After winning his fight to live on campus, Micah Fialka-Feldman moved into the Oakland University dorms in January. The Oakland Post talked to Micah about the first half of his semester and what he expects after graduation.
What was it like when you first moved into your dorm?
My first night in the dorm was kind of exciting and interesting because I never thought I would have a chance to live in the dorm. It was nice to lay in the bed and say: “Wow, I am living in the dorm.”
I’m happy that I don’t have to wake up at 6:30 in the morning and take a bus for two hours. I can sleep in longer and I don’t have to do any chores when I go back to my room.
What are some of the things you’ve been doing on campus since you moved in?
I go to Friday Night Live, I’ve seen some funny people there. There are really funny jokes and stuff. I also go to my Jewish club (Hillel). I’m involved with Alpha Phi Omega and Sociology Club.
I have been going to lots of the home basketball games. I just like going as a student to the games. I don’t have to pay to go and I feel included.
Who helps you now that you live on campus?
I get help from friends that help me with my homework, laundry, or help me go shopping for food. They go to events with me too.
How have things changed since you moved here in January?
After I moved into the dorms, it’s changed. I now feel like a regular student, though I was a student before.
I’m hoping that other students (in the OPTIONS program) can have a chance to live in the dorms after I graduate.
How often do you do speaking engagements?
I do speaking engagements twice a month. I like Colorado, where I went in February. And I like Chicago a lot. I hang out with some of the friends from conferences and get to visit the city.
More people have invited me to speak since I won my battle. They want to hear me speak because some people can’t think why it took two years. They don’t understand.
Your dad recently spoke on your behalf at the board of trustees meeting. What was the main purpose for that?
The purpose of my dad speaking was to understand how much time they wasted and to thank them for all their work and to ask them why they’re appealing something that’s already done.
By the time they have their hearing next fall, I will be long gone. I might go to the hearing.
What will graduating from the OPTIONS program be like?
I was hoping to walk for graduation, but the program is going to be hosting a ceremony honoring us.
In May, I will be getting a certificate from the program. Two people will be graduating and we will be the first to graduate from the OPTIONS program.
What are your plans after graduation?
I want to try to have a good summer and maybe try to find a speaking circuit to tour around the country every other month or every month.
What do you think you’ve brought to the campus?
I think people have learned a lot about inclusion with having me on the campus. I hope that people can keep it going after I graduate and having everyone understand that everyone on campus.
What’s the last piece of advice you’d like to leave OU and students in the OPTIONS program with?
If they want to apply, they should go into the housing office and apply like any other student. They should have a right to apply to live in housing. They should be treated like any other student that comes to OU.