More Than a Phrase: The Stories I Am Chapman Hopes to Tell

Only three phrases describe each student displayed in the halls of Argyros Forum. While things like “not a stereotype” or “a statistical anomaly” might mean something to passers-by, the true stories behind each label is known only to the students who self-ascribes to them. Students from the I Am Chapman campaign reveal why they chose the phrases now serving as their ambassadors to the public.

Tyler Wimbish

Outside the Cross Cultural Center in Argyros Forum, senior business administration major, Tyler Wimbish, poses in front of her portrait. Photo by Julien Khvang.

Black

“I am indeed Black, which is a rarity to find at Chapman so I had to be sure to put that as the first descriptor. I believe our population on campus consists of 1.4 percent of black students,” said Tyler Wimbish, senior business administration major.

Freshman enrollments of African Americans since Fall 2013 averages to 1.58 percent of the overall classes, according to information from the chapman website.

The Daughter of a Veteran

“I absolutely adore my parents and appreciate their past so I had to be sure to represent my father’s journey, as our parents’ decisions also shape their children’s lives. My dad was in the military and I wanted to showcase that,” Wimbish said

A Statistical Anomaly

After taking sociology… I learned that, on paper, I am a special case. I am a black female, in college, with a high IQ, two married parents, from the suburbs and I’m 20 years old with no children of my own, and according to statistics, which I don’t always believe, none of this is supposed to true for someone with my background. So, I am a statistical anomaly. My whole life, I have never played by the rules. I wanted to show that I am not a number or a negative statistic in a textbook that people like to classify. I am more than that. I don’t have any life trauma or a sob story. I am just me living my best life. My life is not perfect, but it surely isn’t horrible either and the experiences within it, have made me the person I am today, Wimbish said.

 

Brittni Gutierrez

Across from Cross Cultural Center, in Argyros Forum, senior political science major, Brittni Gutierrez, stands in front of her portrait. Photo by Julien Khvang.

A Domestic Violence Survivor

“I tell the story to those who are close to me but it always seemed like I was hiding it from others as if I was supposed to be ashamed of it. I didn’t want to feel that way anymore and I did not want to be a victim because i’m not. I survived and he cannot take my strength away from me anymore,” said Brittni Gutierrez, senior political science major.

Not a Stereotype

“The sentence that “I am not a stereotype,” refers to the fact that most Mexican/Hispanic women are mothers at this age. Which means giving up so many things such as education. I am graduating in a few weeks and that’s because I didn’t let myself get caught in that cycle that most Mexican women do. I am not a stereotype. I will be married before I begin to have children. Obviously, that’s not for everyone, but I didn’t want to be the typical latina that’s pregnant before I finish school or am married,” Gutierrez said.

Powerful

“The last statement I am Powerful refers to the fact that I am strong despite everything I’ve gone through. Parents divorced since I was two. Abusive father. Custody battle. Then raped and abused by someone I thought who loved me at the time. I’ve grown so much so fast and sometimes it’s not always a good thing. But I’m stronger for it. Without going through all of that I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am powerful despite these setbacks,” Gutierrez said.

 

Elliana Takano

In the Argyros Forum hall, opposite Qdoba, Elliana Takano, business administration major stoops next to her portrait. Photo by Julien Khvang.

A Pacific Islander

“My ethnicity is a huge part of who I am, I grew up in Hawaii for a few years when I was younger and have lived in Oregon for the rest. Even though we live in Oregon my parents still influence the Hawaiian and Japanese culture and I think this allowed me to be more open minded,” said Elliana Takano, business administration major

A Chemistry Minor

“I chose to put chem minor as one of them because I feel like not many people are chemistry minors, I like both business and science but there’s not enough time to major in both in 4 years, so I wanted to still be involved in science while majoring in business,” Takano said.

An Optimist

“For optimist, I really try to have a happy outlook on life, this sounds cliché but today there are so many bad things happening in the world, that I feel like it is important to have a happy outlook on life and enjoy being in the moment,” Takano said.

The I Am Chapman campaign means a lot to many people, providing an opportunity to share and gain mutual understanding.

“I am chapman means being part of a bigger community and this allows me to share a little about who I am with the rest of chapman… this brings us closer as a community and makes everyone feel welcome knowing that everyone is accepted for who they are,” Takano said.

Julien Khvang

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