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Alpha Sigma Tau

{My home away from home}

With all of the stereotypes about sororities, here is why I joined one and how my experience is nothing like what you see in the movies. If you would have asked me as a senior in high school if I would be a part of Greek Life I would have laughed and said heck no. I, like so many other people, had these crazy ideas about sororities until I met my mentor, Emily. She is and was then, exactly like me but she was involved in Greek Life. Through her, my knowledge of sororities grew and I went through recruitment my Freshman Year.

September 30th, 2016 was the day I, and multiple other girls, jumped home. I found my home in the Central Michigan Chapter of Alpha Sigma Tau. Here, I fell in love with the colors Emerald Green and gold, sisters, Anchors, and philanthropy. I have so much love for my sorority and the women in it, I have no idea how to put it into words but I will attempt.

AST has given me so much this first year, and I always try my best to give back. For my new member class, I was the Historian, along with Shelby and we made the scrapbook, anchor, and teacup for the chapter. It was fun being able to see everyone’s different photos and have digital evidence of my class blossoming into our chapter. Currently, I am the Director of Fundraising and planned our Grilled Cheese Fundraiser. The Grilled Cheese Fundraiser is something my chapter does every semester and the money we raise goes to our philanthropy, Pine Mountain Settlement School. This year I planned our first ever Philanthropy week which was absolutely amazing. If you want to know more about Grilled Cheese and our Philanthropy week, there is a specific blog all about it! Also, I participated in the 2017 Greek Week, other chapter’s philanthropy weeks, and endless AST events. On Central’s campus, Alpha Sigma Tau has over 1,000 hours of community service for this semester, the highest GPA, and members from all parts of campus. We are a tight-knit, passionate, and welcoming group of people. Alpha Sigma Tau and all of my sisters mean the world to me. They always have my back and I always have theirs. When something happens to one sister, it happens to all of us because we support and love one another. Being a Tau is part of who I am today, it has made me more confident, compassionate, and strong.

Through AST, I found so many important people in my life, and yes they will probably be my future bridesmaids. First to my Twin Carly… after your sister told us we look more like sisters than you two, we started saying we were twins. Without all of our constant texting, a sleepover, forcing you to go to Leadershape, and being “mom’s” together I don’t know what I would do. You have helped me find my voice and place in a sisterhood of 70+ girls. My best friends Michelle and Ellen. With Garrett, we make our little Greek Life family. You both are always there for me when I need you most. Thanks for being my family and keeping me sane. My crazy G Brenna… without you I don’t know where Em and I would be. You make sure both of us have fun even when we are stressed to the max. Thanks for the endless HAPPs dates and laugher. Finally, the most important, my Big Emily. Em was my mentor even before I joined AST. After joining the same sorority as her, we only became more close. The past few months have been hard but we always have each other and I don’t know where I would be without her. There are countless more people who have come into my life and made an impact but it would take me years to go through everyone.

My version of “What is a Tau?”

A Tau is a mixture of a boisterous little girl, a troubled adolescent, a charming young woman and a wise old lady. She is a streak of gold and a flash of green. She is a Leader Advancement Scholar, Centralis Recipient, an Athlete, and anything she wants to be. She is a shoulder to cry on, never-ending “your mom” jokes, and a friend. You can find her studying at coffee shops, cheering on the football team, and scootering through campus. She is involved, kind hearted, driven, and passionate. A Tau is all of this and more. A Tau is my sister ♥

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Getting Ready to Welcome the Newest Member of the Fam

{My Ideas about being a Mentor}

When thinking about being a mentor, I get a little bit nervous. My mentor, Em (in the picture above), is literally the most wonderful mentor and human so how will I ever live up to that for mine? But then I remember that through Em, I have learned how to be such a fabulous mentor. As a mentor, I want to be someone my mentee can always turn to and I want to always be there for her. I will let her make her own mistakes but be there to help her fix them \ and help her not make the same mistake again. Also, I hope to be my mentee’s friend, to be someone they can ask anything, and to be there to help her adjust to college and deal with all of the struggles that may come her way. All of these are things Emily has done for me. She has helped so much this past year and now I want to do the same for my mentee. Overall, I want my mentee to have a fabulous experience at CMU and I want to help her achieve that.

