Join A Cause

Join A Cause

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The University of Mount Union is a unique campus. It strives do all it can do to support other people and organizations. The University holds many on campus events as well as attends outside events, and over the years, the campus has raised a significant amount of money for different groups and organizations.

One event special to Mount Union is the annual Relay for Life event, which raises money for cancer awareness. Many students, faculty, staff and community members come out to relay for the cause. This event occurs over a two-day span as people stay up an entire night to walk and raise money. Mount Union also holds it’s annual Up ’til Dawn event, which raises money to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Each year, there is a letter writing competition in the fall where letters are written to friends, family members and neighbors in hopes of receiving donations. In the spring, there is a party where the total amount raised is announced. Additionally, annually Mount Union sponsors an event called Take Back the Night, which raises awareness about domestic violence. Each year a speaker comes to campus and presents a firsthand account of a domestic violence situation and educates people on this matter. After the speaker, there is a candle light walk around campus.

Those are just a few of the large events that occur on campus, but there are also many smaller ones. Mount Union participates in many local walks such as the walk for Breast Cancer, Autism, Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. The Breast Cancer walk actually occurred this past Sunday at McKinley High School in Canton, which I attended along with many other Purple Raiders. It was a wonderful feeling knowing that the 3.2 miles we walked were for a cause and for someone fighting Breast Cancer today. Different organizations also hold many events and fundraisers in support of projects and groups they are part of such as the group Raider Relief and the co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega.

No matter what, at Mount Union, there is always a cause to join, a way to make a difference and a way to help fight.

Stay tuned as there will be more blogs to come about each of these events as well as many more!

Hell Week

Hell Week

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Wrestling is a sport that demands every aspect of athleticism, from pure strength to the most refine technique.  It was the first sport ever, and the purpose of it back in the day was to literally kill your opponent while competing naked in oil. Today there is a different reason why it is popular and for me, it is an addiction. I can’t quit because I need it to function normally, but at the same time, I can get so tired I question myself “Why am I doing this to myself?”

Hell Week is what it sounds like … hell! Football has two-a-days, but our coach went one step further and is doing three-a-days. One practice at a time isn’t bad, but it is the continuous practicing three times a day for five days of the week that will get to you.

This week consist of 6 a.m. cardio/sprinting for about 45 minutes. During this time, the sun isn’t even out yet and you can see the stars, Jupiter and shooting stars. After class and maybe a few naps, we have 4 p.m. practice for two hours in a constant 80 degree wrestling room. This consists of drilling, live wrestling and you guessed it, more sprints, which can easily be added on for people who are late, not wearing their headgear and other various reasons. It’s pretty simple, if everyone does what they are supposed to do and not what they aren’t supposed to do, then no sprints.  That’s never the case, so we run more.

After dinner, there is a little over an hour that I am able to get homework and studying done until an 8 p.m. lift.  These lifts aren’t meant for the weak, they’re meant for the insane. I mean, 3-4 sets of anywhere between 1-20 reps, and why not, let’s just throw in 100 pull ups in the middle of the lift to add a little flavor. By the end of the day, you’re ready to pass out and just enjoy your sweet dreams…until they are disrupted by your alarm telling you to wake up to go run.

This week sounds bad, because it is.  But in the end, you feel like you’ve accomplished something the average athlete would never want to do.  It is obviously a little harder since you have to worry about studying, homework and tests, but that’s just a part of being a student-athlete.

I have respect for all college student-athletes. Everyone puts in their effort because everyone wants to be the best. I still keep hearing from athletes that they think wrestlers are crazy and they could never do it. I always thank them for that compliment (yes, being called crazy is a compliment sometimes) because you have to be a little crazy if you want to be a good wrestler.

Hell Week is an animal that chews on you.  It is an animal that swallows the weak but spits out the strong at the end of the week, and if you are able to withstand it then you are able to withstand any other challenge put in front of you. After just one week, you’re more conditioned, stronger, smarter and you know your physical and mental limits.  And there is a reason why Hell Week is at the end of October … Halloween Work-Out.

WRMU: More than just our music

WRMU: More than just our music

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Over the past few months, I’ve noticed myself blogging more and more about WRMU. What can I say? It is the organization I am most involved in and it is the one I chose to put my heart into the most.

