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The Auburn Plainsman: Involvement 2020

January 16, 2020

Concrete club rocks Organization helps pave the way for student success By JACK WEST Managing Editor

Look around for a second. Look at the ground, at the walls, maybe the ceiling. Try to find some concrete. It might be in the sidewalk you’re walking on or part of the ceiling above your head. Regardless, unless you are in the middle of a field — which is definitely a possibility here on the Plains — it’s likely that a chunk of concrete is somewhere nearby. For most people, that’s a fact that goes unquestioned and unexplored. Concrete is a common occurrence in daily life, and as long as it continues supporting our weight and refrains from falling on top of us, there’s no apparent reason to think about it too much. But the only reason you don’t have to think about concrete is because there is a dedicated group of students, professors and professionals who think about it a lot. For many Auburn students, involvement in a club or organization can improve or even define their college experience. There are always the standard options like SGA, Emerge or some kind of political group, but it can also be beneficial to find a smaller, more niche club. Emily Mueller, a graduate student in civil engineering, runs a very niche club: the one for students who enjoy thinking about concrete. Mueller is the president of the American Concrete Institute Student Chapter at Auburn, a club which focuses on the manufacturing, promotion and usage of concrete as a building material. “We inform people about what concrete is and why it’s important,” Mueller said. “It is the most used material for construction in the world. So, it’s kind of a big thing for concrete to be such a renowned thing, and for many students to not know much about it.” The ACI is a nationwide organization that the civil engineering department has worked with

for a long time, but it wasn’t until 2014 that the official Auburn chapter was founded. Since then, the club has grown to roughly 50 active members — many of whom are studying civil engineering — and has continually competed at annual ACI conventions. According to Mueller, the group usually goes to the spring conventions where they can compete in events that test a team’s ability to manufacture and cast concrete. “This year we are going to be competing in what’s called the concrete bowling ball competition,” Mueller said. And yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds. For the competition, the ACI gives teams the specs that they need to actually build a bowling ball out of concrete. They are told what kinds of materials can be used and the size and weight that the bowling ball should be. “We’ll actually mix the concrete in our structures lab, and we’ll try different batches to see what works best and what breaks a certain way,” Mueller said. Then, at competition, the bowling balls are inspected and, of course, bowled with. You can’t ask a group of concrete enthusiasts to spend months constructing a bowling ball out of a heavy and fracturable material without then allowing them to actually bowl with it. According to Mueller, these conventions and competitions are great because they let all of the club’s members get experience and work together. “It’s really good for the graduate students to have undergrad teams doing [the mixing] because then the undergraduate students learn how to mix concrete and how to do all the forming, but the graduate students get a chance to teach it too,” Mueller said. This graduate and undergraduate divide is something the club has struggled with since concrete is often not introduced to civil engineering students as a material until late in their col-

lege careers. Other ways that the ACISC gets students together is by volunteering at service projects around this part of Alabama for groups and organizations that need help. This past November, Mueller and the club helped Tuskegee First United Methodist Church repair and repave some of the sidewalks around the church buildings. “Our members designed the new sidewalk, called the concrete company [for material], and we got to get some hands-on experience for our members to see what it’s like to place concrete, how to cure it and stuff like that,” Mueller said. They also host Lunch and Learn Events, where students get a chance to meet with professionals in the construction industry. “It’s a chance for the industry professionals to interact with the civil engineering students — not just ones interested in concrete but any kind of construction,” Mueller said. “It’s a way for them to be able to interact on a more personal level, kind of one-on-one with us.” These kinds of events also give students an opportunity to share their research and concerns about the current industry practices. “More recently, it’s not been so much [about] promoting concrete,” Mueller said. “It’s been more about environmentally friendly versions,” The production and usage of cement, a component of concrete, can be quite toxic and largely contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Not only that, but a lot of the materials needed to make concrete — which, again, is the most widely used construction material — are finite resources, meaning humans will run out of them. If we continue to waste these resources by overproducing material we don’t need, future generations may not be able to use concrete at all. “You don’t want to use all the materials up and say, ‘Oh well, we had a great time, good luck to y’all; just figure it out,’” Mueller said. For that reason, this club and other civil engi-

