Jonathan Seals

Jonathan Seals. Photo by Wayne Armstrong

Jonathan Seals. Photo by Wayne Armstrong

HOMETOWN: Aurora, Colo.

FIELD OF STUDY: Senior double-majoring in political science and religious studies and minoring in French

ACTIVITIES: Chair, Colorado Black Student Leadership Conference; Excelling Leaders Institute; past president, Black Student Alliance; intern, Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation


Why did you choose to pursue religious studies?

I think it’s important to understand religions across the world. For millions of people, there is no separation between church and state, which means by learning about the religion, you get a deeper understanding of the people. The study of religion is important especially today, when a lot of attention is centered on foreign policy with the Muslim world. Through mass media, we receive sound bites that often lead us to create completely false ideas of religions. My studies have helped me to demystify and understand different faiths across the globe.


What diversity-related activities are you involved in on campus?

I am heavily involved in the Black Student Alliance (BSA). My first year, I served as the first-year liaison. I then became the president of the organization my sophomore year. During my presidency, I initiated our first high school outreach program called A Day at DU, as well as spearheaded our first statewide conference called the Colorado Black Student Leadership Conference. I became so heavily involved in the alliance because I felt truly connected to the BSA community. The people were my friends — they helped me grow as a leader; and it was there that I felt that my voice and opinion matter. In BSA my ideas can have an impact on both the DU and Colorado communities. It is therapeutic, because often, as black students, we don’t necessarily feel as though our voice can create change on campus.


How have you seen inclusive excellence manifested on this campus?

The student population is becoming more diversified, and diversification is happening at the faculty and staff level as well. However, I think we need to work at better supporting groups from diverse backgrounds. For example, DU is home to a large international student population, and we need to find more ways to ensure they are having an enjoyable experience.


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