Happy to help, my kid is a senior who, along with his whole class, was broken hearted not to finish up on campus this spring.
General vibe on campus is friendly, engaged, active students. What appealed to my kid when visiting, and has been confirmed through his experience is that there really is a blend of “types” – there are artists, athletes, activists. The campus culture puts a premium on “engaging with difference” so that groups of students are not “silo-ed” into only going through campus with their own “type” but engage across the board. The college also uses merit money strategically which means that there is a more balanced economic spread than at many LACs which have very wealthy and low income students, but few “doughnut hole” families. There is not a strong “social justice warrior” vibe on campus, though the student body leans liberal, there are actually Republicans. My “go-to” example of the campus culture is that a year ago, Reince Priebus and Jim Obergefell were on campus on back-to-back days and there were no marches to shut anyone down but rather the Democratic and Republican clubs went to each talk and engaged with each other. It’s not perfect, but that is the overall vibe.
For community service opportunities, look on the website for the Alford Center for Community Leadership and Involvement Center for more information. While Granville is a picture perfect, pretty upscale village, about 10 minutes away there are two communities, Newark and Heath, which have struggled with unemployment etc. so lots of volunteering and service there. Education program is more of a “liberal arts” focus, I don’t know whether the major would qualify a student for teaching in public school in Ohio, I would email the head of the department to ask more about that, if the information is not on the department website. I know several of my son’s friends worked in Newark public schools as part of their education classes, so there again is lots of opportunity for engagement. Finally, my son has several friends who are very active in Hillel on campus.
I think your last question was about Columbus – it really depends on the student, how much someone goes to Columbus. The first year program sponsors free events, with transportation throughout the year to get students connected to Columbus, with free tickets to the Symphony, Blue Jackets hockey, Columbus Crew MLS soccer, plus weekend gallery hops etc. Denison is continuing to build on its relationship with Columbus for career development and the arts, with business, political and non-profit internship and mentoring opportunities. Easton Mall, about 20 min from campus, is an outdoor, pedestrian mall, with a “luxury” movie theater and lots of restaurants for special events and high end shopping. Closer to campus, in Newark/Heath, 10 min away, there is Target, Walmart, Dick’s, Chipotle, Panera etc.
I’m happy to PM you if you have specific questions that may not be of interest to others here.