January 16, 2020

neering students at Auburn are researching additives, materials that can be added to a mixture to strengthen and increase a batch of concrete, as ways to limit the amount of these materials humans use. This kind of gritty research requires a researcher who is excited about the uses of concrete. That’s not most people, but thankfully, it’s some of them. The ACISC is an example of the wide range of clubs at Auburn. It’s an example of people with a common interest and a shared passion getting together to discuss and learn and compete together. According to Mueller, many civil engineering majors know each other already since the major is so small, but this club is a way for a bunch of them to stay connected. “It’s a smaller club, so we can be a lot closer,” she said. “It’s more of a family ver-

The Auburn Plainsman: Involvement 2020

sus something you just join to put on your resume. You actually enjoy your time here.” That’s really all any Auburn student can hope for: a sense of family among friends. Your interest may not be concrete. It may be horseback riding, creative writing, singing, acting or poultry science. Maybe you’re interested in nonprofit work, education or studying abroad. There are clubs for political advocacy and religious study, and there was briefly a pizza club. Whatever your niche is, Auburn has a place for it. If there’s not a club already, you can become its first president. In other words, whoever you are, Auburn has a place for you. That place may not be set in stone, but it might be set in concrete.



The Auburn Plainsman: Involvement 2020


January 16, 2020




13-17: O-Week | 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. | SC 2nd Floor Lobby 15: BSU Midterm Mystery | 6-8 p.m. | Mell 2550 15: UPC War Eagle Watch Party | 8-11 p.m. | SC Ballroom 16: Emerge Presents: Yara Shahidi | 5 p.m. | SC Ballroom 17: UPC Film: It 2 | 9-11 p.m. | Dudley B6 17: ISO Social Hour | 4-5 p.m. | SC 2222/2223 21: IMPACT Projects Begin 24: UPC Game Show Night | 8-10 p.m. | Student Activities Center

4: SGA Voting Day | 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. | 5: BSU Soul Food Bazaar | 6-9 p.m. | SC Ballroom 7: SGA Family Friday | 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Cater Lawn 10-14: SGA Ring Week | 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. | SC 2nd Floor Lobby 12: Emerge Lunch and Learn | 12 p.m. | 15: AUDM Main Event 17-21: BSU Unity Week | All Day | Campus Green 20: ISO Cultural Show Night | 6-8 p.m. | SC Ballroom 27: BSU Black History Month Speaker, Jamal Parker | 5-8 p.m. Foy Auditorium

3: Organizations Board | 6-9 p.m. | SC 3163 5: UPC Film: Back to the Future | 7-9 p.m. | Dudley B6 6: ISO Social Hour | 4-5 p.m. | SC 2222/2223 16: BSU General Assembly | 5-6 p.m. | SC 2222/2223 16: SGA Senate | 7:30 p.m. | SC 2222/2223 18: Emerge Lunch and Learn | 1 p.m. | 19: UPC Concert on Cater | 7-10 p.m. | Cater Lawn 26: Organization Showcase | 4-8 p.m. | SC Ballroom 28: The BIG Event | 8 a.m. | Campus Green

2: UPC Laser Tag | 8-11 p.m. | Student Activities Center 6: SGA The Final Lecture | 7:30 p.m. | Mell 2510 7-10: Glomerata Distribution | 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. 9: UPC Open Mic Night | 7-9 p.m. | SC 2nd Floor Lobby 15: UPC Film: Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker | 7-9 p.m. | Jordan Hare Stadium 16: SGA Ring Night | 6:56 p.m. | Langdon Hall 22: UPC Earth Day Extravaganza | 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Campus Green