When people come to our campus and see we have a radio station, I hear a lot of “How cool!” comments. Heck yea it is cool! How many other schools can you go to where you can have your very own radio show during your freshman year? How many other opportunities will you have to be a live on-air DJ?

As if that isn’t appealing enough, I can say with confidence that WRMU is more than just a radio station.

RECAP: I joined WRMU’s staff as a freshman knowing I wanted to pursue communication. Mind you, I was only a freshman, and here is what I was able to do:

  • conduct interviews regarding the 2008 presidential election
  • be on-air and give listeners up to date voting results during said election
  • create fliers and promotional items to spread the word about the station
  • attend a Cavs came and represent WRMU
  • broadcast live from various events such as Relay For Life
  • and more… (it was a few years ago, of course it is a little blurry!)

So, after a year of participating in various events, I fell in love with the station and applied to be a director — a (paid) work-study job where we work on the internal part of WRMU.

My sophomore year, I was named sponsorship director and I was in charge of finding sponsors for our radio station and its airtime. I learned a lot about sponsorship, but it wasn’t really my strong suit, which is why the next year I applied to be the public relations director.

Since then, I have had many public relations duties that I absolutely love doing. I love finding new ways to promote the station, raise awareness and do other activities on behalf of WRMU.

OK, so now you know that people actually work at the station and have fun doing so… but, is there more? You bet.

As a staff, we LOVE doing things outside of the station. Our directors have our business meetings at restaurants to get out of the office; we do live remotes (broadcasts) at various locations in the community, which often result in us just having fun; we go on trips; we have fun at football games where we broadcast the game; and so much more!

  • A few weeks ago, as a staff, WRMU volunteered at an animal sanctuary in Salem, OH called Alchemy Acres. We spent the day playing with the animals at the shelter, and it inspired us so much that we organized a campaign to raise supplies to donate to Alchemy.
  • We also participate in different campus events where we try to win money and accept donations to donate to our charity, the Alliance Food Pantry.
  • This past weekend, we traveled to Hartville, OH and did a live broadcast from Maize Valley, where they were having a breast cancer awareness weekend. Aside from our broadcast, we were able to enjoy Maize Valley’s activities.
  • For the past three years, my best friend Shannon (who also works at the station) and I went to Stark County Board of Elections and broadcasted each year’s election results live as they came in — we were right next to real media outlets as they were receiving the information with us!
  • Mount Union holds the Schooler Lecture every year where famous speakers come to speak to the community. Since the WRMU is media, we are able to not only attend and record the lecture, but we are able to attend the media press conference before the lecture as well as be a part of the fancy dinner beforehand.

These are just some examples of what WRMU does on and off campus. So, next time you think of WRMU and think of music, know that there is so much more than just music!

How I lost (and found) my iPhone

How I lost (and found) my iPhone

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lost

Fun little thing that happened to me today:

I was walking in the library when I went to grab my iPhone, but it wasn’t in my pocket. I checked my bag and laptop case, but it wasn’t there either. I started to freak out a bit. I didn’t have a passcode set and just thinking of how many websites it was authenticated with made me sweat.

I quickly went to a computer, logged on to iCloud.com and went to Find My iPhone. I saw a little GPS pin drop on the east side of the library start moving towards the circulation desk. After marveling at this realtime event, I remotely set the passcode and had it show the message “Please call: with my girlfriend’s cell phone number.” Five minutes later the circulation desk calls her. They have my phone and we walk over to pick it up.

Apple rocks.

Special thanks to my girlfriend and her calming demeanor towards what, I’m sure, was a very hysterical 19-year-old.

Can the Purple Raiders Become the Green Raiders?

Can the Purple Raiders Become the Green Raiders?

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The topic of sustainability has been an ever-growing trend within the last decade. It not only is what legislation is pushing for, what trends are setting and what businesses are implementing into their core principles, but also what universities have taken under their wing. It seems like there is a nationwide competition of who can be the “greenest empire,” install the most solar arrays or drive the most electric fleets. It definitely has been perceived to be a trend and some people aren’t behind it. But you can’t go wrong by saying that it is very progressive and a way to live a more simplified and efficient lifestyle.

