Student Spotlight: Bayleen Baluga

Beluga misses the open ocean. Photo Courtesy of New Scientist

Whale student brings diversity to student music scene

CU Denver is a place where students never ever let their dreams get harpooned. Bayleen Beluga, sophomore, is no exception. Having transferred from the University of Melville (UM) last migratory season, Beluga experiences a unique set of challenges to overcome on the non-traditional Auraria Campus—challenges which are exclusively faced by emerging rappers who are also full-time students and whales.

“Bwwwuurrggggg, moorrrrrrgghhh, ðurghhhhh,” Baluga remarks, his voice swimming with determination. “Bdrwwwwgggghhh mouwggrrrr.” 

After UM was shut down due to a security breech last fall, Beluga was forced to leave the halls of the heavyweights and transfer to CU Denver: the only place that would accept him. Notable alumni of the University of Melville’s music program include The Krillers, Blubber Gum, Mo-B-Dick, and even members of The Atlantis Philharmonic Orcastra.

Beluga misses the open ocean. Photo Courtesy of New Scientist

Beluga’s arrival at CU Denver was anything but a fluke. Like many, he didn’t feel like he “fit in” at first among his new peers. But after realizing how accommodating the students and the faculty can be, he felt CU Denver reeled him right in.

His sentiments only highlight a deeper trend in the music industry. Seeing more and more of his colleagues and fellow rappers getting beached by labels, Beluga perseveres to stay afloat in a sinking scene—all while earning his degree above land. 

“[Explosive spray from blowhole].” Truly a testament to the efforts taken by our campus to be more diverse and tolerant toward undiscovered rappers. Specifically, he mentions that it’s hard to find any raw fish at the Tivoli food court.

Indeed, the height and width of the hallways of campus buildings as well as Auraria Campus’ distinct lack of large freshwater bodies have always been the subject of debate. In 1982, when one Fabled Giant Squid enrolled at CU Denver, he quickly withdrew after becoming aware of the “oppressive, backwards, and frankly cephalophobic” climate at CU Denver that failed to consider the needs of students over 100 feet tall. Something that the school has yet to address.

With regards to Beluga’s accommodations, the Office of Transfer Admissions and the Center for Identity & Inclusion declined to comment.


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