Hinsdale Central grad making his mark in college
Dan Cassin presents some of his thoughts at the 2012 Hinsdale Central Commencement exercises. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 22, 2013 6:10AM
Dan Cassin has picked up during his freshman year of college at New York University exactly where he left off as a 2012 graduate of Hinsdale Central. The Clarendon Hills resident was involved in several plays, the volleyball and speech teams, the Breaking Down the Walls club, National Honor Society, a spot on the 2011 homecoming court, and a speaker’s role at the 2012 Commencement. Cassin didn’t waste any time getting involved at his new school.
Q. While getting acclimated to a new school and a new city, you chose to run for president of the Freshman Class Board at NYU. Why did you decide to take that step?
A. That’s mostly about creating activities and programming to help other freshmen get involved. I have a passion for creating events to help freshmen to get to know each other. I figured there was nothing to lose by doing this. I want to experience everything I can here, and this is a part of that.
Q. Have you always been someone who is very involved and never seems to slow down?
A. I’m constantly moving and doing something. I came to college here to study drama, but I want to experience everything I can, not just drama. Hinsdale Central taught me how to balance my life and do multiple things, to not be a one-trick pony.
Q. Many of the activities in which you were involved at Central were about helping others. You’re doing that again now as a college student. Is helping others a conscious focus of your involvement?
A. I think just about everything I do helps other people beside myself, but I get great satisfaction out of helping other people.
Q. As a freshman at Central, you came out. You were persecuted by some students when they found out you are gay. Do you regret that happening?
A. If I could go back and change it, I wouldn’t. I was able to help so many people because what I went through. It totally shaped me to become the person I am today. High school is hard for everyone, and some people need someone else to laugh at. I established myself as not caring about what others had to say. By the time I was a senior, people knew who I was because I didn’t let what some said or thought stop me from anything, and I was involved in so many things.
Q. Boy Scouts of America has been considering a change in its policy that excludes gays as leaders and youth members. How do you feel about that?
A. I was in Cub Scouts, but only until fourth or fifth grade. It’s a private organization, so I guess they can do what they want. But it does seem hypocritical for an organization that is supposed to be all about fraternity and values to have a policy that bans some from being a part of those things.