Rob Andrews ‘07 returned to Hastings College to give a speech and meet with students on Feb. 28 in Fuhr Hall for the conclusion of Black History Month. His talk highlighted the need for dialogue, how HC students can learn to become comfortable with each other and the responsibility students have to affect change.
Junior Mariama Sesay, president of Black Student Alliance (BSA), said that Andrews was brought to campus in hopes that students could easily relate to him and be open to what he had to say. As a student at HC, Andrews was a star quarterback, and a large number of HC football players came to the speech. Besides playing football, Andrews became the president of the Multicultural Student Union his senior year. In his talk, Andrews also emphasized how being a student at HC played a large role in his life.
“Hastings College is the best thing to happen to me and students should be prideful that they go to this school,” Andrews said.
Andrews’ family was originally from California before moving to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to escape gang violence. Andrews is a first-generation college student who realized his ability to make a difference in communities by leaving the football world and becoming a social entrepreneur. A social entrepreneur is a person who establishes an enterprise with the aim of solving social problems or affecting social change. Andrews now has multiple start-ups aimed at giving back to the community.
One such business is the Community Barbershop, where all of the barbers are trained therapists. Andrews is also founder of One Voice Coalition and the app “Arcade Exchange.” He is also president/CEO of CommunityWorks.
Andrews made sure to set aside the night as an opportunity for people to ask him questions. When asked what he would tell his earlier self to do on campus in terms of activities, Andrews wishes that he would have done more on campus earlier in his college career.
“I definitely would have done Multicultural Student Union more. I would be a part of the Peer Umbrella Network. I would have ran for student president … I would be more involved on campus,” Andrews said.
Andrews reiterated the need for students to be active on campus and to make a difference where they could by being involved. In a dinner that Andrews shared with some students, they discussed what it meant to be a liberal arts student. He summarized the discussion by saying, “From the advantage of the student, that means that you have the liberty to change the things that you need to change in order to make the school better.” To him, part of the students’ responsibility is to make things better for the people that follow the current students on campus.