review Black History at the University of Dayton from the first Black Graduate to now.

Helping orchestrate the second Black Excellence Ball celebrating BATU’s 50th Anniversary as a student organization on campus. Thus, incorporating a Black Excellence Gallery which consisted of student art, NPHC historical items, black historical photobooks and articles stored within the University’s archives.

Working with the African Student Association in organizing African & African American Social Discussions with the goal of addressing controversial topics, debunking white supremacist myths, and bringing the communities together.

Collaborate with students in organizing a ‘Brotherly | Sisterly Love’ session providing black freshman the opportunity to informally reflect on the academic school year, social topics, and casual dialogue regarding daily life on campus.

Overall, I would have hoped that these opportunities I’ve had to impact black student life on campus, has improved the experience; even the slightest.

Why did you choose to attend a PWI over a HBCU?

My attendance at a PWI had zero to do with it being a PWI. I attended the University of Dayton because of the Black faculty/staff/students, I was exposed to, that tremendously invested in my development before I even became a student. Things I considered when applying for college included: Financial safety, character/career development, and the Black community’s solidarity; UD checked each of those boxes.

My only reason for not even remotely attending an HBCU of my choice (North Carolina A&T) was because I did not have money for the application fee at the time, they were due. If I repeated the process again, the University of Dayton would remain my choice because I truly believe it is where God placed me to make an impact. However, if I had the option to choose between an HBCU and any other PWI, I would choose an HBCU to immerse myself in the plethora of black culture within the academics, the extracurricular activities, the social spaces, the leadership, and the history.

    What is your PWI Survival Guide Tip?

    1. Socially
      • Get connected with other Black students through Minority Programs provided on campus
      • Stay active in your Office of Multicultural Affairs if provided
      • Seek Black Mentorship through faculty, staff, or older students with more experience than you.
      • Tap into the Black social network on campus and utilize that space to develop thorough relationships.
      • Love yourself. Love yourself. Love yourself.
      • Get involved in leadership on campus which can include student organizations, executive positions, community service, administrative opportunities, etc.
    2. Academically
      • Build positive relationships with your professors
      • Give them a reason to remember you beyond your skin complexion
      • Be tenacious, unapologetic, and daring in the classroom
      • Request for advisors which care about your well-being and academic/professional development

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