For Garret Sander K’19, Kalamazoo College is a sharp contrast from his hometown of Marshall, Michigan, which Sander describes as more conservative.
“The town I grew up in is conservative and one-sided politically and socially, so coming here is like a good culture shock,” Sander said. He makes sure to take advantage of the breadth of liberal arts that K College provides.
“I like being more focused on less topics, opposed to the semester system in high school where you mostly gloss over the information of six classes. I love the emphasis on each class,” Sander said about the advantages of the quarter system.
Sander described the academics at K as “difficult, but worth it.”
“K has been a big learning experience. I feel like I’m being fulfilled academically and socially. I think there is a curve to college, and I am still trying to adjust to it.”
He is a member of various groups at K: Naked magazine, K Democrats, and Men Against Patriarchy. He is also a member of Kaleidoscope, a safe space for LGBTQA+ students, as well as allies, to discuss current issues facing marginalized genders and sexualities.
“It’s great to have a space to interact with other queer individuals on campus,” Sander said about Kaleidoscope.
Sander loves the open community at K: “Another awesome thing about K is that it is not uncommon to be openly gay. That’s very cool and a new experience for me because there were only two out kids at my high school, me being one of them. I feel very myself here.”
His fellow classmates note Sander’s warm personality.
“He is very present and supportive of me and everyone around him,” Lexi Ugelow K’19 said. “He’s the first person I want to talk to when something is up. He’s very inspiring to be around and very passionate about so many issues.”
Sander said, “I feel lucky to be here. We have things like the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership and all gender restrooms, which show how progressive K is. Being here, I feel like I’m becoming an objectively better human everyday.”