College Events

November 20, 2016

Black Fraternities

This past weekend I attend my first “black party”. This refers to an event held by the black fraternities on campus, The Divine Nine. I had never attended one before, because I have never had many black friends. I always wanted to go though so I received my first invite. I was definitely out of my element. I believe I knew 3 songs the whole night, while everyone else knew every word of every song. I didn’t know many people either, which made me even more uncomfortable.

The fraternities in attendance did was they call, “strolling”. It somewhat resembles stepping, which is a signature part of black fraternity/sorority culture. They had choreographed combinations that they performed in a line around the party. It was so interesting to see this side of black culture because I have never been a part of it. They were all excited and passionate about such a simple act. I have always grown up around white people, and to some degree I felt in that moment like a “bad black person”. I couldn’t relate to the experience everyone else was having, however, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was interesting to see what other people appreciated and even find that I wasn’t so alone in my loneliness. I think attending this party was the best thing I could have done for myself; it exposed me to another culture I have been yearning to understanding and experience, and I made a few friends along the way.

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Social Media Review

October 31, 2016

What makes you a racist?

         I don’t believe the true definition of racist is understood by most people. The word meaning, the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. What I hear/see most from people trying to defend their position is, “I’m not racist; I have friends who are black.” “I’m not racist; I hired a black guy.”

Referring back to my last entry about Reyna Muck, this is how she defended her innocence on twitter after her racist post regarding a black female football player.

This post was obviously meant as sarcasm, but proves my point that just because you may have black friends and family, doesn’t mean you don’t harbor racist ideals. This girl has proven her prejudice by posting this after becoming aware of the consequences of her actions. Reyna Muck does not get to defend her position by showing us that she loves black people just because she has a couple pictures.

 

LEAD TEAM: Grad Ball

Lead teams are interesting for me, because I am not used to taking a back seat in regards to event planning. Though I really don’t think I could designate time to coordinate a LEAD team, I really hate not having a very explicit and important role. I feel like I am following the motions for a lot of the tasks. However, they are fun because they allow for all the cohorts to get together; we don’t get much of this as we move up in the program.

So my LEAD team was in charge of Grad Ball, which hasn’t happened yet and is still in progress. I volunteered to be responsible for the graduate gift so I felt important, but we had to scrap that task. In our recent meeting, we designated committees to break up the work, which I think was a good tactical move. Hopefully, this will allow for each of us to get more involved. We have people for clean up, decorations, invitation, and others. I know the LAS grads really look forward to this event so I hope we can plan a great event for them. It is really the only  Really they just look forward to the gourmet cupcakes we provide 🙂

Julia Nachman <3

As a second year LAS, we have the opportunity to serve as a mentor to a Freshman LAS recipient.  The process is very intense and everyone looks for their perfect mentee match. My mentee is Julia Nachman! First of all, she is absolutely adorable!!! She is also a dancer, so we were both fortunate enough to make the CMU dance team together. This made experiencing her first year of college and my first year on the dance team easier, because we were together so often!

I found it hard to have the title of her mentor, because I really am not that much older than her. My wisdom doesn’t reach much further than hers and I didn’t want to act as her superior. A lot of LAS people refer to their mentee as their child, and I never wanted that relationship with Julia. I have tried my best to provide her with resources and share my knowledge of college, but I really wanted our relationship to be voluntary; if we were meant to be friends, we would be, I was not going to force a relationship. Luckily, we get along really well dance team gave us an opportunity to gain a relationship that was voluntary and easy despite the strains of college.

She is one of the strongest people I have ever met, and I was so lucky to get a mentee who I could mutually grow from. She has life experience that is so unique and important for others, which makes her incredibly special. It has been great to she her find her place on campus effortlessly and see her get involved in the areas she is passionate about. In another chance of fate, Juli and I were assigned to the same Alternative Break in Atlanta, Georgia. So to finish our first year together, we will be mutually serving another community of a week long service trip. Fate has made us mentor to mentee, and chance has provided us the opportunity to share our experiences. I have been honored to be her mentor and her friend.

