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.

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Service Learning and Alternative Breaks

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!