By Alex Lazo
Before I ever even got to Denison, I was adamant about transferring after the first semester – the first year if I really had to stay that long. My sister was a Junior and as much as I love her, I did not want to have to go through another cycle of people calling me “Little Lazo.” On top of that practically all of my friends from home were going to huge state schools along the east coast, meanwhile, I was shipping off to a college that is barely bigger than my high school in bumble Ohio. Being that far away from a half-decent lobster roll sounded like my personal hell.
Nonetheless, I learned to accept eating fish that traveled ~531 miles to reach my plate. Subsequently, after being forced to get lunch with some chick named Piper during my second week (my now dear friend and tanning connoisseur) I also learned to love this school. She later introduced me to a handful of girls – Riley, Annie, Charlotte, Giulia, Abby, Grace – and my transferring plans faded away irrevocably.
I can understand that my love for Denison may come as a surprise to some considering I have roasted certain aspects of the school in former posts such as its partying and housing policies. However, with my graduation creeping up on me in 9 days, I can’t help but offer my love letter to Denison and commend its growth throughout the past four years.
For starters, Denison has become much more competitive over the past four years, with the acceptance rate dropping to 17%. As indicated in the graph below, there has been a notable improvement in the overall Denisonian GPA across all grades from February 2020 to February 2023. The graduating class of 2023 seems to have played a pivotal role in this increase, given that they achieved a particularly high GPA while engaging actively with their coursework back in 2020.
With Denison’s GPA improving, it appears that we have adopted somewhat of a “work hard, play hard” culture. 127 asked Denisonians in February of 2023 and February of 2020 how many days in a week they (technically their “closest friend on campus”) consumed four or more drinks in two hours or less. As shown in the figure below, the number of students that reported 0 days decreased by 5.2%.
Despite managing a busy schedule filled with schoolwork, cultivating friendships, and alcohol consumption, Denison students still find the time to participate in a wide range of groups and organizations on campus. 127 found that with the exception of a 7.6% drop in employment and an 8.1% decrease in Greek Life, the group involvement from 2020 to today lacks any outstanding changes. Regardless, between the GPA improvement, binge drinking, and community immersion – the 2023 Denisonian is a true Renaissance Man.
However, there is one thing that has remained constant and you all should be deeply ashamed. The majority of Denisonians are doing themselves a profound disservice as 64.4% of students reported that they are not interested in being notified of new blog posts from https://onetwentyseven.blog. Don’t get me wrong, I give you a huge thanks for at least filling out our surveys because we are dependent on your responses, but why do you not care about the impact that YOUR answers and input have on the overarching demographic? If I could offer you one (arguably biased, but incredibly true) piece of advice, it would be to further engage with the 127 Blog as well as the Data for Political Research Department. Getting involved with these two fields have opened up several doors for me, including internships and job opportunities, and I am certain they can do the same for you; so why not take advantage of what is right in front of you because these are skills that can benefit you in and beyond the classroom.
Graduating college is weird, emotional, and nostalgic for everyone, but I really believe our class had it rough. Our freshman year was cut short due to Covid and navigating hybrid classes in the following years made a large sum of our college experience unnatural and awkward. But even so, I found my time here was inimitable.
On that note, I would like to give a special shoutout to the girls from Love in This Club, the Smith Boys, Pi Phi, the POSC & DPR Departments, my #1 reader Jimmy Lehmberg, and everyone else that I have met along the way who helped shape me into the person I am today. I am forever grateful for my (now, former) home on the Hill.
Alex Lazo is moving to DC after graduation where she can once again access ~fresh~ seafood. Goodbye corn fields, you were good to me.