Lucy Constantino

Lucy Constantino

Third year double-major in Strategic Communications and Psychology with a minor in Business Administration. I like going on adventures, eating pizza, meeting new people, and petting cats. My favorite color is red and if I were a Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor, I would be Chocolate Fudge Brownie because, chocolate.

Beans Cafe proves to be a hidden gem on campus

When our class was assigned this project, I wasn’t too sure about what I wanted to focus on. I picked Beans Cafe because I like coffee and small, unique businesses, and I didn’t know too much about the café and wanted to learn more about it. My roommate was always raving about how amazing the coffee was and that she doesn’t go anywhere else for her lattes and I didn’t start going there until fall of this year– something I definitely regret now!

I wanted to show the audience, both those who are familiar and new to Beans, how special Beans truly is and learn more about the people that work there and who are patrons there. One thing that sets Beans apart from other local and campus coffee shops is the fact that it’s student run, which has a huge influence on menu items, events Beans throws, and the overall atmosphere of the café.

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DU’s Culture Fest celebrates diversity

While doing research for my issues story on the lack of racial and ethnic diversity and representation at DU, I discovered on DU’s “Quick Facts” page the Fall 2014 first-year class has only 20.5% students of color, with no further breakdown provided. This compelled me to dig deeper to try to understand what life at DU is like from the perspective of a student of color. I found that while it might be hard sometimes to have your voice heard, there are multiple diverse communities at DU that strengthen and empower these underrepresented student voices. One day that unites and celebrates the many diverse DU student backgrounds, organizations, associations, and alliances on campus is Culture Fest.

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Pulling back the curtain on DU’s ethnically underrepresented campus

University of Denver campus sign.

University of Denver campus sign.

The University of Denver is recognized as the oldest academic institution in the Rocky Mountain area since its founding in 1864, and has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a Colorado seminary. DU is currently home to about 11,500 students with over 100 undergraduate and 120 graduate academic programs, and according to U.S. News & World Report, is ranked #88 out of the nation’s top 100 universities. However, the DU website’s “Quick Facts” page has only one statistic listed for the ethnic breakdown of the fall 2014 first-year student demographic, 20.5%, with no further breakdown for the ‘students of color’ statistic provided.

While all of these accomplishments are things the university should be proud of, these do not answer the question of why there is a lack of racial and ethnic diversity at DU. Some could even consider this as being a drawback to the university’s illustrious history and reputation as a prestigious private institution.

An in-depth look at how diverse the institution is compared to others across the nation is provided, as well as DU’s 2006 adoption of “Inclusive Excellence” (IE) on campus. Several DU undergraduate students who come from ethnic minorities have also spoken up about being underrepresented on campus, how this affects their own identities, and how they relate to their peers and other students from their own cultural backgrounds.

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