To help build on my ideas of being a mentor, I attended a workshop in LDR 200 specifically about being the most effective mentor. During the workshop we broke off into groups and talked about what we wished we would have known coming into college, what ways we can help our mentees, and what we want them to get out of their time at Central. For me, the workshop cemented my ideas about who I want to be for my mentee. Also, we talked about what we want for our mentee and helping them find their passion whether it is in their major, Greek Life, volunteering, or anything else Central has to offer. I believe that helping my mentee find her passion or even just something she loves is super important. I want to help her find her place here at CMU. Emily helped me find my love for things like Greek Life and it has changed me so much so I want the same for my mentee.

{How I am preparing to be the most effective Mentor}

I would lie if I said I wasn’t pinteresting cute gifts for her, so that is one thing I am doing in preparation of becoming a mentor. Other than that, I am talking to my mentor about fun family adventures we can go on because I want her to love and know her G. Also, I am making sure I know random things about the University like where the Registrar’s office is, how to sign a minor, and where you can get the best food. I want to be a resource for my mentee because I know how hard and confusing coming to college can be. With that, I am preparing myself by becoming a human resource, a good friend, and a person my mentee can trust.

{What I am most excited about}

I am most excited to have another wonderful human in my life and for the journey we will travel together. Also, I am excited to see my mentee grow and flourish at Central because it is such a fabulous thing to see someone fall in love with college and grow into who they are meant to become there. All in all though, I am excited for everything with my mentee. I will be there for all of their highs and lows and everything in between. It is the little moments that mean the most and those are the moments I can not wait for. 

{A few things I want my Mentee to know}

  • Do your research about textbooks before buying all of them at the bookstore, even if that means you rent books from the bookstore instead of buying them.
  • You will find your place at CMU. Sometimes you just have to look and it may take time BUT it is out there.
  • Being homesick is a normal thing & it really sucks sometimes.
  • You probably hear this all the time but you will change in college, probably more than you think, but change is good.
  • Being a part of the LI you will constantly be busy plus you will have other clubs and homework so multiply your high school business by 5 and that will be your college business. BUT don’t fret it is okay to be busy
  • You need to be organized at all times. Professors will not always remind you when you have quizzes or papers so get a planner and write everything down.
  • Being involved around campus is one of the best things you can do for yourself. With the RSO’s you join, you will meet amazing people and have awesome experiences so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there
  • Second semester sucks more than first semester. This is when you are out of the honeymoon phase and going to a senioritis phase. But if you have a strong support group and stay organized everything will be ok
  • Pace yourself… I did say get involved above but that does not mean you need to join 500 different clubs. Join one or two at a time and see how much you can handle because school does come first, especially when you’re paying so much for it.
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Grilled Cheese

•A blog in honor of National Grilled Cheese Day•

Every semester the Central chapter of Alpha Sigma Tau has a two-day Grilled Cheese fundraiser for our philanthropy, Pine Mountain Settlement School. The sister who plans and makes everything happen is the Director of Fundraising, which was me this year {YAY}. When applying for this position I knew I wanted to make it into more. Ultimately my goal was to do a philanthropy week like many of the other Greek Life chapters do around campus. So, when I got the position, I was super excited and decided to set out to do Alpha Sigma Tau’s first ever philanthropy week. I worked on the plans for months trying to think of the best activities but also the ones that would get the most people involved. Finally, after months the week was here and it was time to see if all my hard work would pay off. When it was finally here, I was super nervous but also excited to see if my plans would actually work!

{Monday} Day one was a Banner making contest for all of the Fraternities on campus. Basically, each chapter received a cloth banner from me and had to decorate it. On the banner had to be AST or Alpha Sigma Tau, the fraternity letters, and the dates/times of our Grilled Cheese fundraiser. The results were phenomenal and I was blown away with how creative some of the chapter were. Also, at this point I was super excited because my plan was working and my idea of a philanthropy week was actually coming to life!

{Tuesday} Day two had two parts. The first part of the day was a twitter contest. This included the brothers of each fraternity taking pictures with my sisters and posting them on twitter with their specific hashtag. To make it easy to find us and support our philanthropy, I had philanthropy shirts made so every sister in AST matched! Later that night, after the twitter contest, I put on the first ever Anchorman Pageant. The pageant was based on the popular comedy Anchorman which is about San Diego News Anchor Ron Burgundy. Participants had to compete in a suite and hair portion, Q&A portion, and news reading portions. For me, this part of the week was my favorite, because so many people were actually coming out and participating in the events I was hosting and because the pageant was truly hilarious.

