By Tara Cavanaugh
Sarah Layton just graduated from the University of Michigan at Dearborn, earning degrees in political science and criminal justice. She also won this year’s Political Award at the annual Pride Banquet.
1. The Pride Banquet Committee gave you the Political Award because you “brought back activism to U-M Dearborn.” Can you tell us about that?
This January, I was in the Political Science Association, and we decided we wanted to do something different for an activity to bring awareness about our club. So I proposed that we educate people about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” It was right after the repeal was signed. We got the “Ask Not” documentary. We played it on campus. It got great turnout, and got people really involved with it. Then from there, I started working with Anthony Wagner and Alli Sheppard for an anti-bullying community training day. I took part for the PSA, and we had a table set up to have students sign a petition to their state representatives telling them that they supported an anti-bullying bill. We also registered people to vote and take a pledge to stand up against bullying.
2. Why did you want people to learn more about DADT?
I guess it’s a bit of a personal thing. I was looking at joining the military, and I thought there’s no way I’m joining because of (DADT). So it’s more personal for me. I also have friends who are serving in the military and who have to keep their love life completely secret.
3. Now that you’ve graduated, what are your career aspirations?
I’m looking at getting involved in law enforcement. Right now I am taking a bunch of tests that I need to do in order to be able to apply to a police academy. There’s a bunch of hoops to jump through.
4. What really draws you to law enforcement?
I’ve always been interested in law enforcement. It goes back to when I was in elementary school. I was kind of a bully. It took me years to realize that I didn’t have to behave like that. I feel like by getting into law enforcement, I can be a positive influence, and help people. Being able to help people and serve the community is really something that I want to do.
5. Do you think there’s more activism in your future? You already seem like you enjoy helping others.
Yeah, I don’t see myself quitting anytime soon. I’m the kind of person, when I hear somebody say something ignorant or uninformed, I correct them just because I can’t stop myself. I’m afraid that’s not changing.