January 16, 2020

The Auburn Plainsman: Involvement 2020


Becoming an Auburn organization How to turn your idea into a club in eight steps By CHARLIE RAMO Community Reporter

Auburn currently has over 500 student organizations registered on campus. This number is growing constantly as students found new organizations and have them approved through the Office of Student Involvement. “Once [students] apply to become an organization, they will then be invited to the Organizations Board to talk about why it would be important for their organization to charter at Auburn,” said Cameron Eaves, coordinator for Student Organizations and Student Involvement. “From there, the Organizations Board can approve them for provisional status.” Provisional status gives organizations the ability to operate on campus, though they cannot accept University funds or print T-shirts with their logo, Eaves said. Leaders are also required to attend training and webinars. Provisional status lasts for one year after it is granted to an organization. “I’ve seen some groups [become approved] in two to three months, and [for] some, it takes about a year,” Eaves said. “Once they go past that year point, they will be contacted to see what’s going on.” According to Eaves, organizations must also remain in good standing with the University, primarily by having a faculty advisor, having at least 10 members and following Auburn’s Code of Student Conduct. “As long as there is a benefit to at least 10 students on campus ­— and that can mean 10 of your friends coming together and talking about a com-

mon interest — then the role of a student organization has been filled,” Eaves said. After being approved, organizations can ask for as much as $10,000 each fiscal year, Eaves said. $7,500 can go towards events on campus for students to attend, $2,200 counts towards travel and registration for conferences and the last $300 covers operating costs, such as opening a bank account and purchasing office supplies. Organizations submit receipts and are reimbursed for their costs if they fall under the restrictions. Mac-Jane Crayton is a thirdyear Ph.D. student in public administration and public policy as well as the president of Dream Mentorship at Auburn University. She has been a member of various organizations during her time at Auburn, including serving as secretary of a graduate capstone project. “Our goal is to introduce and connect female Auburn students with industry experts and business owners in the Auburn area,” Crayton said. “[We want to] be able to provide mentorship to Auburn students who are interested in either a particular field or growing themselves and their careers. We also include small group sessions, workshops, things related to your career development, personality tests, resume revisions, anything that would help a student grow professionally.” Dream Mentorship at Auburn University is in the provisional phase, and Spring 2020 is their first semester on campus, with 14 students showing interest in the organization so far. The process began in September 2019 when Crayton met with the Organizations Board in November to be granted provi-

sional status. “Cameron Eaves was really helpful with the process and telling me what I needed to do,” Crayton said. “A challenge for me was probably getting the word out. This was just an idea that I had, so having to go around talking to people about it and trying to find people interested enough to take a leadership role, since we have to have a president, vice president, secretary and faculty advisor.” Joe Nisbett is a third-year master’s student in landscape architecture and community planning as well as the president of Permaculture Tigers. He has also been the president of the Auburn University Student Chapter of the American Society for Landscape Architects and the vice president of the Auburn University Student Planning Association. “Permaculture is a holistic, ethical design approach to create beneficial relationships between humans and living systems,” Nisbett said. “The organization educates students, faculty and community members [about] what Permaculture is and advocates for the implementation of permaculture practices.” Permaculture Tigers was approved by the Organizations Board in November 2019, after a few weeks of satisfying requirements. There are 10 members so far, a constitution and bylaws. “Throughout my efforts, the Office of Involvement has done an amazing job of being responsive and helpful along the way,” Nisbett said. “As an organization leader, I can quickly ask for help with any topic and someone will get back to me instantly.”

1. Submit materials and be approved through the Organizations Board. 2. Once approved, attend the New Organization Orientation. 3. Attend 3 Involvement Webinar Series Opportunities. 4. Complete the Online Student Organization Training. 5. Have a president, vice president, and treasurer if collecting dues. 6. Have at least 10 members. 7. Have a full-time faculty / staff advisor. 8. Apply for permanent status.