{Wednesday & Thursday} Days three and four were all about the food. Both of these days were our Grilled Cheese fundraisers with unlimited Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup. The fundraiser took place at our AST house and we packed so many people into our tiny house but it was well worth it. Furthermore, on Thursday night at midnight we had our Grilled Cheese eating contest where our reigning champ was beaten by his little. Both nights went magnificent and I even ran out of most food because we had such a good turn out. These two days, no matter how stressful, I felt so blessed to be apart of CMU and the Greek Community because of the immense support AST was receiving.

Overall, this year we raised more money than years prior which was a huge success for me. Also, another big success was putting on our first philanthropy week especially with how well it ended up going. Thinking back on the week of Grilled Cheese, I could not have pulled off any of this without my amazing sisters. The women in my chapter are and were especially that week some of the most helpful, compassionate, and loving people in the world. So thank you to all my sisters and thank you to everyone who came out and supported us! ♥

Happy National Grilled Cheese Day!

Community

LAS in the D {Post Service Reflection}

LAS takes on Detroit • February 10- 11

{WHAT}

First and foremost this trip was an incredible experience. I was able to bond with many people in my cohort and the facilitators from the previous LAS cohorts. While the entire trip was only about  30 hours, we fit in so many different and tremendous expimg_4635eriences in multiple environments within Detroit. Here is a little overview of the 30 hours we spent in Detroit or ‘what’ we did while there. First, we went to Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and facilitated leadership activities for 2 hours with some of the juniors and seniors there. We were placed in groups with each group having  two head facilitators from cohorts above us, 6 students from LAS, and about 6 students from Jalen Rose. One of the activities we did was creating community standards which is always important when working in a group setting. Group standards are based off of what you want for yourself, each other as participants, and from the facilitators. From Jalen Rose, we went into the heart of the city and got a tour around Quicken Loans. While there they talked to us about their internship program and about everything they are doing for Detroit. Specifically one of the Vice Presidents, John Fikany, talked to us and his drive and passion for the company was astonishing and inspiring. Also, something at caught my attention about Quicken is that every employee gets a certain amount of paid volunteer hours so they all go out and help the community they work in. The packed day did not end there! After Quicken Loans, we went to the DIA or Detroit Institute of Arts where we were able to explore and just spend our time looking at the magnificent artwork. Finally, at the end of the day we went to the DNR’s Outdoor Adventure Center where we again were able to explore and basically just had a big sleepover. Saturdimg_4587ay morning we all got up and went to the Cass Community Center to volunteer for our last few hours. During our time volunteering at Cass, we were split into 4 groups that volunteered in 4 different places. My group, definitely had the coolest job; going to the warehouse to shed paper. Now you may be questioning why this was so cool to me. Let me wow you… they had bikes that powered their electricity and we
were able to ride them and make CLEAN ENERGY. How awesome is that? Once we were done serving at Cass we all loaded back onto the buses and made our tired way back to Mt. Pleasant where I proceeded to crash after an exhausting and exhilarating 30 hours.

{SO WHAT}

On to the actual substance of the trip and what we actual were able to do in Detroit for 30 hours. As a cohort we were able to do experience so many different environments in Detroit and impact so many different placimg_4636es. Now the question is so what did we learn while in all of these different places and how do they come together to create a learning outcome. For myself, being in Detroit pointed out how many times things are not as they seem. Living in the Upper Peninsula, we do not really go in-depth with places such as Detroit and what’s going on there. But after I went to Detroit and actually learned more about it I understood that it is no longer this sad once upon a time city but it is making a come back in many big ways. Also, I learned and built on my ability to put myself in others shoes and understand what they are going through. Finally, I did not so much learn this but was reminded about how fortunate I am. Seeing some of the more poor areas of Detroit opened my eyes because getting a B on a Phonetics exam in not even close to the problems that too many people who live in Detroit deal with.