First, sustainability can be defined as meeting current human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met for generations to come. There are many ways campuses can address these initiatives, much of which is behind the scenes. Mount Union’s physical plant has made an effort to install low flow toilets and shower heads to preserve water and CFL light bulbs to save energy (among other building specifications). Other projects on campus include the 54-kilowatt solar array system on The MAAC, the LEED-certified Gartner Welcome Center that runs on geothermal, solar panels on the cafeteria, reporting our sustainable initiatives through the STARS program, signing the President’s Climate Commitment and being listed in the Princeton’s Review of Green Colleges. Much of these projects are operational and can be seen, but don’t really drill the impactful message into our student body. By reducing our school’s carbon footprint, there definitely needs to be a more robust educational infrastructure for students to understand these concepts.

One way to really put sustainability and education in the face of Mount students is to find what they are passionate about and take advantage of it. For example, we are known for having some impressive sports teams and much of our student body are athletes or is either interested in a physical wellbeing. So does this show that our campus is competitive? Maybe we all are concerned for a healthy lifestyle? These are great qualities and present some interesting ideas I found at the AASHE Conference. Some other school’s have implemented projects like student gardens, water bottle refilling stations, green revolution bikes and bike share programs.

When I heard about the green revolution bikes, I thought what not a better way to put sustainability in the face of our students? The students who are competitive and workout a lot, maybe who spend a lot of time in the MAAC, could be able to use these bikes which offers some educational material right in front of our most common student at Mount. The green revolution bikes are exercise bikes that basically let you generate or “pedal your power,” which is shown by monitors. Eventually, we could have a whole facility that is functional by our own power, providing environmental awareness to the majority of our student body, on a topic that is fundamental in many parts of our world today.

I also recently read an article about how prep schools are leading the way on sustainable living. A Connecticut school will open the Kohler Environmental Center, “a living-learning facility where teams of students will compete with one another to see who can live most energy efficiently.” You can think of it as The Sims meets Survivorman or Men/Women vs. Wild. This is definitely applicable to our average student as well, but I am not sure if there are enough students who are behind sustainability. I hope this changes!

These are just some ideas that I gathered while attending the AASHE Conference, but I feel that Mount Union has made a ton of progress in relation to sustainable efforts. I hope we only continue to promote projects and education. Sometimes this requires a large budget, but I think our student body needs to be more behind this issue.

What do you think could drive students to be more involved? How do you feel is the best way to get students behind this green movement? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Who knows, maybe one day Mount will be completely off the grid and waste and totally functional from State Street and Union Street within. Only time will tell.

The Big C

The Big C

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Creative, captivating, caring, colorful, cool, corny, confident- these adjectives may all describe someone who is fighting the fight of his or her life… breast cancer. The most appropriate word to use to describe these individuals, however, is courageous. Courage is found in the simplest of things: a child who stands up to a bully on the playground, a middle-school student who asks a girl to the dance or an 18-year-old going off to live on his or her own for the first time, but courage for these women (and men!) is more than shaking off a few jitters; they are fighting for their life. Courage for them is laughing when they only feel like crying, showing off their beautiful baldhead and moving forward when they’re so tired they could lay in bed for days. This is the true picture of courage.

This past Sunday, Delta Sigma Tau, along with quite a few other organizations from campus, traveled to Canton to participate in The American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. It is a 5K walk that is held every year at various locations throughout the country and contributes millions of dollars each year to exactly what its name implies: making strides against breast cancer. On the website, it indicates that in 2010 alone, $60 million dollars was raised by 800,000 walkers. A handful of Mount Union students were a part of this cause last year, but a much larger number of people participated this year.

It was such a moving experience to take part in this event and it is safe to say that everyone who attended and walked will most likely be heading back to walk the 3.1 miles again next fall. Arriving for registration at 9 a.m., we drove into a world of pink. The signs were pink, the banners were pink, all the clothes were pink, the tents were pink… even some dogs were painted pink! We saw babies as young as a month old and women in their 70s. All of us were there from different backgrounds, for different reasons, but striving toward one common cause. Emotions ranged from sadness, joy, grief and triumph but the overarching emotion was definitely hope. Hope for the future, hope for remission, hope of one day finding a cure. Bald women threw their head back and basked in the sun, in the simple glory of life. Whole families walked as a strong front, remembering a loved one who lost her battle. People who had no personal connection to breast cancer, walked to show their support and in their own small way, strive for the cure.

