Greek IV

This year was a big year when it came to me finding my faith. I was born Christian and went to a Catholic school my whole life until college. Faith was always pushed on me, but never chosen myself. When I got to college, I never pushed myself to find a relationship with God. In the beginning of the school year I realized that there was that one missing part in my life and it was Jesus. I got in contact with a different RSO that I never thought that I would join, Greek Intervarsity.

Greek Intervarsity, or known as Greek IV is nation-wide organization that pushes fraternity and sorority ministry. My first time meeting with Greek IV, I went through weekly sessions called disciplship where I learned the basics and importance of having your Christian faith in your life. I felt like I had learned a ton and was convinced that I would lead a fraternity bible study for my chapter. Every week more and more brothers came to my bible study. I was awesome being able to be that leader to introduce the Holy Trinity to my brothers that may or may not have had the best relationship with God.

Every week with Greek IV, I would learn something new and do my best to improve upon my own spiritual relationships and work on myself as a person. I got to travel to Indianapolis to attend Greek Conference and even chose to be baptized again, truly accepting Jesus in my life.  This organization made such a huge positive impact on my life and I cannot wait to continue with it next year! A huge shout out to my fraternity brothers for pushing me to do what I love. A huge thank you to Emmy, Steve, Holli, and everyone in Greek IV for helping me grow. An even bigger thank you to my Mom, Grandmother, Sister, and my roommate, Cameron, for inspiring me big time with my faith.

Social LEAD Team

Being a part of the Social LEAD Team was a very great experience. My last two years I was a part of LEAD teams that were very much planning for a day or week being competition day for LAS and the LAS in the D experience. This year was quite different. I got to mainly work with a lot of the younger members of the LAS team being the only Junior on this team. Our job as Social LEAD Team members is to plan events for everyone in the Leadership Institute. It was really awesome planning different events throughout the year and bringing the Leadership Institute closer together. My favorite event, which was a huge success, was LAS on Ice. I learned a lot about camaraderie and bonding with people all from a huge, but close organization.

 

Proud to Be Phi Kappa Tau

In April 2015, I was initiated as brother of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity and it is what happened to be the best thing that happened to me in my college career. Fraternities in the United States have a pretty bad reputation but I want you all to hear my story. I struggled in college, had lost a couple friends, and it seemed at the time that the whole world was against me. Greek Life had never really been something I could see myself being a part of because of all the heat that fraternities take. I didn’t want to be hazed, I didn’t want to be forced to drink, I didn’t want my grades to worsen, and most importantly, I didn’t want to lose all my money paying for dues.

I was convinced by a friend to rush and just see what happens. Eventually I had found that Phi Kappa Tau had most represented me. The brothers cared about me, offered many leadership opportunities, shared the same value, have fun, and had a group that was different from each other yet still held a bond that I will always hold. I won’t go super deep into my associate period, but I will just to the beginning of this semester after my initiation. I have met my absolute best friends and I could imagine life without them. They picked me up when I was down, I learned from other brothers’ mistakes, and have been able to serve my chapter and my community. The amount of networking I have made meeting brothers from across the country that all have the same beliefs as me is something truly spectacular.

I have also been able to take on an executive board position as our Philanthropy Chairman where I raise money for our National Philanthropy, SeriousFun Children’s Network, giving terminally ill children a summer camp experience free of charge. Planning our 3rd annual SeriousFun Week is still one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences I have ever had.

Being a part of this chapter for the last 2 and a half years, it is great to know that you are putting your effort into something bigger than yourself. Phi Tau was everything I needed and if it wasn’t for this group, I do not know if I would still be here at Central. Since the group, I have learned how to manage my time, my grades have skyrocketed, and learned to use your struggles in the past and turn them into life lessons. I’m blessed to be a part of a group that is so accepting to who you are and for that I am Proud To Be.

 

Leadership and Service

This year I experienced something that is considered unique to me. Central Michigan University offers a program called Alternative Breaks. If you are a college student that attends a university that offers this program and haven’t heard of it, you truly are missing out. Basically you sign up for a social justice issue that you are interested in and you go volunteer for a week-long somewhere around the country. As a future educator, I signed up for Education and had the opportunity to travel to Immokalee, Florida and work with the students, teachers, and administrators of Highlands Elementary School.

From 9am until 3pm, I was in Highlands with 12 other CMU students offering our aid to the teachers, chilling with the students while being a positive role model, working with the administration by working on campus beautification. It was incredible seeing how well the school was run and how smart the students were. Highlands is a school that stresses leadership with their students and you can really tell how much these children want to make an impact on their lives and community. The school even hosted a leadership day where over 100 people from Collier County came to visit and see what these students were doing. These people included teachers from outside districts, business owners, superintendents, and other powerful people. I was blown away of how this day was almost completely student ran and how powerful their messages were. It’s almost scary that I saw more maturity, confidence, and motivation in second graders than I do with most adults.