 

Theory Application: My Freshman Year of College

My leadership style has definitely changed since being in college, because I’ve been exposed to other styles and people. I have become more conscious of myself as a leader and think for the first time I’ve begun to identify how I can get better. In my leadership philosophy paper I tried to emphasize  the things I can already do and the also thing things I want to be able to do. It is really hard to look at yourself and be judgmental, but I think it is the only way I will get better as a leader, as well as a person.

The one experience I’ve had thus far in college with a leadership theory was my first group project in Business 100. We didn’t get to pick our groups, so it was my first experience truly working with people I didn’t know. I became the team leader, not even because I volunteered, but no one else wanted to. I have a very direct leadership style, similarly to the ideas discussed in Path-Goal theory. I know this often comes off as bossy and brass to people, so I consciously made an effort to ease into the group project and assess my group members before choosing which leadership path I was going to make. I also lack patience in many situations and expect perfection; perfection is different for everyone so I had to accept that someone else’s hard work may not be to my standard and I would have to roll with what I had.

Specifically how I applied this theory was in regards to my group members business ability. I felt like I was answering a lot of dumb questions regarding research, work ethic, and comprehension so I had to make sure my reaction to these questions was appropriate for the situation. When I was growing more and more frustrated I had to look internally and decide what type of leader I wanted to be. At that point, the needs of the group and the project required something different than what I wanted to give, therefore I had to choose to be a responsible, respectful leader instead of reacting in a way I personally wanted to. Leadership is definitely learning to put your emotions aside for the greater good of your followers. I think learning about leadership theories has made me see ways in which I can improve and grow and I look forward to seeing my growth over the next few years.

LDR 200L Reflection

When you hear that you are required to take a 3 hour lecture course, most people wouldn’t be thrilled, even if it is your favorite topic in the world. So naturally, I assumed Leadership 200L would be long and tiresome. But what could be better than taking the longest class of your life with all your best friends who happen to also be smart, caring, and motivated….nothing really.

Leadership 200 was very different than leadership 100; first, it went from being a “for credit” to 3 credit hours, aka, a lot more work. And, we were already very much acquainted  by second semester, unlike LDR 100. We got into more depth on the philosophical, and theoretical aspects of leadership. I had never really taken much thought to the idea that leadership was study-able, because it was just a natural reaction for me.

I personally presented on the theory of Servant Leadership.  I personally enjoyed this theory as it related to our service project LAS in the D, which I have previously blogged about.  It was one of the theories that I felt to be the most personal. I can honestly say that after researching the theory, I wouldn’t consider myself a servant leader. Yes, I volunteer way more than the average person and I don my part to take care of others, however, I can’t say I possess all the characteristics that make a servant leader. One thing I know about myself is I am very considerate and very empathetic. Many people don’t see that in me. I realized that even though I know how I’m feeling on the inside, I need others to see it on the outside as well. Until I figure out how to expose myself to my followers, I can’t succeed as a servant leader.

I appreciate this class mainly for the internal struggle it forced me to address. I think I am leaving the class with more tools to be a better person and better leader.

 

Pre-Service Reflection

I have only been to Detroit twice and I wasn’t allowed to leave the GM Building. I haven’t experienced a huge urban city, let alone the impoverished communities of Detroit. I’ve heard stories about the downfall of Detroit and the crime that came with it. There are the white flight cities of Detroit and then the enormous homeless and impoverished populations. Many say that Detroit is one of the most racially segregated cities in state. I heard the most about Detroit in my society course in high school. Shockingly, living in Michigan my whole life, I really didn’t know as much as I should have.

The Leadership Institutes mission is to develop the next generation of ethical leaders. This trip is so special because it is molding leaders other than CMU students. We, as a community, are expanding our reach state wide. As the children we serve ascend to leadership, they will expose others, who will teach others, and in the end we have a world full of ethical leaders. Being a servant leader entails building a community and being a visionary. The LI is recognizing Detroit’s need for help and putting worth actions to serve those who need us most.

I am really looking forward to this trip. I think this cohort has a unique dynamic and fun personality that I believe will give Jalen Rose an excited weekend. I also am excited to serve the Detroit area because I personally believe all of their struggles are things we as their neighbors have the potential to change.

Detroit