Alexander “Xander” Danger Adventure Fitzhugh, a dual major UCC student, is a 21st century advocacy pioneer, full of surprises. Yes, Danger Adventure is actually part of his legal name.
Fitzhugh is well known on the campus for his seemingly unending involvement in the UCC community and his potential to exuberantly raise the energy level of those around him in a highly articulate manner.
Amidst his interview for this story, students walking by peppered Fitzhugh’s comments with questions such as “liberal Quakers, those exist?” and “what isn’t he involved in?”
Fitzhugh is working towards several degrees: a B.S. in Economics and Environmental Sciences.
Fitzhugh is the president of the Spanish Club, Queer Students Advocacy and the Drama Club, as well as the public relations officer of Phi Theta Kappa and the vice president of the Geology Club. That’s not all. “I semi-regularly attended Environmental Sustainability Club and attended the Wrestling Club once. It took me about a week to recover,” he recalls.
However, his service to others extends beyond involvement in student life at UCC.
Homeless advocacy has been a practice and passion of Fitzhugh. He spent years volunteering for the Salvation Army in Virginia. “Although I felt they did a lot of good work, I felt the need to be in the closet about my bisexuality,” he shares. As to his personal identity, Fitzhugh says, “I am 35 years old. I identify as a non-binary gender.” Locally, Fitzhugh serves homeless individuals by volunteering each Tuesday at Casa de Belen, a homeless shelter for teenagers in Roseburg.
“It’s a happy family atmosphere there. They need all kinds of help both big and small, even if you only show up once. That one time might be the difference between someone transitioning into society and falling back into the abyss,” he says.
“The most rewarding part is to witness joy in others, especially joy I have engendered. I like to help people in times of trouble, but I most enjoy simply increasing the beauty of the world,” Fitzhugh says. “The most taxing is the level of multitasking that is required of me.”
In order to stay organized, Fitzhugh uses a scheduling app and has learned to delegate. “I rely heavily on my awesome teammates and would never have the energy for all of this if I didn’t get my cardio in,” he says.
“My liberal Quaker faith motivates me to go the extra mile,” Fitzhugh adds. “Liberal Quakers use consensus decision-making. I tend to think of things in terms of community, which is one of their Testimonies.” He clarified that the Quaker Testimonies are comprised of a number of ideals: “simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship.” Even though this set of ideals is based in religious belief, Fitzhugh’s life demonstrates that their practical application extends beyond religious communities.
Being able to accept care has also been pivotal to Fitzhugh’s personal development. “I would not be here if it were not for Tony in the counseling office,” Fitzhugh discloses. Life did not magically turn into a cakewalk for him upon becoming a prominent individual at UCC.
“I am currently in an assessment period for PTSD, partially due to my personal life and partially due to the events of Oct. 1” he says.
Fitzhugh’s journey to college was unique. He attended alternative education in Washington, D.C. “The Lab School is a K-12 school in Washington, D.C. for children with moderate to severe learning disabilities but average to above average I.Q. I attended from first through third grade after getting kicked out of a series of pre-schools. I was re-introduced to regular school in the fourth grade,” Fitzhugh says.
“In my early childhood, there was such an emphasis on how I was different that it led me to emphasize inclusivity for everyone later in life,” he says.
Fitzhugh may be crystallizing how he views the world. “I personally believe that the mechanics of oppression and segregation are consistent, regardless of the particular groups involved. That’s not to say that every group does not have their own unique experience, but that the social systems involved in oppressing any one group, whether that be in an overarching society, or a single family unit, are consistent and quantifiable across the globe and throughout history,” says Fitzhugh.
Fitzhugh did not originally aspire to be a leader, but he took on leadership roles for the sake of those who are in need of care. “Initially, I did not seek a leadership role in anything. In both the QSA and the Drama Club, I stepped into a leadership role to fill a vacuum; I took on responsibilities that others did not wish to shoulder,” he says.
At this time Fitzhugh plans a career focusing on sustainable mining practices. He will attend Southern Oregon University in the fall.