Skip to main content

Student Groups on Student Groups on Student Groups

by Brandon Dawson
Freshman Scholar Advisory Board Member



From the moment you step on campus, you are completely bombarded with information regarding student groups, community service, and on-campus events. The only problem? They all sound AMAZING. You have hundreds of options to choose from and only 24-hours a day (not to mention classes and getting adequate sleep!). This is the struggle of college freshmen all across the country and when I got to Duke University, I decided to take on the challenge head first.
 
One of the very first things that I got involved with was Duke Student Government, or DSG. Freshmen can run for senate positions on the various committees that it encompasses. I ran to be a senator on the committee for Facilities, Environment, and the Arts, and fortunately, I won! 
 
As DSG Senators, we are tasked with creating projects that will enhance the campus that we have come to love. The project that I took on revolved around reducing the amount of waste that our university sends to the local landfill. I proposed that since paper towel waste is completely compostable, and Duke already has a contract with a local composting company, putting compost options in the freshman campus bathrooms could push Duke in the right direction of sustainability.

After frequent meetings with the Deans of Housing, Dining, and Resident Life, as well as the Director of Housekeeping, my project has been approved for a three-month pilot in one of the freshmen residence halls to begin at the start of second semester. If the pilot proves to be beneficial, the project will be implemented in all freshmen residence halls at the start of the next academic year.

Since theater was something I had always done in high school, I wanted to continue this in college, and there were plenty of options. I auditioned for Duke’s Mainstage Production and was cast in Henrik Ibsen’s “The Wild Duck.” Receiving class credit for our rehearsal time, our cast worked non-stop to bring this wonderful show to life. 


 Not only did I see it important to be involved on campus, but I also wanted to contribute to the surrounding Durham community. I luckily got involved early on with the Durham Beekeepers Association to continue a passion of mine from high school in protecting the declining honeybee populations. This organization has hives in numerous locations in Durham and holds community events to teach the local citizens about the importance of honeybees. 

I also got the opportunity to volunteer in the community, as well. Since I was fortunate enough to have my vehicle on campus, I volunteered through AdvanceNC and drove voters to the polls who didn’t have access to public transportation. I have been able to complete shifts at the Duke Campus Farm, which provides produce to the local community and to Duke Dining. There was even a morning where my entire sustainability class volunteered with Duke Zero Waste Football and sorted waste generated from the game into trash, recycling, and composting.

Whether you are interested in conservation work or building race cars (something my roommate does on campus), there is most likely a student group on campus to satisfy you. And if not? Make your own! It is so crucial to get involved on your campus and to regularly be exposed to and meet new people. Through these, you can create lasting connections with people from all walks of life and backgrounds. And who knows, you just might learn something new! I know I have.

As the Freshman Scholar Advisory Board Representative, we’ll follow along with Brandon’s first year of college. Click here to see more from Brandon!
 

In 2016-17, the Elks National Foundation appropriated $4.2 million to fund the ENF scholarship program, which provides college scholarships, ensuring a bright future for our nation’s youth. As important parts of the Elks family, Elks scholars have many social and service opportunities to connect with the Elks and each other. For more information about our scholarship programs, and for ways Lodges can get involved with Elks scholars, click here.
           

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What I'll Remember Most

by Cullen Edens
2016 Most Valuable Student Scholar Cullen, along with 19 other scholars, came together to serve the San Antonio community in the name of the Elks from June 26 to June 29. These 20 scholars then joined 130 of their fellow scholars for the 150 for 150 Service and Celebration Weekend, where all 150 scholars worked together to serve the city of San Antonio from June 29 through July 2. 



My name is Cullen Edens and I am a junior at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma where I am majoring in Accounting. When I was selected as an Elks Most Valuable Student scholar, I simply thought I would collect my award and move on with my college education. I had no idea the impact that the Elks National Foundation would have on my life.
In late June, I traveled to San Antonio not knowing that this service trip would transform the way I viewed the communities around me. Arriving at Trinity University, I met 19 other Elks scholars from across the country from Maine to California. We instan…

Elks National Convention: Take One

by Taylor Odisho
Communications Assistant
It’s taken an entire week to fully digest everything I experienced at my first Elks National Convention, and I think I can finally do justice in putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, in sharing them.

I started working as the Communications Assistant at the Elks National Foundation in October of last year. In just nine months, I’ve been exposed to stories, people and moments, and I’ve been working hard to convey these interactions in an honest, interesting light that resonates with our audience.

But it wasn’t until I shook hands with “Crazy Richard” Clayton and his wife; sat down with Nester Tan, a platinum donor with the ENF; or spoke with many of the Elks I’ve been writing about these past several months that everything finally clicked.

There’s a scientific way to say this, but I’m a writer, so I’ll use words. You can study a topic for hours and hours, but you’ll never be able to memorize what you’re reading until you can connect it to …

Because They're Elks

by Cecily Froerer 2014 Most Valuable Student Scholar
My name is Cecily Froerer. I’m a junior at Utah State University where I’m studying Communicative Disorders and minoring in American Sign Language. Four years ago, I was a high school senior with two goals. First, obtain a college degree. Second, do so without any form of student loans. The second was a seemingly unattainable goal.

By some stroke of luck, I found myself in my high school’s office when two men from the local Elks Lodge shared information about the Most Valuable Student scholarship. As I continued about my week, I kept thinking about that scholarship. It was stuck in my mind. Eventually, I applied. Maybe, I would be able to get a little money for college from this. I couldn’t have dreamed what was about to happen.

The next year was a whirlwind of surprises. I watched as my scholarship application passed through the Lodge, to the district, and on to the state level! I was incredibly grateful, but I was also fairly confi…