Critical. Subversive. Irrepressible.


Critical. Subversive. Irrepressible.


Critical. Subversive. Irrepressible.


AU president search had limited student, late faculty input
Magazine Release
The Magazine has been released!

The Hum: Experiences at a PWI

Students of color at AU speak about their time at a predominantly white institution

This semester, The Hum team interviewed students of color and students for whom English is a second language, or ESL students, about their experience at American University, a predominantly white institution, or PWI. The new episode explores the prejudices students face, the expectations that society sets, how much support ESL students get from AU and the umbrella term “students of color.”

Tyler Brown Dewese is a Black AU student who also attended a PWI in high school, an all-boys Catholic school in New Rochelle, New York. He said that although the only major difference between AU and his high school was the campus’ political leanings, he’s found more of a community at AU. Dewese is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, a historically Black fraternity.

“I’m very known around the African American community,” Dewese said. “It’s small, but you know, we all know each other.”

Dewese said that he has no issue with the term “people of color.”

“That’s exactly what we are,” Dewese said. “We are students of color. We are people of color. And there’s nothing wrong in saying that. We’re literally embracing our identity, whether it be in Black or Latino or Asian American, it doesn’t matter. That’s just who we are.”

Dewese said he appreciates university resources like the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the Anti-Racist Research Center, in addition to classes focused on civil rights in the School of Public Affairs.

A place Dewese said he hasn’t seen as much diversity is in the people teaching his classes. He said while he knows of other Black professors at AU, Dewese, who is currently in his third year, has only had two.

Another student interviewed for The Hum, Elsie Bustamante, has also had problems with professors relating to her identity. Bustamante is from Peru, and her first language is Spanish. She said because her first language was not English, professors make assumptions about her or her work.

Bustamante described one experience where she asked for an extension on an assignment, and the professor assumed it was because English is not her first language, even though her reason for asking for the extension was unrelated.

Other students from different identities and backgrounds shared their experiences on the podcast. Listen to the newest episode of The Hum on your preferred podcast platform to hear their stories!

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Helena Milburn
Helena Milburn, Podcast Director
Helena Milburn (she/her) is a senior majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. Milburn grew up in New York City with her parents, younger sister, and dog named Einstein. She has been a part of AWOL since her freshman year. Though she has also written for AWOL, the podcast is what drew her to AWOL her freshmen year. Milburn is happy to be able to lead the podcast this semester to help others have the community and experience it gave her.
Ela Hernandez, Podcast Producer
Ela Hernández (she/her) is a junior majoring in international studies and minoring in women, gender and sexuality studies.
Zoe Kallenekos
Zoe Kallenekos, Staff Editor
Zoe Kallenekos (She/Her) is a senior studying journalism. Kallenekos loves all things music and dreams of working in radio or podcasting, being a music journalist, writing a book, traveling the West Coast and befriending many more cats than she already has.
Sofia Borin
Sofia Borin, Staff Writer
Sofia Borin (She/Her) is a sophomore pursuing a journalism major. She enjoys reading, cooking for her roommates and going on hikes.
Stella Camerlengo
Stella Camerlengo, Assistant Editor
Stella Camerlengo (She/Her) is a freshman pursuing a degree in International Studies. Though a new writer, she has quickly dived into investigative journalism as a passionate hobby of hers. Outside of AWOL, she Figure Skates, loves politics, and consumes an alarming amount of matcha and chai lattes.
Blake Guterman
Blake Guterman, Podcast Producer
Blake Guterman (He/Him) is a senior with a Journalism Major and Psychology Minor. He loves to read, write, cook, exercise, hike, listen to music and socialize with friends. He also takes pride in his love of Spongebob Squarepants, Family Guy, Totally Spies, and Coldplay.