In The Light: Federico Elizondo


Senior Federico Elizondo is featured for In The Light this week.

Growing up in Laredo, Texas, right near the Mexican border, senior Federico Elizondo lived in a very different environment from that of Colgate University. Elizondo was eager to come to Colgate, where he has certainly carved out his own path. His double concentration in psychology and sociology has given him the opportunity to study human behavior.

Beyond academics, Elizondo is on Link Staff, a member of Konosioni, former President of the Spanish Language Debate Society, an Office of Undergraduate Studies (OUS) scholar, a Writing Consultant at the Writing Center and a Women’s Studies (WMST) intern. His OUS group and work with Link Staff has been especially valuable to him. 

“I would not have been able to get where I am if not for OUS because they support me in so many ways, whether physical, social or mental,” Elizondo said. “I love Link staff too, because I want to make sure that first-years feel empowered to create the Colgate they want for themselves.” 

Empowerment, support and inclusivity are part of Elizondo’s central philosophy. His study abroad experience in Jordan, Nepal and Chile, as well as his summer internship at the Justice Center for Legal Aide in Jordan, proved his dedication to human rights. 

“Legal aide in Jordan is highly privatized, and this organization provides free legal aide services. It’s a grassroots NGO nonprofit that strives to represent its constituencies, poor individuals and marginalized people,” Elizondo said. “Justice looks so different in other countries.”

Elizondo’s internship has most definitely influenced his future plans.  

“I would love to work at a grassroots NGO, any sort of organization that focuses on human rights and civil rights and do that for a few years, then go to law school,” Elizondo said. 

Even with all of these opportunities, there is one moment in the past four years that stands out to Elizondo as life-changing.

“The sit-in that happened two years ago was very instrumental to who I am now. From now until I graduate I want to make sure that Colgate has a culture of acceptance and inclusion. I want the university to commemorate and take accountability for what happened in the sit-in. There’s  a discrepancy between what they said they’d do and what they did do,” Elizondo said. “It’s so beautiful to have students feel like they matter, regardless of who they are and what their identity is… People can stand up for what they want, and this is somewhere where you get to hear your voice heard. I want students to understand.”