EDITORIAL: Believe in your cause and others will too

Be a leader by serving your community


Mitchell Basham, a runner-up in the MLK Oratorical Contest gives a speech at the CommUNITY Peace March & Vigil Monday, Jan. 16 in downtown Mt. Pleasant.

Last week, we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Week and this week, the campus honored Jewish heritage.

If the past two weeks have taught us anything, it's how often change has come from students.

On Jan. 16, the CommUNITY Peace Brunch highlighted several Central Michigan University students who have made a difference on campus.

Executive Director of Student Inclusion and Diversity James Span, Jr. said after hearing the student speakers, he could understand why they were awarded.

"They were very passionate, very clear on what they as individuals can do and even motivational in that respect," he said. "Not only to students but to everyone that was listening, to realize that they have a role and that they can do something as well.

Alyssa Corral, Eduardo Dominguez, Jacob Kapusansky, Sophia Scarnecchia, Jacob Kapusansky, Aniya Lewis and Tyler Thompson. We applaud you. And we admire you.

Just like King said in his famous Drum Major Instinct sermon, "a desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade, a desire to be first" should not define greatness, but rather, "everybody can be great... because everybody can serve."

King, who emerged as a leader in his mid-20s, lent his life to service. Students on our campus are living examples of his legacy.

"We must create the community we want for ourselves and others," President Bob Davies said at the peace brunch.

This week, CMU Hillel members Elizabeth Slater, Lily Segall, Kirsten Morey, Jenna Clark and Jamie Haisma proved yet again that determined students can make a difference. They ensured their voices were heard and their goal to partner with the university was met by collaborating with several campus partners to host five events for Jewish Heritage Week.

After a semester of discussion and uncertainty if it would happen, the events were well-attended.

You can be just like any one of these student leaders. You just have to put in the work.

If there is something you are passionate about – whether it's starting a registered student organization, pursuing a daunting project or creating awareness about an important issue – you have the power to do it. As long as you believe in the cause, you will find others that do too.

There are many ways to embrace action and leadership, just like King and many CMU students have done. One way is through volunteering.

There are endless opportunities to help the community around you and create positive change.

On-campus, you can check out the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center, which connects students to opportunities on campus, in the community and across America.

It offers a wealth of volunteer experiences including Alternative Breaks, America Counts & Reads, Central Civics, Student Food Pantry and Financial Wellness Collaborative.

For more information about on-campus volunteer opportunities, visit the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center website. For an extended list of volunteer opportunities near you, check out volunteermatch.org.

At heart, leaders are those who give back to others. Be a leader by serving your community.