Students of color face a unique challenge when beginning school at predominantly white institutions. This difficulty is typically not addressed during enrollment, SOAR, or even in the residence halls due to discomfort around the topic. Incoming freshmen of color at UW-Madison can use these tips to best navigate making friends:
Seek opportunities at the ‘Red Gym’ Formally known as the Multicultural Student Center, the Red Gym hosts many of UW’s cultural groups. You can find friends who are passionate about connecting with students with similar cultural interests through participating in events, joining groups, working, or volunteering.
Take ethnic studies courses UW-Madison offers a plethora of brilliant ethnic studies courses in several areas. Taking these courses with a focus on populations you are passionate about is a brilliant way to meet like-minded students.
Find friends online A majority of students are virtually connected through Instagram, Snapchat, etc. It never hurts to connect with friends or mutuals this way and can simply be done through skimming for followers on UW minority student organization pages.
Students of color should know that they are heard and not alone. There are various services provided through UW or near campus that can assist minority students. Furthermore, it is important to fill your time at the institution meeting individuals from diverse backgrounds for an immersive university experience.