{NOW WHAT}

The big question is now what? What am I and my LAS cohort going to do as a result of  being in Detroit and learning/ experiencing so many different aspects of it. Personally, I am going to look more into the history of Detroit and what really happened to make such a great booming city fall. I want to learn about the different aspects of Detroit’s fall and the different opinions of what happened to Detroit. Furthermore, I want to understand what people are now doing for Detroit. While at Quicken Loans  and the Cass Center we learned a little bit about what they specifically are doing but I want to go deeper and understand many of the different projects happening in Detroit to make it a wonderful booming city again. One of the specific projects I would enjoy learning more about is the River Walk and what the city is doing to make that place into somewhere everyone wants to be.img_4552

Another part of my “Now What” and what I want to do after being in Detroit is in general do more service for people who truly need it. I have always been passionate about volunteer work and since coming to college I kind of fell out of my hard-core service groove and have not done as much for others. This is not to say that I do not do any service, I am apart of a solely service based organization, it is just to say that I do not do as much volunteer work as I used to. However, after Detroit, I was reminded of how much I love serving others and how it not only brings joy to me, but also to the community around me. My ‘fire’ was lit again and I now have the desire to help more people and do more service for the communities around me.

Finally, the last part of my “Now What” is remembering to count my blessings. After walking through poverty-stricken communities within Detroit, I feel I need to go back through my everyday life and look at everything I have to be thankful for. People in Detroit are building their lives and city back up from nothing. Volunteering there really opened my eyes to this fact and the fact that I need to be more thankful for what I already have. Lately I have been stuck in a rut almost and frustrated with so many things like my major and other odds and ends in my life. In reality I am extremely lucky and needed to be reminded of that. I go to a wonderful school that I got scholarships for, I have met some of my best friends at college, and I have a bright future ahead of me. So here’s to acknowledging my blessings and counting than everyday

For more about this trip read my Pre LAS in the D blog. Also, for another service event I participated in read my Special Olympics Blog.

Community

Pre Service Trip Reflection

Pre Service Trip Reflection → LAS in the D → February 8th 2017 → LDR 200

This Friday my LAS cohort will be traveling to Detroit to spend Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon there serving the community . Friday we have the privilege of volunteering at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and facilitating student leadership which personally I love and am very passionate about. Then we get to tour Quicken Loans and learn about the different internship and job opportunities they have and a bit about the company overall and what they are doing for Detroit. That evening after Quicken we get explore the DIA or the Detroit Institute of the Arts. Finally, Saturday morning we will be volunteering at the Cass Community Social Service Center where we will be doing different jobs they need help with. If you want to know more about Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, the Cass Community Center, or the DIA just click the highlighted links and they will take you to their different websites. On to a little more in-depth part of the trip and two question we the bloggers of LDR 200 had to ask ourselves before leaving for this exciting trip.

The first question we all have to ask ourselves before leaving on the trip is : What social issues in Detroit are you aware of? How have you learned about these issues? Personally, I did not know many of the social issues in Detroit before our LDR 200 class. We had a professor here at Central come in and talk to us about a few of the social issues going on in Detroit and she explained how and why they started. During this class sessions I leader about the large issue of racism that has been going on for many years in Detroit. Furthermore, we went deeper into learning about how Detroit ‘fell’ because of the racism and mainly into the discrimination and sectioning of the African Americans. This sectioning drove many people out of the city and into more urban areas and through that the city started to basically ‘fall’. Most of the things I have learned about Detroit are from our LDR 200 class in preparation for this trip especially living in the Upper Peninsula we do not truly understand what is going on below the bridge.

The other question we need to answer before the trip is : In what ways does this service learning experience to Detroit relate to the purpose and vision of the Leadership Institute? Below are the purpose and vision for the Leadership Institute for reference. However, personally for purpose it is all about getting us {the students} ready to be leaders in challenging different places. This trip definitely does this and gets us out of our Mt. Pleasant comfort zone to bigger better places. Also, this trip puts us into a challenging place of being the facilitator instead of being the participants. As for vision, we are going out and actually improving the quality of others lives through our leadership. We are volunteering in the community the people of Detroit live in and making it a better place to live, work, and love. Overall, this trip to Detroit is a directly related to the vision and purpose of the Leadership Institute in many different ways. 

