This Sophomore Class Sets a Fast Pace
By Warren Duffie
Sophomore class president Daryl Lloyd has been getting some unsolicited compliments of late — for example, when he was standing in line waiting for a hamburger in the campus dining hall in December. A fellow sophomore walked up to him and said she had just seen a poster with photos of the many events the sophomore student government has held this year. “Thanks for all of the hard work, Daryl,” the student said. “I’m really excited to be part of this year’s sophomore class.”
“When you receive a compliment from an administrator, you feel great,” says Lloyd, a politics major from Edgewater Park, N.J. “When you receive one from a fellow class officer, you feel great. But when a random student who might not be heavily involved in class activities compliments you, that’s the best feeling of all. It makes all of your hard work worthwhile.”
The positive feedback is an indicator of how much Lloyd and his colleagues have accomplished. He and the seven other class officers have spent this year interacting with students and administrators and making their class presence known. In fact, the 2004-2005 sophomore class could very well be the most active class on campus. Consider this: Lloyd and his fellow elected officers have organized 10 high-profile events this year — from blood and blanket drives to rounding up students to attend CUA basketball games. For several of the events, between 250 and 300 sophomores attended — not bad for a class of around 500.
|Daryl Lloyd (third from right) and fellow sophomore class officers wrapped in blankets they collected during November's blanket drive.
This level of sophomore activity bucks national trends, but it’s common for CUA, says Ellen Thorp, assistant dean of students and adviser to the sophomore class officers.
“Many colleges and universities tend to forget the sophomore class,” she explains. “They focus on the freshman experience and preparing juniors and seniors for careers. Because we’re a smaller university, we provide sophomores with greater opportunities for leadership. At CUA, sophomore year is when many students first get involved with student government or Campus Ministry.”
Even so, the Class of 2007 stands out from its predecessors, Thorp says, organizing more student activities than previous classes.
“They’re also more organized than a lot of campus groups,” she says. “All of our student groups have wonderful ideas, but this year’s sophomore class has a lot of follow-through and makes things happen.”
When they met last year to chart the class’s path for this academic year, visibility was a key goal for Lloyd and the other sophomore class officers: Matt Janeczko, Matt Fallon, James Crawford, Jenn Jones, Angela Prendergast, Ashley Tufts and Danny Favarulo.
After taking office last April, the officers held four meetings to brainstorm future activities. By the beginning of the current academic year, they had compiled the list of 11 initiatives they wanted to pursue, 10 of which have been accomplished; the 11th is slated for next month.
“My feeling was and is that since I’ve been elected to serve in this position for a year, I have an obligation to make it the most worthwhile year I possibly could,” Lloyd says. “I didn’t want to sit around for a year and do what’s always been done, because if you do what’s always been done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
“I think the biggest element of our success is the fact that we’re like a family, says class Vice President Matt Fallon, a politics major from Roosevelt, N.J. “We rely on each other. This is the most cohesive group I’ve worked with, and I hope we can work together again in some capacity next year.”
Reaching Out to the Campus and the Community
The sophomore class leaders' approach to activities is to alternate externally focused initiatives with internally focused ones. “We’ve established a balance between activities that are just for enjoyment with those that are geared toward community service,” Lloyd says.
On Sept. 29, the sophomore class partnered with CUA’s Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity, to host a blood drive in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center. The drive attracted more than 150 students, staff and faculty — in past years, only 40 or 50 people have shown up. Approximately 120 bags of blood were donated to the American Red Cross.
Another community-service event was a blanket drive held from Nov. 1 to Dec. 4, which doubled as a competition between student organizations. Whichever organization donated the most blankets would receive $250 and a congratulatory banner to be hung in the lobby of the Pryzbyla Center during the spring 2005 semester.
“The College Republicans won the prize,” Lloyd reports. “They donated 137 of the 250 blankets collected. After the drive, we distributed the blankets to area homeless shelters.”
In addition to looking out for the well-being of the local community external to CUA, the sophomore class officers have worked to safeguard the CUA student body by educating it about the dangers of alcohol. During Alcohol Awareness Week, which lasted from Oct. 25 to 29, the sophomore class sponsored a table in the Pryzbyla Center with flyers and pamphlets on how to avoid dangerous situations such as drunk driving and what to do if students or their friends have had too much to drink. In addition, sophomore class officers underwent training to become alcohol counselors.
“This kind of education is great to have,” Lloyd says. “Even though sophomores aren’t of drinking age, knowing how to avoid alcohol problems will help them when they can legally drink.”
Lloyd and his fellow officers have also helped boost school spirit. During the winter sports season, they drive the “Rowdy Wagon” to take CUA students to and from home basketball games at the Raymond A. DuFour Center. Decorated in CUA’s red and black colors, the van picks up students at various residence halls as well as the Pryzbyla Center. During the game, the officers make two or three additional trips throughout campus to pick up late stragglers. Class officers help students paint their faces and play loud music inside the van, then lead cheers during the game. Around 50 students ride the “wagon” to each game.
“The sophomore student government believes that one of the most important functions of student government is to bring school spirit to CUA students,” Lloyd says. “The DuFour Center can seem so far away to many students, especially freshmen who live on the southern part of campus. So we figured we would provide a service that would allow them to come out and support CUA.”
“One thing about Daryl is that he’ll never ask you to do something he wouldn’t do,” Fallon says. “If I could pick one word to describe our class, it would be unity. When one person wants to do something, we all do it together.”
The 11th Event
The next initiative being planned by the sophomore class falls under the category of what Lloyd calls "just for enjoyment." The sophomore class officers are planning one more event: a Valentine’s Day dinner and dance to be held on Friday, Feb. 11, at the Watergate Hotel. The event will be open to all CUA students and will offer a full-course meal and dancing — all for a cost of no more than $20 per ticket.
One problem with celebrating Valentine’s Day in a major city, Lloyd says, is that swankier restaurants are often booked six months in advance. This can pose a problem for students. “We want to provide students with something that’s fun and affordable,” he says.
When asked about the accomplishments of the sophomore class officers, Lloyd says that it’s his duty as president to help promote his class. “If students don’t know who we are or what we’re doing, we’re not doing our jobs,” he says. “If we can provide good leadership and get sophomores excited this year, that excitement will carry over into their junior and senior years. We in the student government want to be the biggest cheerleaders for CUA.”
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