Today I had the chance to sit down with one of the most well known individuals on campus, Dixon Romeo. As the newly elected VPSA elect, Romeo is busier than ever but made the time to sit down with me to talk about one of his favorite topics, himself (I’m kidding, of course).
I kicked off the interview asking him why exactly did he choose to run for the VPSA position. “The VPSA position is the best position, in my opinion.” Romeo states. “It’s the most practical position because through the decisions the VPSA makes, you can see the immediate impact of those decisions on the student body.”
As the VPSA of the 2015-2016 academic year, Romeo plans on fulfilling his role as the primary advocate for students when it comes to issues relating to the student body. It is incredible how many organizations Romeo has his hands in: Concerned Black Students, Disability Resource Advisory group, Student Alumni Council, Student and Campus Security, the Track Team, Disabilities Task Force, Sexual Misconduct Task Force, Class Ambassadors, and he works at the fitness center. Because of all of these ties Romeo has with the student body, it is clear that he has a good grasp on different issues that are prevalent on campus. Additionally, due to his existing relationships with administrators and other individuals on campus, he can easily enact these changes he promises to fulfill.
It seems very obvious to me that Romeo truly does care about being VPSA and advocating for students. “It’s not about what I want; it’s about representing what the student body wants and needs as a whole,” Romeo stated. For example, when asked what was the one thing he was most proud of doing during his time at Grinnell, Romeo stated that organizing the Black History Month events this February had to be it.
During Romeo’s first year at Grinnell, he noticed that there wasn’t much student involvement in Black History Month. To remedy that problem, Romeo took on the task with help from other CBS members of putting together a number of events that were held during the month of February—Black History Month. For Romeo, pulling off this enormous task was very rewarding. He stated, “I felt like I was meeting a need for a whole group of people.”
In regards to his specific plans of focusing on issues dealing with sexual misconduct, Title IX, and minoritized students, he plans to be fully accessible to and available for students who want to reach him regarding these issues or any other issue they deem as important. “Even if you don’t know me,” Romeo stated, “please reach out to me. Come to my room, I respond to my emails really fast, I am here.”
To end the interview, I posed a couple of lighthearted questions such as “what advice would you give first year Dixon?” He replied saying “I would tell first year Dixon to get some sleep, get off YouTube, don’t slide—be patient. Make the changes you want to see in the community.” I can say without a doubt that Romeo has significantly impacted Grinnell College’s campus community and culture, and that he’s not stopping anytime soon.