The Leadership Institute Vision and Purpose : PURPOSE: Central Michigan University is committed to preparing Michigan’s students and citizens for leadership roles in an increasingly complex and challenging society. VISION: The Leadership Institute prepares the next generation of individuals who will act responsibly to improve the quality of life, state of the economy, and communities in which they live and work.

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Community

Current Leader Reflection

Michelle Obama • A Wonderful First Lady

One of my personal role models, our former First Lady Michelle Obama stands out among leaders. Throughout her eight years as First Lady and her life overall, she displayed first-class leadership and has done so much not only for our country but for many other countries as well. As a young women, it’s been a privilege to grow up watching Mrs. Obama and hear her message that I too, could be a leader.

Several leadership qualities make Michelle Obama truly stand out. These include displaying respect, being dedicated, communicating effectively, and motivating or inspiring others. As First Lady, Michelle Obama engaged respectfully with the people of our nation and others no matter what their beliefs and values are. She accepted that people do not always agree with her while also staying true to her our values. Also, she is extremely dedicated to everything she does. During her time as First Lady, Michelle Obama dedicated herself to ending childhood obesity and founded Let’s Move! While facing criticism at times for urging schools to provide healthier lunches for students, she remained dedicated to the cause. Mrs. Obama is a clear, effective communicator and her speeches often went viral on the internet reaching millions of viewers. One resounding line from a speech during the 2016 Presidential campaign was, “When they go low, we go high”. Finally, she motivates and inspires others and this truly makes her a great leader. Michelle Obama especially reached out to inspire girls, encouraging them to get educated, stay focused, and know that they can aspire to great things. Together with her husband, she launched “Let Girls Learn”, an initiative that calls on countries around the world to educate and empower girls. “Every girl, no matter where she lives, deserves the opportunity to develop the promise inside of her” and “When girls are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous” are just two of the many inspiring statements by Michelle Obama. These qualities are only some of what makes Michelle Obama a phenomenal leader but I believe they are some of her strongest leadership qualities. Furthermore, these leadership qualities and her true humility motivate others to follow her.

Michelle Obama is always full of grace and kindness which is something people seek in a leader. Because of her graciousness people flock to her and actually want to follow her not out of fear but out of inspiration and respect. As First Lady, Mrs. Obama always wanted to hear from the people and was often known for giving hugs. Her leadership has spread throughout the globe to touch so many people whether through equal rights, education, or healthy lifestyles. Michelle has displayed true leadership and has positively affected so many people around her, even her approval ratings remained around 70%.

What do I admire about Michelle Obama’s leadership? The answer quite honestly may be everything. She is full of self-respect and respect for others which I also strive for in my daily life. Also, Michelle always displays style and grace wherever she goes. Furthermore, I admire that she has not only one but TWO IVY League degrees because she believes in furthering her education. Michelle is also a fabulous mother of two girls close to my age who have grown up in the White House but are still both down to Earth and humble because of their parents. Finally, as many women my age, I love that she is also a style icon for the world, while often wearing clothing from common, affordable stores. However, unlike so many people today, she is classy and tasteful with her style and someone young girls can look up to not just clothing wise but leadership wise as well.

Michelle Obama’s leadership has effected me in many positive ways especially since I have basically grown up with her being an icon for Americans. First, I am much more passionate about the things I believe in after watching her for years. I will speak my voice about gay rights, women’s rights, and how human rights are everyone’s rights no matter what gender or race. I now strive to have the same grace and humility while also being a strong woman because of Michelle Obama. Also, because of her I am a leader who respects others and respects myself. Finally, I am a young woman who is going to college to further my education and while some days I feel as though I may not be smart enough, Michelle Obama’s drive and passion always keep me going because someday I want to be a Speech Pathologist who fights for equal education so everyone can “develop the promise inside” them.

{Quotes from Michelle Obama}

“I never cut class. I loved getting A’s, I liked being smart. I liked being on time. I thought being smart is cooler than anything in the world.”

“I think being smart is cooler than anything in the world.”

“Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”

“There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.”

“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.”

“Every day, the people I meet inspire me… every day, they make me proud… every day they remind me how blessed we are to live in the greatest nation on earth.”

“If proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American Dream.”

“My desire for this country is that we remain hopeful and that we find a place in our hearts to love each other.”

{Here are some lovely pictures of our Former First Lady}

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