My Lead Team that I served on this past year was the special events team. Our team plans events for LAS to help fundraise money, bond with all the cohorts, and genuinely have a good time. Our first event we planned was LAS on Ice, which we all contributed in helping this go smoothly. I made the flyer that was advertised on social media and other members on my team got the ice arena booked, sent out the information to all LAS cohorts, and other little details that go into planning. My team was very flexible and friendly, which made planning this event go over well. We had a really good turn out for the event, and of course the annual skating suits made an appearance.
Another event that my lead team is working on is the annual Detroit Tigers CMU baseball game. We make sure that all LAS alumni, current scholars, and incoming scholars get invited and discounted tickets to attend a great game! Its an awesome bonding experience and LAS always has a section for everyone to move seats to get to know one another, especially the incoming freshmen LASers. I loved going to the game last summer and I am looking forward to attending it again! I had a pretty good lead team experience and I can’t wait for next years lead team!
*Insert sound of 50 LAS students clapping once over their head*
This is one of the many memories I will always have from LDR 200, a once a week, two hour and fifty minute class filled with absurd amounts of snapping, reflecting, facilitating, and best of all, leadership. As if my LAS cohort couldn’t be more obnoxiously obsessed with all of each other (we all secretly love it), imagine a room filled with all of us every Wednesday night from 4pm-6:50pm. Craziness, right? Well it is definietly crazy, but absolutely wonderful all the same.
From facilitating 45 minute long workshops to strengthen all of our leadership skills to participating in reflection of one another and ourselves, this class has opened my eyes and challenged me in ways I didn’t think possible. Having a class full of 50 leaders means having a class full of 50 different opinions, 50 different personalities, and 50 big hearts at the end of each week, regardless if I didn’t noticed it at the time. We may get annoyed, angry, or pissed off at one another, but at the end of the day I can still say that I have 50 people who I could go to and cry on their shoulders.
This class taught me better patience and stronger relationship connections. This class taught me that sometime people just need a hug and thats all. This class taught me that it is okay to embarrass yourself in the front of a room for the benefit of learning something and being able to remember that moment. This class taught me to see the good in everyone, even when we really don’t want to. But most importantly, this class taught me to see myself as a leader and to not hide that or doubt that. And for all of these things, I wouldn’t trade all of it for anything (except maybe some moose-tracks ice cream).
I’ll be honest, I used to have a major stigma against sororities all because of over dramatic movies and ‘hazing’ articles. So when I first came to CMU and Meet the Greeks night was coming up in a few days, I wasn’t so sure about it all. My three roommates were on the edge about going through recruitment as well, but the four of us went out on a limb and signed up anyway.
That was the best sign up sheet I ever submitted.
The recruitment process was long, confusing, a tad emotional, and a lot of talking. But on the first of five days I knew where my home was going to be. Alpha Chi Omega. The girls there made me feel at home and like I was already their sister. From jumping home on bid day with two of my roommates into the arms of dozens of happy-crying sisters to getting initiated this past November, joining this sisterhood was one of the best decisions I have made here at CMU.
Alpha Chi Omega’s philanthropy is Domestic Violence Awareness, which is something very close to my heart. We raise money and volunteer through Mt. Pleasant’s local Women’s Aid Shelter as well as Domestic Violence Awareness nationally.
And no, I do not pay for my friends. If I did, I wouldn’t be able to put a price on these powerful, real strong women. I can’t remember a happier day in my
life than Big/Little Reveal when I got my big, Nicole Lazzara. I joined the Flam Fam and got the best family around. Alpha Chi Omega has changed me, made me a stronger woman, and introduced me to my life-long best friends and sisters. #AlphaChiUntilIDie
During the Connections Conference I was lucky enough to attend a session called Redefining Empathy, and we sure did just that. Empathy is often confused with sympathy, yet these two words could not be more opposite. As Steely Pegg and Tim Popma, the session speakers, said “Empathy is not just a buzzword, it’s a way of living and leading.” Usually people view empathy through a one-dimensional lens but in reality vulnerability, courage, and being connected to a person are extremely powerful forces that create change within communities and relationships.
Empathy: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
Sympathy: feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune.
