The six degrees of separation is a theory that everyone can relate, by six steps or fewer, to any other person in the world.
It’s very rare to walk through campus with Clement Assante and not be greeted by tons of new people. The six degrees of separation definitely apply to Assante, a junior neuroscience major at CU, who is one of the most positive, friendly people on campus. I asked him what it means to be a buff, to be diverse at CU, and what inspires him to continue on his college journey.
Assante was born in Ghana and moved here when he was 13 with his mom and sister.
“It’s hard because it’s a big school, you don’t know anyone. So I think freshman year coming in, it was hard to find groups, be involved. That changed through meeting individuals who already knew of different things to get involved in,” Assante said.
After being a student here for three years, Assante has some suggestions about what the university should work on.
“For me personally, and I know this sounds like a cliché and everything, but I would like to see more diversity. Coming from a high school where there were a whole lot of students who were diverse, you have to actively seek out those student groups of diversity [at CU], in order to get involved with them. I think it doesn’t have to be the students seeking out diversity, it should be the university providing students those opportunities to be diverse and involved,“ Assante said.
Assante feels that CU should take the initiative to start bringing students together, and accept more diverse students so they can feel a sense of community and social solidarity with the in-group. This in turn would create a path for students who are not of the same identity and can do a lot for them.
“I’d also like to see more involvement with the students from the university as well. I only get emails from the chancellor, but I never see him on campus. I think if they could take time out of their day to come to campus and meet students, it would be nice to see why students choose CU and would make students feel more welcomed here,” Assante said.
While CU does have a history of issues when it comes to diversity and student inclusion, Assante does see how his degree from the university will lead him to a better future.
“My aim is to one day go to med school and one day become a neurosurgeon, and help fight brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Both are really devastating diseases that impact loved ones, so I think being able to impact that and surgically repair the human brain so that it can get back to normal function is what really interests me. It’s been a good three years studying neuroscience because the field is new, and I feel like there is a lot of things you can learn from it. There are a lot of pathways you can take being a neuroscientist,” Assante said.
Assante revealed how grateful he is to his mom for constantly inspiring him to persevere and work hard.