Favorite Spot on Campus: Founders Hill
“It just has a really nice view.”
As someone who enjoys getting outside, Gil loves the wide-open sights from sunny Founders Hill. The grassy crest overlooking lower campus sports plenty of chairs to kick back and relax.
“It’s always where my friends and I hang out, so it’s one of my favorite spots.”
“Honestly, it took me a while to find my group of people,” said Gil, who’s from Hawaii. But living on campus opened doors for her: literally. “Living in the dorms really helped because we left our doors open a lot… You could just pop in, and because we’re all still getting to know the campus and our first experience at college. It was like building that community from the start my first year, and then it just kind of expanded.”
Student Activities Fair
The Student Activities Fair is Gil’s favorite on-campus event. Students meet the College’s many student clubs—including the Metaphonian society, which Gil’s a member of—and Gil enjoys the energy of the event, which helps kick off the school year.
“It’s just really lively and fun, and you’re just talking to everybody and hanging out—getting to meet new people, too. It’s a way, even if they don’t end up joining, you still talk to people, so you’re just building new relationships and it’s just really nice.”
Living in SoCal
“That was the first Youth Climate Strike in L.A. in September. They had another one recently in November where Greta Thunberg gave a speech and a bunch of other activists. The great thing about living on SoCal is that everything is in close proximity and the fact that we can just go into L.A.—which is like, mega city—and the fact that we can just voice what we’re passionate about.”
Gil enjoyed meeting people at the march, hearing their perspectives, and joining her fellow students in a protest for issues that are close to their hearts.
On-Campus Job: Office of Student Engagement
“I’ve been working there since my first year,” said Gil, who’s done everything from helping student clubs with their budget requests to giving students resources to engage with their Whittier College community. Along the way, she’s developed relationships and grown, as well. “That’s something significant to me: the friendships I’ve developed in there and then also my leadership development.”
People who make her feel like she’s found her place
Pictured above are the professional staff members of the Office of Student Engagement: Jordan Laffin, Ricardo Pitones '14, and Eva Covarrubias ’00.
“They want to do everything for the betterment of the student body,” Gil said. “And they’ve always been there for me, as well. Eva always just checks in. It’s nice that even through I’m at work, it’s like a home, as well.
“And then of course, they want to see us succeed, so they’re always like, ‘How can we support you? What do you need out of all this?’ The constant asking and the support is what makes me feel at home, here. It’s built a really good relationship for me at the school.
“If something’s gone bad, I can always confide in them and talk to them and have them help me and give me that advice that I need, whether it’s in my positions in school or what’s going on with life. They’ve always been there for me. They make me feel like I found my place here.”