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Summer at Yale

You meet the most interesting people at Yale University. Just ask Romeo Gonzalez.

The new Mission College ASO president recently completed a six-week summer session at the Ivy League school where, he said, he met a young dutchess from France, the son of a Lithuanian oil baron, the nephew of a high Salvadoran government official, many students from throughout the United States, and, of course, present Yale students.

Romeo Gonzalez, left, and classmate on the Yale campus.
Photo courtesy of R. Gonzalez

"It was so amazing to meet all of these people," said Gonzalez. "We were all different but we had many of the same interests."

Gonzalez took "Crime and Punishment" (a study of landmark legal cases, justice, incarceration and sentencing) and "The Renaissance and the Printing Press," a class examining the impact of the printing press on Western civilization. This latter course enabled Gonzalez to view unique books and documents housed in Yale’s famed Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Gonzalez said he enrolled in the summer session to find out for himself if all the great things he’d heard about Yale – the "hype," as he put it – were true. He came away convinced it’s an even better school than he had imagined. He plans to apply for transfer to Yale and other Ivy League colleges and four-year universities.

Since his return to California in early August, Gonzalez has been preparing to take the helm as student body leader. His focus will be on increasing the membership and activity level of student clubs and campus organizations.

"Our students need to be more concerned with the issues that are taking place in our community," he said. "We need to be out there promoting ourselves as Mission College and letting people in the community know that we’re concerned about what’s going on in their lives."

Another goal is to make the annual AB 540 fundraiser an even bigger event. Gonzalez said the ASO will work to convince more sponsors to match funds raised by the students. The fundraiser provides scholarships for students who attended high school in California for at least three years and graduated from a California high school, but whose immigration status does not qualify them for state or federal scholarships or financial aid.

– BY EDUARDO PARDO / Photos: Lydia Chung