We The People

Leadership Education

From what I had heard from students who previously took the class, PSC105: Intro to American Government & Politics was going to be the worst class of my semester. Although it wasn’t my favorite class, I did learn some very valuable facts about how democracy was born and how truly lucky we are to live in the country that we do.

From day 1, my professor started just about every class with a daily rant about our current president and the mess that our country is in. Although I was kind of annoyed since none of the information pertained to what was going to be on our exam, I quickly realized that he really was connecting it to class. One topic that we touched on in class was our civil liberties: the rights stated in the first amendment. My professor was prating his freedom of speech rights, and encouraging us to do the same by getting us involved in the conversations. I am not one to really voice my opinion on political topics since I never feel like I have enough knowledge to talk about it. However, this class really pushed me to stay up to date on what is going in our country since it also affects me.

One of the biggest grades in this class came from a project that took place throughout all 16 weeks. The class was separated into a few groups with about 8-10 students in each. Each group was assigned to a graduate assistant who helped facilitate each meeting. The goal of this project was to discuss a solution or an action towards a solution, to a major problem in our world. If you are up to date with politics, or if you are a human, you probably have a good shot at correctly guessing what we had to try to solve… immigration. We met with our groups about once a month and each meeting had different goals to help us implement our project. My group worked really hard together and came to the conclusion that we wanted to raise more awareness to what life is like as an immigrant and how immigrants positively contribute to american society. Through raising awareness through reaction videos of CMU students, our group was chosen to present this project to fellow faculty and students. This experience in itself was really inspiring for me because there were multiple groups selected and it was cool to see all the other groups and their ideas on how to solve this controversial issue. Seeing so many CMU students come together inspired me to be more involved in politics because there are people who are risking their lives so that we may keep our democracy, as well as people risking their lives just to live in this country. Therefore, the least I can do is be an active citizen and stick up for what I believe in.

As a leader on campus and in the world, it is important that I voice what I am passionate about and stick up for what I believe in. This class helped boost my confidence so that I can be a better leader and practice my rights to voice my passions.

Click here for the video we showed in our reaction video

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Was taking philosophy morally ok?

Leadership Education

After a whole semester of learning about moral principles and debating whether some very controversial topics are morally ok, I can proudly say I still really don’t know what is and what is not morally right or wrong.

To me, the thought of waking up at 7am sounded like going back to high school, but thanks to Gary Fuller, this class was nothing but boring(most days). Gary was exciting, a little crazy, and a whole lot of passionate when it came to moral philosophy. He wanted us to learn, challenge ourselves, and have fun.

Within this class, I didn’t just learn how to think philosophically, but also how to navigate my way through philosophical issues in this world. Although I was uncomfortable discussing issues such as abortion, gay rights, euthanasia, capital punishment. etc., it forced me out of my comfort zone which is exactly what leaders need to experience, and why not start that at a younger age?

As a leader its good to come across others with different view points as yours. Within this class it allowed me to see others view points that weren’t based off of just opinion. With philosophy, it brings into matters what is morally right and wrong or just and unjust. This allows other to defend sides that may be just to some and unjust to others. It’s a teeter-totter of ideas that get balanced out on determining whether it is right or not. Across the board, there were so many reasonings as to why these topics were morally wrong and right. Being able to have real conversation and see how others perceive things is vital for being a good leader in being able to understand others perspectives and challenge new ones as well.

As I take this knowledge with me in the future, ethics takes an effect in it as well. This ties in with leadership because in order to be an ethical leader you should be virtuous of individuals and their motives. As I continue on through college I strive to be an ethical leader and do whats right in any situation. With this class, it has given me the skills to do just that.

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Gary Fuller’s Christmas Party

My Comfort Zone Was So Comfy Though…

Leadership Education, Uncategorized

This past weekend was my first “Mentor Mentee Retreat” for LAS. The weekend was filled with many laughs, good talks, and of course, lots of leadership training. Heading into the weekend, I’m going to be honest, I just really wanted to stay in my dorm and catch up on much-needed sleep. I was really struggling with homesickness the night before and all I wanted to do was go home and be with my family; God clearly had this weekend all planned out because wow, was my mind totally changed after being on the retreat for just 5 seconds. I was so nervous as the weekend began because so many LAS people are crazy outgoing and that is one thing that I am definitely not(but trying to work on). When we broke into our small groups, we talked a lot about what we were looking to get out of the retreat and someone in my group responded that they wanted to step out of their comfort zone. Merriam-Webster defines a comfort zone as, “a place, situation, or level where someone feels confident and comfortable” Some examples of my comfort zone’s are church, family, marching band, Clarkston; anything but being around new environments. It wasn’t until the team building activities that I really realized how small my comfort zone was, and without the help of my fellow LAS friends it would have stayed that way. What I never realized before stepping out of my comfort zone was HOW DARN FUN THINGS ARE WHEN YOU AREN’T IN IT. Life is so boring if you just live your life in your little box doing the same things all the time. I can easily say I would’ve never enjoyed the high ropes course if all I worried about was how high up were. I would’ve never met half the LAS people I did if I wouldn’t have just sat down next to them at a meal; and I definitely wouldn’t have learned all about trust and leadership if I never would’ve stepped out of my comfort zone.

So many times I have let my anxiety get the best of me, but not anymore. It is SO hard to ever learn anything new or grow as a person/leader if you don’t take risks. I climbed a wall that had no ropes and nothing to hold onto simply because I put all my trust in my teammates to help me climb over it and forced myself to try new things, and it was so darn fun. So, ditch your comfort zone and have some fun because I promise, it WILL be more fun.

 

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image from Google

 

Madeline Peterson