The Auburn Plainsman: Involvement 2020

AUBURN UNIVERSITY Core Curriculum Program


May 13-June 13, 2020 COURSES OFFERED COMM 1000/1007 – Public Speaking PHIL 1020/1027 – Introduction to Ethics NATR 2050/2057 – People and the Environment ARCH 2600/2607 – The Art of Architecture, Place, and Culture *All courses can be completed as Honors courses.

January 16, 2020


January 16, 2020

The Auburn Plainsman: Involvement 2020


Involvement helps students discover themselves By MARY MARGARET TURTON SGA President

College is about exploring, learning and growing while finding the interests to which you want to dedicate your life. Student Involvement has been the biggest blessing of my time at Auburn because it has taught me to explore perspectives other than my own, given me a supportive community, empowered me to believe in myself and take each moment as a lesson that will last much longer than my membership in the organization. I believe that many things make Auburn special, but the most impactful to me has been the multitude and variety of opportunities for involvement in campus organizations, the community of like-minded students who enjoy serving in these organizations and the trust and mentorship that Student Affairs provides members as mentors and advisors. As a senior, I am very thankful for the courses that have challenged and laid the framework for my future career, but none have been more formative than the hands-on opportunities I have been given through the SGA. In my various roles, I learned communi-

cation and organizational skills, time management, professionalism and other transferable skills that are not taught in the classroom. With over 550 organizations on AUinvolve, there is a community for everyone. My advice in finding the right fit is to approach each interview or meeting as an opportunity to learn about where your passions lie, where you want to dedicate your time and what your leadership style is. On-campus organizations allow you real-world opportunities and hands-on leadership challenges without the real-world consequences that come with employment after college. College is the perfect time to challenge yourself, find your passions and join a supportive community — you can do all of this through student involvement.

Greek life can be a home for everyone By RYAN POWELL Director of Greek Life

Auburn University Greek Life is a vibrant part of the Auburn student experience. With 50 organizations across four governing councils, more than 7,800 Auburn students call one of our fraternities or sororities home. Auburn fraternities and sororities offer students a wide variety of experiences including service projects, philanthropic efforts, leadership development and social engagement. Membership provides students with connections to alumni from across the nation and in every professional industry and area. All fraternities and sororities were founded on core values and beliefs that are centered on improving the lives of its members, while the members improve the campus and community. By joining a fraternity or sorority, the member is making a commitment to uphold the standards of the organization and the institution. Membership in a fraternity or sorority is open to regularly enrolled undergraduate students and is selected by the current members within the organization. The 18 sorority chapters affiliated with the Auburn Panhellenic Council

select membership through a mutual selection process. These 18 chapters are affiliated with the National Panhellenic Conference, which is the umbrella organization for 26 national and international sororities and women’s fraternities across North America. There are 25 fraternity chapters affiliated with the Auburn Interfraternity Council, which serves as the governing body for national and international men’s fraternities, many of which are affiliated with the North-American Interfraternity Conference. These 25 chapters host recruitment activities throughout the fall and spring and have a formal recruitment week at the beginning of each semester. The five fraternities and sororities of the Auburn National Pan-Hellenic Council are affiliated with the National Pan-Hellenic Council, which consists of nine fraternities and sororities known as the Divine Nine. These organizations are historically African American fraternities and sororities who participate in a deferred membership selection process known as Intake. For an aspirant to participate in a chapter’s Membership Intake Process the aspirant must have completed at least 12 Auburn credit hours and have participated in the Auburn NPHC’s Meet the Greeks event held each semester. The Auburn Multicultural Greek Council consists of two member organizations — one fraternity and one sorority. The Auburn MGC was founded in fall of 2019 to support these two organizations and their members. These organizations were founded to promote cultural identity and inclusion at Auburn University. MGC chapters host interest meetings and recruitment activities each semester for students that are interested in learning about their chapters and cultures.

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Involvement 2020 Special Issue  

Involvement 2020 Special Issue