On a typical Monday, Solano strides into the Miron Student Center (MSC) to attend a meeting for Greek Senate around 3:30 p.m. That’s not so bad when isolated as its own variable. However, with Solano’s psyche, he’ll never have just one variable contributing to his day.
Solano’s commitments include 14 credits, men’s soccer, Sigma Beta Tau, as well as Greek Senate’s Vice President of Programming. He’s proud of everything he does, particularly his position with the Greek Senate. “We hold organizations to our code of conduct. We do a lot of fundraising…especially with Children’s Specialized Hospitals,” said Solano. “We’ve been going …to schools to talk to kids in East Orange and West Orange. Personally, it helps me grow as a person, specifically with time management.”
When a Greek Organization wants to do an event or program, Solano is the bridge that helps them translate that idea into something tangible. They go to Solano to submit the event or program through Cougar Link. Unfortunately for Solano, there’s no compensation for Greek Senate, apart from a mandated polo. But he doesn’t mind much. “Honestly, I like it,” Solano said. “I’m constantly meeting new people. We went to Connecticut for a conference in February and it was a bunch of student e-boards. It’s networking, setting myself up for a better post-Kean life.”
Greek Senate was the last commitment Solano picked up. The way he went from student to his position on Greek Senate was peculiar, but it’s worked out for him. At a meeting, he leaned towards a friend, curiously asking what his responsibilities would be for such a role and how he’d have to go about getting elected. Thankfully for Solano, his friend was overzealous. He smiled, raised his hand, and said: “I nominate Eder Solano to run for Greek Senate.” Solano hadn’t yet gathered information to make a decision if he wanted to run but he didn’t attempt to renege his nomination. After that meeting his initial question was finally answered. He schemed up a speech, and two weeks later, he won the election.
All of that happened in the spring semester of his sophomore year. He’d long been a busy college student before Greek Senate hopped into the equation. First came his fraternity, Sigma Beta Tau. He’s never had a thought about dropping anything in favor of more free time.
“When you’re a part of something great you just don’t want to step away or take a step back. I do it because I love doing it,” said Solano.
“[Sigma Beta] Tau came first because I didn’t play soccer my freshman year. They’re just like the soccer team: they’re very accepting, took me under their wing and helped me transition to college. I love them, too; they’re my boys.”
Succeeding the aforementioned 3:30 p.m. Greek Senate meeting, Solano leaves there for a reprieve from his responsibilies for a bit, just enough time to get some homework done. His day isn’t over just yet. Solano has one more class left in the day that starts at 7:15 p.m. and stations him to a desk until 10:15 p.m. Adding this second variable to his average Monday isn’t too torturous, really. He’s just got to grind out the meeting then class. Nothing out of the ordinary for a 20-year-old college student.
Ah, but there’s more to Solano’s typical Monday. Before his Greek Senate meeting, he’s rushing back from soccer. Due to Solano’s involvement with the Kean University men’s soccer team, he arrives at Alumni Stadium around noon for practice. He doesn’t get to shower and leave Harwood until 3 p.m., just enough time to scarf down a quick snack before his meeting.
Solano could push soccer aside so he can focus on anything else he might rather be doing, but he doesn’t. Solano loves the game and likens it to his fraternity brothers for the locker room atmosphere and the family vibes with his teammates. “I love playing. I love the sport,” said Solano. “I love my teammates; the atmosphere, the family feeling. That’s the best.”
Before his 7:15 p.m. class, before his 3:30 p.m. Greek Senate meeting, before his 12:15 p.m. training session, he puts down a quick lunch to fuel up for practice, and refuel from an early morning. Because, of course, there’s more: he was out of bed at 7 a.m. ahead of an 8 a.m. abnormal psych course
Why does Solano keep a packed-full schedule? “When you say you don’t have time, you’re lying to yourself. It helps me stay on top of everything,” said Solano. “It definitely makes me feel like there’s time for everything in the day.”
At the end of the day when Solano finally decides enough is enough and he needs to recharge with a sleep cycle, he closes his eyes and knows he’s trying to make the absolute best out of what’s available to him. When it’s all said and done, he has no regrets.
Well, maybe Solano has one regret: not eating enough sushi.