To feel pity on someone, sympathy, is not the same as understanding and sharing the same feelings, empathy, as someone else. People often think that they are being empathetic when they try to “one up” someone’s situation or tell them that things could be worse. Here is a video to explain the difference a little more:
This session helped me to understand how to be an empathetic leader and that it is okay to be vulnerable and open up. I have always been a very open person who likes to listen to people and comfort them, so being empathetic is in my nature. But often times people, even myself, will confuse empathy and sympathy. It is good to know the differences and when both are acceptable and when they are not.
As a Central Michigan University Leader Advancement Scholar, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet our University President, Mr. President Ross. Not many college students can say that they got to shake hands with their school’s President as well as listen to him speak and answer our questions for an hour. Ross is one cool guy let me tell you, he was so kind and considerate with our crazy LAS cohort and he answered all our questions in a meaningful way. I noticed how much he really cares for CMU and how passionate he is about leadership and keeping students on the right track. I am so glad I had a chance to listen to the struggles and difficulties President Ross went through, and I can quite honestly say that CMU is in the right hands with him in charge. President Ross made me feel like I can and will do anything I put my mind to, and I will always remember just how powerful and motivational his words were to me. Fire up Chips!
As the buses rolled up bright and early, the entire Barnes Hall lobby was filled with tired eyes, but bright and energetic souls. All the freshmen in the 2015 LAS cohort quickly found their mentors, strapped on our fanny pants, and began to awe over the weekend ahead. As we arrived to Eagle Village and went over the ground rules of the site, we dove right into some challenging leadership activities. Everyone and their mentors were assigned to a small home group with about eight or nine other mentor/mentee pairs. My group and I first headed over to an outdoor wide-scale obstacle course, and my was this hard. All twenty or so of us had to carry a little tub of plastic balls and foam cubes through each obstacle—but everyone had to be touching the tub or a rope clipped to a tub. Although this was challenging, it brought out everyone’s leadership style and helped us bond as a group so that we could be successful in the end, which we were.
As the day carried on and more activities challenged not only the way we think but how we act, the night bonfire was something I might not ever forget. Two cohorts formed one large family around this bonfire and emotions were high as many opened up about themselves. This bonding moment was something completely different and wonderful all on it’s own.
The high ropes course was Sunday morning and boy did it have me feeling some type of way. As me myself am afraid of heights, I did not think this whole “strap yourself in with a harness and climb around obstacles in the air” thing would work out. Oh how wrong I was. Once I climbed up the ladder to reach the first obstacle I felt such a surge of adrenaline and empowerment—I could actually do this. Through the support of the fellow LASers on the course with me, I felt so unbelievably great and conquered one of my biggest fears. I cannot wait until I get a little mentee of my own and am able to help guide them through the many obstacles, not only at Eagle Village, but in life.
As I was walking through the large glass doors of the UC on move in day I was greeted by multiple people dressed as if they were on a great African Safari Trip. The energy was high and the smiles were wide while I gathered all my essential Safari belongings from the large tables. I was quickly named a Penguin, or as my guide called us, “Particiguins”.For the readers who don’t know, Leadership Safari is a large, week-long leadership conference for all of Central Michigan’s incoming freshmen and transfer students. Everyone is put into a home group of about ten people and each group is named after an animal. I swear to it; by the end of the week you’re guaranteed to find some of your best friends. There are inspirational and motivational speakers from all over, the energy is unbelievably high, you break everything you’ve ever known about trust, and by the end of the week you could have reinvented yourself completely, like I did.
A little disclaimer: I have oddly attended multiple leadership camps, conferences and workshops. Weird coming from an LAS scholar, right? Well after attending more leadership gatherings than I can count, I can quite honestly say that Leadership Safari was by far one of my favorite leadership oriented conferences I have been too. I got to meet countless incoming freshmen who were in the exact same lost, confused, and awkward stage I was in. We broke out of our comfort zones, became emotionally connected to our home groups, and by the end of the week we were pros at finding our way around campus. Leadership Safari is exactly what it says, a true leadership adventure.
I took the knowledge I gained through this phenomenal experience and applied it to my leadership style and how I go about my daily life. I took the positivity from those surrounding me at the conference and now shed that light onto everyone I meet. I learned how to manage my time and stress and keep my grades in check. I truly feel that Leadership Safari made me a better person, student, and friend. I owe all my progress to CMU and all their wonderful leadership and life opportunities they have given me.