Big school, small city: University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon -

Big school, small city: University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

Ishmael Napoleon Daro

Big school, small city: University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon

Ishmael Napoleon Daro, University of Saskatchewan | Photography Liam Richards

Ishmael Napoleon Daro is a fourth-year political science student. Originally from Afghanistan, he grew up in Saskatoon.

Why did you choose Saskatchewan?
“Basically, geography. I have a safety net with family around and friends.”

What’s campus like?
“The U of S is one of the better-looking campuses we have in Canada,” says Daro. “The buildings all have a stone finish that gives them the same sort of look. Even when they build a new building, they’ll still have the stonework done to make the whole campus look consistent. It’s beautiful.”

How are the people?
“It’s mostly local people. You do get a lot of Albertans from Calgary, Edmonton or some of the smaller towns, but it does feel like a very Saskatchewan university.” However, he doesn’t mind being surrounded by prairie folk. “I don’t imagine that people in other cities are so freakish or terribly interesting that I’m missing out.”

How’s the music scene in Saskatoon?
“Pretty vibrant, considering the size of the city. We do get to see a lot of great bands,” says the indie radio DJ. “But occasionally, I see a band’s concert schedule and they’ll have a date in Winnipeg and a date in Calgary. That’s frustrating.”

Is there a university bubble?
“Once you’re on campus, you might eat on campus, go to the gym on campus, plus your classes, and the groups you’re involved with, are on campus,” says Daro. He can’t always escape his fellow students at home either. “I live on Broadway, which is still very much a student-dominated neighbourhood. So I go from school to home and even if I go to a restaurant, it’s all students. It leads to feeling isolated from the larger city.”

How is course selection?
“I always manage to find interesting classes here,” says Daro. “One that stands out for me is the philosophy of sexuality class, which looked at the works of major philosophers through what they think about sex, rather than freedom or democracy,” says Daro. “Here’s an example. Kant talked about categorical imperative. Sexually, he’d say you could never just use someone for their utilitarian value. Every sexual encounter would have to be for pure reasons, rather than for selfish reasons.”


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