Of course I got to have a little fun while I was down in Florida (mainly bumming on the beach after school), but overall, the message I got out of this week-long service trip is that I am even more confident that I chose the right major. I really want to continue to work with the children of America and try my hardest to bring the most out of them. These students are my motivation and inspired me everyday to continue to work my hardest so that one day I’ll be able to make the impact on them that they do for me. I am really going to miss Immokalee, but if I ever travel to Florida again, that will be my first stop!

 

LAS in the D round 2

Something that the Leadership Institute values is our gift of service to the world. As leaders in today’s society it is our responsibility to be able to give back to the community that we are given. We are to work our hardest to keep our Earth beautiful and never give up on it, even if many people already have. For the second time, I was able to go on the LAS in the D service trip in fulfillment of my Lead Team in my LAS protocol. This time I was going to experience this trip to Detroit on the other side of the deal. On our trip we had a fun journey planning the two days there. It may have been a little stressful at first, but overall everything seemed to run pretty smoothly. We took the LAS Freshmen to the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy where we had a service day with the students. Jalen Rose students are required to have community service, so it was nice to help them get service hours while we were all there to help. We also got to volunteer with CASS community center where we helped make food for the homeless and made recycled tires into floor mats. We were also able to have some fun downtown like visiting LAS alumni in the area, eating at Pizzapapalis, and seeing the Detroit Institute of Arts. Overall the trip was an amazing time and I truly see how amazing it is to watch our Freshman learn the importance of service and being able to share it with our community.

Mentorship Part 2

Where do I even begin? Basically as a LAS sophomore you take a “mentee” from the newest LAS class and act as a mentor for them. In my case I was blessed with “mentees”! Thats right I am fortunate to have two in my hands out of all of the amazing leaders of LAS class of 2015. It was a really amazing experience to see how much Bobby and Dalton have grown throughout the year. I can tell how busy they are and how involved they are becoming on our campus. It is so crazy thinking that last year I was in the same position. I am so proud of my mentees and I cannot wait to see how great of a job they do as mentors next year to the LAS class of 2016. Wow I’m old now, but that just means that it is Bobby and Dalton’s turn to make their impact on a new freshman entering the world of college and LAS. If you guys are reading this, then good luck and be the best mentors you can be! 🙂

College 101

College is about education. We are here, most importantly, to earn our degree. I’m working my hardest to achieve my academic goals and use my degree to help me find a teaching job. That is what college is doing for me. For many people, college is not the answer and that is totally fine. Today a good chunk of the jobs out there require a degree and what happens to those children out there who can’t afford college or have been told their whole lives that college will not be an option to you?

I am part of a Registered Student Organization called College 101. In College 101 I am a CPV certified volunteer who helps with many other CMU students take at risk students and show them what college is like and how it is possible for them. We give these students a tour of Central, a mock lecture, show them different educational programs, and get to know them on a personal level. College may not be for everyone, but everyone should have a chance of going to college. This organization really makes me proud to be a CMU student and I hope that I can make a difference for these children to pursue there goals with high education.

Leadership and Service

A huge part about being a leader is what you give back to society. Service can be literally anything that you are doing to improve the lives of others without being paid to do so… out of the good of your heart. You are required to have a certain amount of service hours to be an LAS student, but I don’t see it as a job. I believe it is my responsibility as a human being to help out our fellow species and do the best I can to make life a safe and happy place. This year I was a Leadership Safari Guide where I mentored a group of CMU freshmen to figure out how to adapt to college in a super fun way. I have also volunteered with an RSO called College 101 where we take at risk students and show them the possibility of higher education. I also like to volunteer with my fraternity as well. Whether it is cleaning the streets of Mount Pleasant or helping out local parks in the area. Making Valentines cards for veterans or blankets for children in the hospital. Even tomorrow in going down to Detroit to serve our community. Service is all about helping those around you. I want to do my best to live in a world where I believe that my future children would be proud to live in and the only way to make it that way is to do my best to help out, even if its small.

COM 461L

Communication in Leadership is one of the last Leadership Minor courses that I will have to take here at CMU and I feel is one of the most important courses as well. I still have a couple weeks left of this class and I can already tell how much I have learned. My favorite part of this course is reading a chapter each week from a book called “The Leadership Moment”. This book takes a different event in history and learn a little bit about a leader of a situation and see how they either succeed, fail, or overcome a challenging situation. After reading a chapter, we do an activity called a fishbowl where people in the class are randomly selected to talk about the chapter. After their discussion, they break off into groups with people not in the “fishbowl” and further the discussion. I love learning about different leadership styles and can’t wait to use what I have learned in this class to develop my leadership skills.

PSC 105L

Hello friends, my name is Evan Oltman and I am currently enrolled at Central Michigan University. As posted in almost every other blog includes the fact that I am an LAS student here at Central, and being in LAS comes requirements like taking leadership oriented courses. Two of my leadership section classes that I am currently taking are PSC 105L American Government and COM 461L Communication in Leadership. Currently in PSC 105L we learn about the constitution and how our government system runs. In class we listen to our professor rant about many different things, but he sure is very knowledge about his subject and really wants us to do our duty as American citizens and uphold the constitution of the United States.