Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion Week with Comedian Jake Rush 


Graphic Courtesy of SAB

Lena Gripp, Staff Writer

Buena Vista University’s Student Activities Board invited comedian, Jake Rush to celebrate Diversity and Inclusion Week to perform on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.  The event was hosted in Anderson Auditorium at 8:30 p.m.  SAB’s VP of Traditions Mikayla Foster introduced the act of the night and updated BVU students on upcoming events.   

Jake Rush is a comedian based out of Los Angeles, California.  He bases a lot of his act around his struggle with Asperger Syndrome.  Through humor, he has found a way to explain and show others what it is like living with this condition.  He spoke about how Asperger’s impacts day-to-day life activities like school, college, friends, and relationships.  Rush has struggled with social anxiety throughout his life and explained that it has always been difficult to pick up on social cues. 

According to www.autismspeaks.org, Asperger’s generally involves “difficulty with social interactions, restricted interests, desire for sameness, and distinctive strengths.”  They also claim that “changes in certain genes increase the risk that a child will develop autism. If a parent carries one or more of these gene changes, they may get passed to a child (even if the parent does not have autism).”  In other cases, genes may change spontaneously.  Common struggles include “Hypersensitivities (to lights, sounds, tastes, etc.), difficulty with the give and take of conversation, difficulty with nonverbal conversation skills (distance, loudness, tone, etc.), uncoordinated movements, or clumsiness, and anxiety and depression.” 

SAB thought that Jake Rush would be a perfect fit for BVU students during Diversity and Inclusion Week.  Rush was specifically chosen to bring a unique perspective to campus in a fun and engaging way. 

SAB’s VP of Design, Emily Brewer, claimed that around 80 students attended the event.  Rush said, “Iowa and Wisconsin college students have responded the most to my acts, compared to pass east coast audiences.”  Rush brought a lot of laughs to stressed-out BVU students this week. 

“I thought that he had a good sense of humor.  I’ve never met anyone with Asperger’s, so it was nice to hear about how others see the world, experience life, and conquer challenges,” says BVU student Sarah Mueller. 

Jake Rush is a perfect example of someone who doesn’t let being on the Autism Spectrum stop them from setting goals and working toward accomplishing their dreams.