Leadership Safari Guide Round 2

In the beginning of the school year, I was able to participate as a Leadership Safari Guide for a second year! Yes, it is one of my favorite times of the year. I know, it is stressful and nerve racking to get ready to start up another school year, however Safari very knows how to pump me up first the start of the semester. Safari does take up the two weeks before the start of classes and people will always ask me, “Evan, why do you like Safari so much?” I’m going to try to blog for the reasons why.

First all, Leadership Safari is a program put on by Central Michigan University to help incoming students adapt to their first year on our campus. There is so much excitement, enthusiasm, friendship, eye opening, reflection, diversity say just a few things. Participants learn so much during this week in such an unique way. We listened to guest speakers including: “The Dating Doctor” David Coleman, Michael Miller, Ed Gerety, Slam Poets “The Asia Project”, and Ebony Stewart. These speakers all provide education, motivation, and different perspectives to all, including the guides. Leadership isn’t just about self gain, but the betterment of people surrounding us. Participants also get to go on excursions, challenge courses, and learn how to grow as a community.

The participants are the main reason why I love to work with Safari, but a great incentive of being on Safari staff is the friends and connections you make. The friendships that formed within my core team was phenomenal and I still keep in contact with today. The sleep deprivation, tears, laughs, and bond really does create a family in two weeks. Because I will be back for a 5th year at Central, I am so proud to say that I will be returning to Safari and as guide!

 

Leadership Role in an Organization

At first I was unsure if I should write about something that I would typically not want to talk about to the general public being the happy, energetic person that I am, but a person who is extremely important to me convinced me otherwise.

“Evan, what has happened is in the past. What you have learned, gained, and grown from your experiences is part of who you are”

As many people have heard in the CMU community, my fraternity has been suspended from Central Michigan for the next three years for breaking university policy. Although many people recently have seen us as the “bad guys” or may refer us to more derogatory terms I want to give my experience as a brother.

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. 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 values, have fun, and had a group that was different from each other yet still held a bond that I will always hold. . I have met my absolute best friends and I could not 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. No joke, since joining, I have learned how to manage my time, my grades have skyrocketed, and learned to use my struggles in the past and turn them into life lessons.

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, as well as raising money through our PKTober-fest this last fall. Up until the suspension, I was able to give brothers community service opportunities, like cleaning up the streets of Mount Pleasant, volunteering at camps, keep everyone aware of opportunities on campus, along with raising money for a cause that I cherish deeply in my heart .

This was my fourth and final year with the group. Although it did not end as planned, Phi Tau was everything I needed and if it wasn’t for this group. I don’t even know if I would still be at Central if it wasn’t for the men that pushed me. I am the man I am today because of my brothers and this year has taught me so much about overcoming something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I’m blessed to be a part of a group that is so accepting to who you are. Just because my house doesn’t have letters anymore does not mean that I still won’t represent Central Michigan in a positive and welcoming atmosphere.