OUS is, without a doubt, the most important community I have at Colgate.Candido Martinez ’23 Huntington Station, N.Y.
Describe your experience as an OUS scholar.
The Office of Undergraduate Studies Scholars (OUS) program is, without a doubt, the most important community I have at Colgate. The generous unconditional love and support that OUS has provided me is paramount in my college experience. I found some of my greatest friendships and mentors here. I am indebted to this space for helping me navigate and succeed at Colgate as a first-generation student of color.
Have you had a pivotal moment, a mentor, or a defining moment?
The OUS Summer Institute was my most defining moment at Colgate because it marked my transition into adulthood. The summer courses were some of the most challenging I had ever faced, but the work I completed here along with my OUS peers was transformative. This was the first time I was exposed to critical-race theory, feminist theory, and queer theory in an academic setting, and that was an empowering experience that prepared me to face the social inequities present at Colgate.
What do you think of Colgate’s Third-Century Plan, DEI initiatives, and Colgate’s future from a student’s perspective?
From my perspective, Colgate’s Third-Century Plan, DEI initiatives, and Colgate’s future look hopeful. There is always more to be done, but Colgate has started to take steps in the right direction that other institutions can follow in, particularly with the no-loan policy for students receiving financial aid. Also, OUS and first-gen are a testament to that unique support.
Do you have plans to study off campus?
Colgate has many opportunities for students to study abroad. I am set to study at the University of Manchester this fall, and I will be traveling to Berlin in January through Colgate’s Sophomore Residential Seminar (SRS) program. You’re not limited to the Colgate study abroad programs — I have a ton of friends who have applied to other programs and loved them (this is especially true for students who want to travel to non-European countries).
What are your plans after graduation?
Graduation is my priority right now, especially just getting through this pandemic, so I don’t really know yet. I have a few things in mind, such as graduate school and moving out of state, but I want to try to enjoy the present moment as much as possible. Fortunately, I have Colgate’s Career Services available to me when I begin to seriously plan for my post-Colgate future next year. I’ve worked with them in the past, and they are incredible!