Annie Brandstrader ’19 is always busy with something; she is the current President of Delta Gamma Sorority, Vice President and Communications Officer of Investment Club, and a former Member-at-Large of the Student Finance Committee. However, Brandstrader also stays active in the sports world as an intramural addict, as well as the Sports Photographer for the Office of Communications.
The Catalyst: How did you get involved with the Delta Gamma Sorority initially?
Annie Brandstrader: So, I didn’t originally want to join a sorority, but my friend actually told me that there was going to be free food, and she convinced me to go to the first night of recruitment. I actually ended up really liking it after I met a lot of the girls, and I ended up coming back the second day. And I eventually, obviously, accepted my bid from Delta Gamma. But my friend that had brought me actually didn’t come the second day. She left and decided she didn’t want to do it, but I kept going with the process. It was really funny just because I was really against it at first. And my family was really surprised when I had joined a sorority and everything; but I’m super happy now. We have formal recruitment and informal recruitment, and that’s why I’m a big fan of having both of those. So, for people that don’t really like formal recruitment, they can come and kind of have a taste of it from some other way. It’s kind of stressful, but it’s really fun, and you get to meet a lot of fun people.
TC: What do you think is the most valuable part of the sorority experience at CC?
AB: I think it’s really valuable that it’s not—or at least from my experience in Delta Gamma—that it’s not necessarily like a typical sorority. We do pride ourselves in being like a family and being a really close group of people, and that’s really important on the block plan, especially since, you know, you meet someone in a block, you really like them, you want to be their friend, but then it’s hard to keep up with block friends. But this kind of gives you a constant that you can constantly come back to. It’s something that I’ve really missed since high school, since I was on a lot of sports teams then. So, I miss that team aspect, the family aspect of that, and I was able to find that in DG, which is why I think I went so far from being absolutely against it to really liking it and becoming the president eventually.
TC: If you could take one thing from Chicago and bring it to CC, what would it be?
AB: Sorry, my initial reaction was “my boyfriend.” Anyways, but I mean I kind of did [bring my favorite part of Chicago], like one of my favorite things is [Chicago’s] train system, just because it’s both a really good thing and a really bad thing about Chicago, like it never really runs correctly, but it’s iconic. And so, I brought a train sign that we stole from one of the trains. I live with a couple other Chicagoland-area people, so we have a number of these train signs in our house, and it just kind of reminds me of home.
TC: How would you convince somebody who’s skeptical of becoming an Economics Major to join the department?
AB: I would probably tell them to try taking one of the econ classes. One of the reasons why I have stuck with econ for so long is because of the teachers. They have been amazing in my opinion. Granted, I did know that I wanted to do this for a long time, but I would tell someone to take a class and maybe help them choose which teacher was their intro level teacher ,because I know that some are harder than others, but have them take that first class. And not necessarily econ 201, which is the first entry level for economics majors. But, I would have them take like EV Policy or something like that, that they’re actually interested in and see what those teachers are like because I think it’s important that you really like the teachers in the department that you are working in.
TC: Who is the best professor you’ve had a class with outside of the Economics department?
AB: Oh god, I’ve taken so few classes outside of econ because I’m a math-econ major, so most of my classes have been math and econ. My favorite outside of it is probably… so I took ballroom dancing with John and Marcia. They’re so cute, and I love them, and I like that it’s something that I’m not normally doing. They’re an adorable couple that I just aspire to be like when I grow up. And they are so passionate about their dancing. And I mean, I’ve never ballroom danced in my life. I kind of transferred schools to avoid it—not the only thing—but, you know, in like fifth grade you had to learn ballroom dancing, and I switched schools in fifth grade. That was one of the things I was like, “I’m not doing this!” So, it was really fun to go to [the adjunct]. And they welcome everyone of all different levels to ballroom dance. Then they offer trips to go to, like Pueblo, and go dance with all the older people in Pueblo. It’s really fun.
TC: Why did you end up choosing Colorado College over other schools?
AB: I ended up at Colorado College, first because their representative that came to my school kept emailing me, to be honest. Second of all, obviously, the block plan. I hated taking all of my classes at once, and I never gave enough effort to the classes that I didn’t deem more important. And I love the idea of being able to take an art class for the art class and really pay attention to the art or whatever that other thing that I’m doing is. As well as, I’m honestly here because they did do well with financial aid. So that was super helpful because I didn’t want to come out of undergrad with debt.
TC: What is one thing you would change about the student body at CC if you could?
AB: I would probably try to make it more diverse, and not just in the way that you would assume. I do agree that they should make it diverse, like ethnicity-wise, but also in the ideals of the people that they bring in. In some of my classes, it’s nice to have a discussion with all sides because I am interested in seeing all sides, but that sometimes doesn’t happen, especially in any political science classes that I’ve had. It’s mostly a one-sided conversation. I know it’d be really hard to do, but diversifying the student body on the kind of ideals they bring to the school.
TC: What would you say your hidden talent is?
AB: I play the violin, and no one here knows that; that’s probably my hidden talent.
TC: How many intramurals have you participated in, and which has been your favorite?
AB: Okay, so it’s a huge joke with my friends because usually I’m in three intramurals at any given block. I participated in volleyball, dodgeball, frisbee, basketball, soccer, futsal, broomball, hockey, and I just got added to a water polo team. So, I’ve been in a lot of them. It’s really my goal to be involved in all IMs that I can. My favorite of them though would probably have to be—I’m probably a little biased because I’m a supervisor for the ice rink sports—it’s probably going to be broomball, just because everyone’s kind of on an even playing field because you’re all playing in gym shoes, no one can stay on their feet, and everyone’s just falling everywhere. So, that’s probably my favorite sport. I played sports in high school and I really miss being on a team, as well as I hate exercising in a gym. So really the only way that I would get exercise was through doing a sport and actually, you know, exercising to have some goal in mind, not to just sit on a treadmill and hit, like, the two-mile, three-mile mark or whatever. Plus, I get to meet a lot of fun people since CC is so hectic all the time, trying to pull in random people at the last minute has really allowed me to meet a lot of new people, to be honest. It’s just a lot of fun.
TC: As the vp of the investment club, what is the number one thing you would never invest in?
AB: I personally hate Bitcoin. That’s mostly because I don’t understand it very well. Also, I don’t trust it; with normal stocks, you can look into them, look into their financial history, look into their company history, look at their company models, and things like that to figure out if they would be a good investment. With Bitcoin, I just can’t really figure out what’s causing it to do so well other than just purely speculation, which means—in my opinion—that it’s a bubble and that it will pop at some point. And I don’t know how you tell when it’s going to pop. I just have little faith in it, and I don’t think that it would be a safe investment, in my opinion.