How Campus Involvement Has Impacted Me
Thomas Angell, STAFF WRITER
It can be very difficult to talk about campus involvement without sounding self-important and braggadocios. Many have tried, few have succeeded. That is preciously what I hope to accomplish here. Will I succeed, maybe not, but that is up to you, the reader to judge. Judgment aside, I’ve gotten the opportunity to do quite a bit here at Assumption. One could say too much. Everything from SEND trips, to leading Peer Ministry, Intramurals, Club Frisbee, SGA, tutoring, Agape Latte, Orientation, and even Hall Council way back in the day. All of this excessive involvement needs an origin story and I would be remiss to not tell such a backstory. My campus involvement really started at an accepted student’s day my senior year of high school. My biggest worry then was whether I was going to try out for men’s club soccer or play intramurals. I wandered over to the intramurals table to see a jolly looking fellow I quickly learned was Prince of the Plourde, Mike Rodier. I introduced myself to him and asked at least 5-10 annoying questions that a pamphlet would have answered. To his credit he patiently answered and informed me that there wasn’t actually a club men’s soccer team. To my relief the decision had been made for me, intramurals it would be.
Now at this point it probably seems like this article is going to be about how intramurals changed my life, and that my one lone kickball championship gave my life value and meaning, but alas that is not where this article is headed. Intramurals has been fun, don’t get me wrong but when I think of my favorite and most rewarding aspect of campus involvement, I think of none other than my tutoring job in the Academic Support Center. I work in the center as a history tutor and a teacher assistant in the Enhanced Compass program, of which I am an alum. Ever since the second semester of my sophomore year I have trudged up those stairs in the library to the second floor to enter what to some people might be just a place of work, but to me is a vibrant learning community of all different types of people. There are athletes, poets, artists, researchers, people who are over involved in every club, and people whose main focus is schoolwork. Every major is represented, and my fellow tutors are from all walks of life. The only thing we seem to have in common is that we are all somewhat decent at our particular subject. Walking into the Academic Support center you never really know who you’ll run into or what new food the office has in store. You could run into your roommate getting tutored and not even realize that they had an appointment, or see a friendly face of someone you haven’t talked to since freshman year. For an extrovert like myself, the prospect of seeing people I am at least acquainted with to make conversation with is thrilling, no matter how much work of my own I have to do.
If you have ever visited the Academic Support Center you’ve probably seen heads jolt up and heard a greeting that is ironically reminiscent of a Walmart greeter. Or if you’ve ever called the center, you’ve certainly heard the high pitch cadence of a tutor answering the phone like an over caffeinated secretary. These are a couple of my favorite things that make us unique. When you come into the center you are treated like a real person. The community of learners we created among us, the tutors is something we try to reflect onto those who come in, or those who call. I’d be remiss however if I didn’t mention the glory of Wednesday bagels. Every Wednesday, our boss Allen, who whole books could be written about, brings in Panera bagels for all the tutors. It is a day we all look forward to every week, and I truly cannot remember the last time I failed to acquire my weekly bagel with butter. If you are reading this Allen, thanks for listening to me and getting butter when the standard bagel tradition was to just have cream cheese available.
All in all, working in the academic support center is extremely rewarding even if it’s a paying job and can be hard work sometimes, especially when you have back to back appointments. As fun as the Christmas party, and Thanksgiving party are, getting to practice my history skills while helping others is the ultimate gift. As someone who wants to be a history teaching, helping a student with their history paper has been excellent practice for my career, and I know is something that will give me a leg up in the future. Presenting at a conference last year a tutor from another school asked me what I liked the most about our center, I thought about it for a second before realizing my obvious answer. I responded that it is the community of learners we have forged that makes students comfortable to learn and achieve their full potential. I’m student teaching next semester, and although I’ll still have hours in the center, they will be reduced. I’ve appreciated the opportunity to work in the ASC for the last couple years and I know leaving college it has been the most rewarding and most consistent aspect of student involvement for me.
Thomas Angell, a senior, studies History and Secondary Education. He is a staff writer for Le Provocateur.