Husker Dialogues: Q&A with Samuel Phillips

Tuesday, August 8, 2023 Husker Dialogues: Q&A with Samuel Phillips

Samuel Phillips [Photo by Craig Chandler, University Communication]

The annual Husker Dialogues is happening from 7 to 8:30 p.m. September 6 in the Coliseum. All first-year students are expected to participate in this community-building activity. Students will hear from their Husker peers before breaking out into small groups with conversation guides about how to build an inclusive campus for everyone. Meet one of the Husker Dialogues speakers, Samuel Phillips.

Samuel Phillips, a Husker gymnast and restaurant and tourism management major from Los Angeles, California, is a natural leader on campus. As a Husker dialogue speaker, Samuel aims to build an inclusive campus fueled by diverse understanding and love.

What does the Nebraska Athlete Ally Chapter mean to you, and why did you feel called to start it?

"It means everything!!!! I believe it’s the first LGBTQ centered student athlete group in the stadium and it means the world to me that we have found each other and been able to build and start our beautiful, small yet mighty, family. It is a lonely and challenging road being the only out male athlete at Nebraska, but through this family I feel heard, seen, loved and not alone!"

What drew you to become a Husker Dialogues speaker?

"I wanted to become a Husker Dialogues speaker because I wanted to be that voice for the younger classes, as the leaders before me were for myself."

Who or what inspired you to become involved in organizations and events such as Husker Dialogues?

"The senior and team captain on the men's gymnastics team that graduated when I came here: Anton Stephenson. He is an NCAA Top 10 award recipient and All-American."

Explain why it is important to learn and connect with Huskers from all different backgrounds.

"It is so important because you build a more comforting, safe and inviting environment for everyone."

What does having “brave conversations” mean to you?

"Having brave conversations means you are allowed to be vulnerable in a safe space and talk through tough differences with an end goal of coming to common ground, a solution, or peace."

What is the best way for students to build connections on campus?

"Best way for students to build connections on campus is going to outside events like tailgates or movie nights or quads events etc."

Who inspires you?

"Myself!!!!! I am constantly challenging myself to push the boundaries, challenge my beliefs, and see how far I can climb up the ladder."

What steps are important to you to build an inclusive campus for everyone?

"Perspective leads to empathy. Empathy ignites connection. Connection breeds love."

Explain why Husker Dialogues is such an important event on campus.

"I think it's so important because it gives freshmen a chance, right off the bat, to practice being open with themselves and others about these tough topics. So, if you know about it or not, you can start your college journey at least trying to be a better authentic version of yourself. This will only result in truer, deeper bonds with other Huskers!!"

What impact do you hope to have on campus and in our community?

"I hope to inspire people to open their minds to treating each person with understanding, to increase inclusivity and love. Teaching perspective can help people connect their stories with others, to create an underlying understanding of all of us and our shared experiences as human beings on Earth."

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