LGTBQ 'Canes Affinity Group welcomes new vice president

Q&A with LGTBQ ’Canes Vice President Aaron Esman
LGTBQ 'Canes Affinity Group welcomes new vice president
Aaron Esman, B.B.A. ’11, B.S.C. ‘11

How did you select the University of Miami?

I grew up in a family of ’Canes. My parents went to the U. My aunt and uncle went to the U. Although there was no family pressure to attend, I felt a natural calling to head down to the University of Miami to see where my family went to college. The minute I moved into Stanford Residential College, I knew it was the right decision. I was quickly followed to campus by my cousin the next year and my brother the year after that (who met his now-wife at UM and just had their first baby). The U is a whole family affair!

What did you focus on while you were here? Can you share your proudest moments at the U?

I always joke that I am very left brain-right brain. I knew I had to study multiple things to work out my intellectual curiosity. Therefore, I ended up earning degrees from both the School of Business and the School of Communication. I got to blend my interests and I loved learning alongside classmates from both schools.

I walked on campus as a pretty shy kid. My way to combat my shyness was to get involved with just about everything I could. My extracurricular calendar was even busier than my academic calendar! I was president of SpectrUM, served on the Student Government Executive Board, and even helped plan the Homecoming Parade. Getting involved on campus and showing my U-pride helped me break out of my shell and helped make me the person I am today.

How important is it to you to stay connected with the U and LGBTQ ’Canes?

When I moved to New York after law school, I saw that the LGBTQ ’Canes group was hosting a happy hour. I thought it would be a great way to reconnect with old classmates and meet new people. Since that first happy hour, I do not think I’ve missed a single event! The University of Miami is a community - whether on campus, around the country or around the world.

What made you decide to step into a leadership role? Where do you see the future of LQBTQ ’Canes at the U?

For many, college is where they first discovered what it meant to be a part of the LGBTQ community. I remember hearing stories from SpectrUM alumni about having to meet in secret. I am very grateful to live in a more accepting world. With that in mind, there are still many challenges LGBTQ+ individuals face. If we can make the lives of LGBTQ+ ’Canes better, I know we are doing a bit of good in the world. There are countless alumni who have stories to share about what it meant to be LGBTQ+ at the U. I hope through the LGBTQ ’Canes that we can document some of those stories for future generations.

Pre-pandemic, the LGBTQ ’Canes did a great job reaching out to recent graduates to help welcome them as alumni. During the pandemic, the group has done an amazing job connecting with alumni online. LGBTQ ’Canes is made up of some of the most creative and passionate people ever to step foot on campus. There are boundless opportunities to see the group grow and become a true resource to the UM community.