For 75 minutes, a crowd of people walked, shared stories, laughed, cried and even lost themselves in their own thought. For just over an hour, everyone put aside his or her differences and was a supporter, a wave in the larger sea of pink crashing toward the not-too-far-off shore of finding the cure.

Deactivating Facebook

Deactivating Facebook

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The video is obviously exaggerated but still gets the point across.

Did you know there are more than 800 million Facebook users and 50% log on every day?  Who thought this would get so big?  Why didn’t Myspace get this big?  Facebook was desgined by college students for college students, and it is something I once had, but not anymore.

I’ve been Facebook-less for over two years now and I love it.  Why didn’t I just limit myself to Facebook?  Well, I couldn’t!  It is so addicting and my only solution to the problem was deactivating my account.  There are obvious reasons to why everyone loves it, but there aren’t many reasons to why people would just completely deactivate their account.  Social networking takes out the fun of meeting people and interacting with people in person. It isn’t productive toward studying at all, and I need as much studying as I can get since I am the average guy that cannot just simply digest knowledge after I see it once!

Facebook, Myspace (if that is even used anymore), Google+ are all networking sites that are not meant for me.  When I did have one, I easily spent more than three hours a day on it just creeping on people I never knew about and then I would find out about their entire life.  It is something I found actually creepy and I didn’t like it since I judged people before I even truly knew them.

Let’s be serious, people might be friends on Facebook, but they are barely even acquaintances in real life.  I had more than 500 friends on Facebook and only talked to about 200 of them (if that).  I didn’t like barely knowing people and being friends with them on Facebook.  It seemed like a fake friendship to me and I want to truly be friends with everyone. I don’t want to have to fake it.

So how’s life been since I deactivated it?  Well, my grades have gone up. I have more time for friends, exercising, talking on the phone and discovering new hobbies, whoa!  I try to make every second count, and being on Facebook was just a waste for me.  Sure it was nice seeing and talking to people I haven’t talked to in years, but that was a very small portion of it to me.  I am a social person just like anyone else, and I’d rather be social in person than over the Internet.  I like hearing the sound of someone’s voice and seeing their face when it isn’t smiling in a frozen moment.

So here’s my challenge to you readers.  How long can you go without your Facebook account?  A few days, weeks, months?  It truly is hard to remember what life was like before it, but see how long you can go.

Differentiate Yourself

Differentiate Yourself

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My business and technical writing professor told our class the other day that it is a fact that we are entering one of the most difficult job markets that there has ever been. One way to tackle this obstacle is to develop great and effective writing skills. It is very important that resumes, cover letters, acceptance letters, rejection letters and follow up letters/emails are written and designed with high quality. These documents are very important because they help develop a personal brand/image for you right from the get-go. If you have a typo, you can come off as lackadaisical, or if your formatting is unattractive, you can come off as unorganized.

One way to help make sure you documents are well written is to provide yourself with a lot to choose from. Give yourself a plethora of experiences and internships that show you are a self-starter and involved. Also, if you aren’t involved in anything on campus be sure to join a club or a committee. Then, once you are in an organization be sure to commit to a leadership role and do something with it. Employers love to see students who hold leadership positions but even more of what is then accomplished. For example, implementing a new program, organizing an event, coordinating volunteers or fundraising are great ways to prove supervision. Always remember to emphasize these on your resume to help you stand out, and emphasize key numbers like the amount of people you oversaw or amount of money raised. From my experience, recruiters liked to see a specific goal that was met through quantitative data.

Once you provide yourself with a tidy list of past jobs and involvement, there needs to be that extra degree of separation through uniqueness. This can easily be achieved through presentation which has gotten easier and easier with the Internet and a creative piece of mind. Even if you have perfected your resume and its style, I am sure you will consider updating it after seeing some other inspiring examples. A new service called visualize.me thinks that “the traditional text resume is boring, lengthy and long overdue for a makeover.” They are creating an online resume format that is beautiful, relevant and fun.

