Friday, November 11, 2016

Feature Friday: Joe Mitri, Sigma Phi Epsilon

Another outstanding Feature Friday post from Joe Mitri, Sigma Phi Epsilon

As I’m going through my last year at Lehigh, I’m trying to take everything as slowly as possible. That’s not to say I’m not ready to move on, but it’s more that I’m so appreciative of the people I’ve met on campus and the experiences I have had that I want to make sure it comes with me as I leave. After I joined my fraternity and completed my first year, I knew I wanted to meet as many people as I could on campus. I wanted to make myself a well-rounded and experienced student who would be ready for anything after college.

I found myself joining student senate and being elected as the treasurer after sophomore year. Joining senate was a big commitment and being treasurer allowed me to develop myself as a leader. During this time, I lived in the chapter house and part of the reason I enjoyed working on senate was it gave me a chance to meet and work with so many other people. I developed some very valuable relationships with people outside, as well as inside, my chapter during that time. The commitment of senate was challenging and finding that balance between Greek Life and my extracurriculars was difficult, but I wouldn’t trade that experience, and what I learned from it, for anything. 

Right before the start of my senior year, I was chosen to be an orientation leader. I can wholeheartedly say that this experience changed my college perspective and my outlook on life. I learned so much about other people and their experiences throughout life, that it changed who I was for the better. Our days were filled with fun, random activities and evenings often included intense discussions that reflected on the hardships people go through every day. Being an orientation leader allowed me to get closer to other people by letting myself go. I’ve never felt more free than when I went through training; free from social pressures, free from judgement, free from the stereotypes that I think Lehigh student create too often.

I try to bring these two main experiences back to my fraternity. I learned how to become an effective, open minded, and inclusive leader through my experiences outside of Greek Life and it was, and still is, difficult to bring it to my chapter, but its not impossible. I think it’s necessary for a better college experience for students to branch out. People are always talking about the Greek bubble and exclusive social atmosphere, but it all starts with people becoming more open to the opportunities that are happening on campus and all around them.