Solomon McBride '18

Name: Solomon McBride

Year: 2018

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Majors: Health: Science, Society, and Policy (HSSP), and African and Afro-American Studies (AAAS)

Minor: Anthropology

Her Campus: What attracted you to Brandeis?

Solomon McBride: Honestly, the Posse Foundation. It opened my eyes to schools outside the Atlanta area and outside the South. I think Posse really pushed me to try something new and to go to a place that’s not only different, but could challenge me, and force me to get out of my comfort zone. Once I got here, I was attracted to the idea of social inclusion and social justice. Although I hate that phrase, this school has challenged me to think about not only what “social justice” means, but what it could look like in the world at-large. Is Brandeis completely free of discrimination and bias? Not quite. But, I think what makes Brandeis unique is that it’s student-led. Demonstrated by Ford Hall 2015, students here really have the power to enact change and voice their opinions and concerns, and people will listen to them—administrators will listen to them.

HC: What activities are you involved in on campus?

SM: I’m in the Men of Color Alliance (MOCA), Brandeis Black Student Organization (BBSO), Brandeis African Student Organization (BASO), and Student Activities. I’m also a CA in Reitman in North Quad.

HC: What is your proudest moment at Brandeis so far?

SM: There have been many, but most recently, I served a role in planning a large-scale concert for the first time. It was very surreal to be able to have input in deciding who would come to perform at the Winter Concert for the Brandeis student population, and as a music lover, I enjoyed every minute of it. There were a few rookie mistakes made on my part, as this was my first time planning anything of this nature and scale, but it was really amazing seeing it all come together. I was really excited to see that people enjoyed Mick Jenkins and Russ, and that students had an enjoyable night overall. I’m also fortunate enough to work alongside many great people in Student Events, and shout out to them for the support that they have given me since day one.

HC: What advice do you have for incoming first years?

SM: Never be too hard on yourself. That’s something I was a victim of when I first got here. I had very high standards for myself coming in, especially compared to the student that I was in high school. I was so frightened by the entire idea of failure, and I found myself being demoralized in situations where I did experience a few missteps. However, I soon realized that there can’t be true success without a few moments of failure and uncertainty. I would encourage them not to lower their expectations, but to have more realistic goals that are more aligned with the extreme challenges of being in such a competitive intellectual environment. College is nothing like you’ve ever experienced—it’s something that’s really challenging. Just take it slow, have confidence, and you’ll succeed.

HC: Where do you see yourself in ten years?

SM: I’ll be 30 years old. That’s the first thing. Aside from that, I’m majoring in HSSP and AAAS, so I would love to be involved in the creation of policies that serve underprivileged communities that I, along with millions of other people, grew up and developed in. The water crisis in Flint, Michigan has become a national headline, shedding light on our nation’s struggle for environmental, economic, and racial justice, yet unfortunately, it’s only a microcosm of what’s happening in so many disadvantaged communities of color across the country. Hopefully, I’ll be in a position where I could create change, while also addressing the systemic and institutionalized racism that impacts the residents of communities that lack effective health and environmental policies. My ultimate goal is to be in the position to try to make these communities places where people will want to live—places where people are healthy, and can live freely and enjoyably.

Quick Facts:

Hidden Talent: I can freestyle.

Favorite TV Show: “Breaking Bad”

Favorite Quote: “If you have no critics, you’ll likely have no success.” – Malcom X

Favorite Spot on Campus: Gosman

Favorite Song of the Moment: “No More Parties in L.A.” (feat. Kendrick Lamar) - Kanye West

Favorite Class at Brandeis: “Performance and the Politics of Black Authenticity” with Professor Jasmine Johnson

Prized Possession: I have a watch that my late grandfather gave me. I don’t even wear it because it’s too precious and meaningful. He fought in World War II, so it was a watch he got while he was overseas. He held on to it for decades, and passed it down to my dad, who in turn passed it down to me.