Eli Silva

Coalition-Builder. Friend. Volunteer.

When I got off the plane in Wisconsin I had mixed emotions. I was a little lost at first. I felt I had left part of me on Catalina Island. But walking around campus my first few days, people are waving at you and saying “hi.” It made me think, “Hmm, I can make friends here and not have a hard time.”

Now, I love it here. I can honestly say Ripon College was one of the best choices of my life. I could have easily gone to a state school near home.

Ripon is a unique place in the way that you can be weird in your own way and you won’t be judged. I come from a very liberal state and I like the fact that when I’m in Ripon we can talk about issues with respect. We have a mutual understanding even though we are coming on different sides of an issue.

I’m a Cali girl at heart but the Midwest has gotten to me, even though I don’t like to admit it. It’s a little scary just because all of the friends I’ve made at Ripon. Seriously, I never thought I would make such strong friendships at college and I don’t want to lose that.

"I never thought I would make such strong friendships"

alpha chi omega letters

There isn’t a day I wake up and don’t say “I am thankful to be an ΑΧΩ.” My sorority helps me to feel powerful. I can express myself and I know that my sisters are going to support me. We always say we have each other’s backs, no matter what.

Our philanthropy is focused on raising awareness for domestic violence. I get to help with an annual 5k run/walk, volunteer at a local shelter on a weekly basis, make blankets and spend time with the little kids.

 

"Everyone is welcome in the Black Student Union"

I just feel comfortable with them, I feel like that's my first family I found at Ripon. It's nice to know that at the end of the day, they are there... and you can cry, laugh, whatever.

Ripon College works to create a campus climate where diversity is cherished and students from historically underrepresented populations feel safe, affirmed and welcomed. Space is provided for community building and congregation with peers, and cross-cultural dialogue is encouraged throughout the curriculum, residential experience and a variety of multicultural-focused student clubs and organizations.

Special programs exist to ensure international students have a true "Home Away from Home" and events are hosted throughout the year through the Office of Multicultural Affairs and dining services to celebrate the cultural identities of students, faculty and staff.