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Justin Norris

Justin Norris

Q&A with OU Senior Justin Norris

What do you do on campus?

Student Government Association President, Gender & Equality Center Peer Educator, Campus Tour Guide, Fine Arts Diversity Council, Black Student Association, OU Men's Glee Club

How has OU empowered you to make an impact?

OU has connected me to a network of peers and mentors in which I am constantly learning how to become a more intentional friend, a more effective leader, and a more realized version of myself. Additionally, at OU I have found many opportunities to apply the skills I've gained in order to leave a legacy that will impact the university community for the better. 

What drew you to OU?

I was drawn to OU by the concept of the OU family. During my college search, I knew I wanted to be more than a face in a classroom or a number on a roster, but I wasn't sure if that was possible at a large academic institution. However, from the moment I stepped on campus, I have felt fully embraced by the University of Oklahoma as a member of the family. Much like a family, the student, faculty, and staff at OU celebrate each other's victories, supports one another during times of trouble, and learns together during challenging moments of growth. 

What is one of your favorite things about OU?

My favorite thing about OU is how beautiful the campus is! The calming visual aesthetic of the Cherokee Gothic Architecture is truly the cherry on top of the already beautiful dessert that is the University of Oklahoma. 

What do you want out-of-state students to know about OU?

Not too long ago I was in your exact position - I was an eager high school senior who wanted to make the perfect decision about where to start the next chapter of my life. Deciding on a college was a huge decision and considering going to school in a different state made the process seem even more daunting to me. However, when I visited OU, I immediately felt like I was home and my “huge” college decision suddenly had a very clear answer.

As a member of the OU family, I have made so many amazing memories: cheering in the student section with my friends during football season, meeting new people at campus events put on by some of our many student organizations, and simply relaxing outside on the North Oval while the bells ring across campus. Not to mention the great opportunities I’ve had to grow inside and outside of the classroom! 

Though it may be miles away from where you grew up, the University of Oklahoma has a remarkable way of making you feel at home. There is a place for everyone here at OU.

Is there anything else about your OU story that you'd like to share?

Being a student of color at a predominantly white university can be a challenge. However, at the University of Oklahoma, there's a multitude of resources to make the student experiences equitable and enjoyable for BIPOC students. In my own experience, I've found a community with the Black Student Association and have seen firsthand the work of both the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Office of Student Life to advocate for the needs of multicultural students as well as provide opportunities to showcase and celebrate the many cultures and identities represented on campus. While there is still room the grow, I am very thankful to attend a university that is willing to learn and invest in developing a more equitable future for all students.