Visualize.me’s goal is to help enable people to express their professional accomplishments in a simple, yet compelling personal visualization. Look at this great example. There also have been people who have utilized YouTube and video to create a storyboard type of resume. This video I posted is a video timeline, and it outlines everything you would find on a normal resume. Pretty neat, right? These are just two ways, among many, that can help make you stand out from the crowd.

Other ways that can be beneficial to students are posting thoughts on a blog, Facebook, Twitter and any other web program … just be PG-13. Building a personal brand and becoming “searchable” can expose other elements of yourself that interviewers may not have been able to take away from an interview. Be sure to utilize online media and available sources, especially for resumes because it adds to that first impression … and believe me, you want to make it a good one.

Making a Difference!

Making a Difference!

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You want to know what the best part of my day was today? I bet you can’t even guess. It’s not the typical way most college students spend part of their day, however, it should be whenever possible. The suspense is probably killing you, so I’m just going to tell you. The best part of my day today occurred in the two and a half hours I spent volunteering at a local church in Alliance for Feed My Sheep. (And, no I am not talking about REAL LIVE sheep).

Feed My Sheep is the Christian ministry of The New Beginnings House of God Church in Alliance. Through the ministry, meals are served to the community of Alliance every Thursday around dinner time. Approximately 30-40 people come to the church each week for dinner, and another 80 meals are delivered to the homes of people unable to travel to the church including the elderly and disabled individuals throughout the community. Anyone from the community is welcome to come each Thursday to receive food. The food for each meal varies from week to week and comes mostly from the Stark County Food Pantry. Today people were served hot dogs, macaroni salad, chips, drinks and dessert. (I served dessert today!) People also are welcome to take bread with them when they leave.

The co-ed service fraternity of Alpha Phi Omega (APO) at Mount Union has members that help each week prepare and serve the meals to the community members. The members of APO also interact with the community members and get to know some of them that come on a regular basis. APO is the organization with which I helped out through. I find this project rewarding in more ways than one. It allows me to interact with people of the community learning about their day and their experiences, gives me the chance to help others and allows me to make even the slightest difference in the lives of others. In my opinion, it is the best way you could spend part of your day!

The Feed My Sheep Ministry has been helping to feed the Alliance community for a little over six years now. It has impacted the lives of many individuals and will continue to do so on a day-to-day basis for many years to come. The ministry is helping to make a difference!

The “I” Word

The “I” Word

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Once you take your first class at Mount Union, you will start hearing the “I” word all the time. Professors will pound this word into your head so much that it may seem intimidating. You will hear upper classmen using this word on a normal basis, and it might add a lot of pressure to your mind at first…

What is this “I” word? INTERNSHIPS.

Mount really encourages its students to take part in at least one internship during their four years here. Students can take one for credit or just for experience for their resume, and they can be paid or on a volunteer basis. Internships are easy to find – nowadays almost every business out there will hire an intern. To find the perfect internship, students can talk to their professors, other faculty members, look online and ask family members.

Let me be the first to tell you: internships aren’t intimidating. Sure, you should really have one (or more) by the time you graduate from Mount, but the opportunities are unbelievable. Even if you get an unpaid internship, who cares? You are getting experience that most people will never get!

I’ll tell you a few places where some of my peers landed awesome internships (feel free to look them up!):

  • Akron Aeros
  • Alliance Community Hospital
  • American Eagle
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Cleveland Indians
  • Fahlgren Mortine
  • Hermes
  • Mahoning Valley Scrappers
  • NBA
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • Q104
  • Q92
  • Sports Time Ohio (STO)

Does this list appeal to you at all? Let me just remind you that this is only one small list of examples of where Mount students have interned.

Internships are the resume builders that are going to help you land the perfect job when you graduate. Another great thing, if you start the search early in your college career, you get your foot in the door and the chances of you being hired at that business are high.

So don’t ever be intimidated when you hear the “I” word; just know that it can be the one of the best experiences of your college career.

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