Name: Lars Erickson
Major: Industrial design
Hometown: Kansas City, Kansas
Relationship Status: Single
Why did you choose KU?
I chose KU because it’s close to home and has a great atmosphere. Even though it’s big, it’s sprawling. The proximity to Kansas City makes it really great as well. I like that Lawrence is not just a normal college town. I think its a lot more family driven in some ways, but then again there are a lot of hippie-types in this town. What’s cool though is if you go to Mass Street, it’s not just targeted to college kids. There’s really a place for everyone.
So what is industrial design exactly?
ID is a lot about product development and making things in the world look good and work well. What I love is that when I go to class, it’s just like 25 classmates that I see every single day and we just hang out and laugh and joke and drink coffee. We help each other get better. The team aspect is very cool.
Sounds like it. Do you have any hobbies outside of your major?
I have a lot of hobbies. I like board sports. You know, longboarding, skateboarding, wakeboarding, surfboarding, sailboarding and I really enjoy snowboarding. Woodworking, music production; I could be called a botanist. I enjoy biking. I actually biked across North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, Utah and California with the nonprofit Bike and Build. Each person involved had to raise $4,500 to participate and there were 28 of us. Combined, we raised $170,000 in funds for this trip, which consisted of 56 ride days, 13 building days and four rest days. On the days we would build, we partnered with other nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity. We also averaged 70 some miles per ride day. Bike and Build is for the affordable housing cause, but also ultimately to promote youth empowerment. There are not many ways for young adults to be able to bike across the country, and Bike and Build provides a way for young people to be able to do that.
What are you involved in on campus?
I’m an RA in the residence halls, an Executive Member of KU Sailing Club, I serve on the Student Endowment Board and I’m a member of the Longboarding Club.
What’s your favorite 90’s movie?
What’s the first thing that you do on Sunday mornings?
I wake up and catch a ride with my mentor to Jacob’s Well in KC for some amazing coffee and church.
What issues on campus are important or stand out to you? What action do you think should be taken to promote a solution?
There are many issues on campus but one of which almost characterizes the overall problem is the rape culture here on campus. There is an overwhelming sense of inequality here. It is a serious problem when people walk down Wescoe Beach or even into class (an environment that should be for learning), and are sexualized or become victims of bigotry. So many of us here at KU have been raised in such a way that we are oblivious to this type of behavior. There are issues on campus as seen to by the Guy Fawkes fiasco and the issues brought to light by MSSU. We definitely need to do more. Campus is certainly working toward an environment that promotes equality for all people, but more can be done and this starts with the students. If you wanna see change? Make it happen. Start a non-profit that raises funds for equality, go tag buildings or hand out flyers, or even just start the conversation. In all of this though, be slow to speak, quick to listen, and easy to forgive. Handling issues as complex as these takes patience, but with that and the eagerness of all the freshman, we can certainly make something happen here at KU.