National Society of Leadership and Success Chapter Launched on Campus

IMG_8989

Oglethorpe chapter President Barry Rowan ’14

In the Spring 2014 semester, Oglethorpe University welcomed the newest chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success, Sigma Alpha Pi. The society is dedicated to helping in its members’ personal growth and development and community development and leadership. In the society’s words, “We Build Leaders Who Make A Better World.”

According to President Barry Rowan ’14, the initial goals of the chapter include establishing a leadership success networking group that can define the personal, professional, and academic goals for members, and providing a network of support in achieving those goals.

Since 2001, Sigma Alpha Pi has sought out academic leaders who are dedicated to community action, volunteerism, and exemplary leadership within their university and society. Sigma Alpha Pi doesn’t have a professional majority within its constituency, but rather focuses on encouraging fraternization amongst students of various academic and social backgrounds.

National Society of Leadership - Sigma Alpha PiTo become a member, there are four main steps in the semester-long process: (1) Students must attend orientation. Orientation allows students to get to know their executive board members, while also giving students the opportunity to learn more about the central tenets of the society. (2) Students must participate in Leadership Training Day, a seminar on how to become leaders within social groups. (3) Students must attend at least three of the live broadcasts regularly given by the National Office. (4) Finally, students are randomly selected and grouped into Success Networking Teams to provide students with peer leaders with whom to bounce off ideas and set personal goals.

In addition to President Barry Rowan ’14, the inaugural members of the executive board are Vice President Donald Warden ’16, Secretary Luise Hessing ’16, Treasurer Matthew Roberson ’16, and Success Networking Teams Coordinator Ty Murphy ’16. Dr. Danny Glassmann, associate dean of students and director of residence life, advises the society.

Sigma Alpha Pi has been enthusiastically received on campus and currently there are 120 members working towards induction, with some having already met the requirements. The expected induction date for the newest society members is set for late April 2014.

Oglethorpe’s Debate Council Competes in Piedmont College’s Mayflower Classic

Don Warden '16 leads Oglethorpe's Debate Council

Do you know about the new Oglethorpe Debate Council? After being approved in February by SGA, the Council prepared for and competed in its first tournament at Piedmont College’s Mayflower Classic in early April. The experience was as educational as it was enjoyable, and the team members left with enhanced skills and a deeper desire to continue and improve their team.

“The purpose of the Debate Council,” explained Council President Don Warden ’16, ”is to embrace the art of persuasion and the sport of debate through regular meetings and practices, in addition to state and regional competition… and to encourage a love of political and philosophical rhetoric in its members and the greater community.”

Don, along with council members Luise Hessing ’16, Shanice Lover ’16, Barry Rowan ’14, Tony Adamson ’16, John Kontoghiorghes ’16, Maddie McIntosh ’16 and Ty Murphy ’16, met many times before the competition to learn theory and hold practice rounds. The type of debate they studied is called Parliamentary or “parli” debate, and it involves two sides: the Opposition (con) and Government (pro), each of which have 15-30 minutes to prepare their arguments after a topic is randomly chosen.

“My favorite part about being a member is the community (that) debate creates,” said Don. “The debate community extends beyond just the Oglethorpe Team. Everyone at this tournament was nice and friendly, and once you debate against the same schools enough you learn to be vicious to a team in the round, but best friends with them out of the round. It is also a wonderful way to connect to high school students who either currently debate or want to do collegiate debate.”

Don stressed that anyone can benefit by joining debate, and the council has many things to offer in the upcoming semesters.

“We plan to meet regularly every week,” said Don, ”and we plan on competing 2-3 times a semester. Moreover, we will judge local high school tournaments in an effort to improve debate quality and recruit for OU… We are also looking to work with other new collegiate debate teams, and perhaps have mock/skirmish debates on campus about pertinent issues. Oglethorpe Debate will be a member of the Georgia Parliamentary Debate Association (GPDA) whenever we compete at their annual tournament next year, and we hope to join the National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) next year. Our long term goals are to sustain the program and eventually host a collegiate tournament.”

The Debate Council is well on its way to becoming an Oglethorpe staple, and you can become a part of it! If interested in joining or learning more, you can contact Don Warden via facebook or email.