On Friday, September 2, 2016, Greek Senate held its Greek Senate Conference. The event kicked off in Downs Hall with members of all Greek organizations in attendance.
A recipient of care from Children's Specialized Hospital (CSH), Izzy, along with her mother, attended.
Izzy's story was shared by her mother as she hugged Izzy. After celebrating her first birthday on August 22, 2013, there were small signs that warned her parents that something was wrong. Within the next month, Izzy underwent a CT scan which revealed vascular health issues and doctors informed the parents that more tests needed to be conducted.
Izzy's diagnosis was not a certain one, with two conclusions given by doctors: a tumor or an infection in the spine.
After a 10-hour biopsy and 42 infusions of chemotherapy, Izzy started to become herself again. To date, the hump on her back is slowly going away, she can once again walk and is in the process of regaining her running feet.
"I can promise everyone in this room that if it wasn't for CSH we wouldn't [have] seen Izzy again; she wouldn't be able to walk, she wouldn't have her dream of being a hockey player," her mother stated.
Izzy and her mother were invited to speak at the Greek Senate Conference to show how their lives have changed because of CSH. For the past few years, Greek Senate has selected CSH to be the recipient of its generosity, such as donating all funds raised at its annual Kean Dance Marathon to the establishment. CSH was chosen as the philanthropic cause because the Greek Senate felt it best matched how it wished to give back to the community.
Izzy told her mom once, "First I need to walk, then I need to learn how to skate." With thanks given to the care CSH provided and Greek Senate's support of CSH, Izzy can become a hockey player.
The senate invited Justin Jones-Fosu to speak as well, with his presentation titled "Why Matters Now: How Purpose and Passion Inspire Meaningful Success."
The presentation started off with the caption "The bald, the bow tie, and the different" being displayed on the screen, letting the audience know this was not going to be a dreary speech.
His presentation, laced with energy, humor and audience participation, gave Greek brothers and sisters something they could take with them. Jones-Fosu asked self-reflecting questions with the purpose of individuals understanding themselves more and taking what they learned and applying it to everyday life.
"What we're doing today...This is not just for your time here on campus in your organization," Jones-Fosu stated, "...you can take this with you to your career after your time here."
One segment introduced a concept he referred to as "On 10."
"If you had to rate yourself on a scale of 1-10, where would you rate yourself on living out the mission of your organization?" Jones-Fosu asked the audience.
The overall message of the speech was for individuals to acknowledge his or her 'Why', the sweeping reason responsible for a person's actions.
He posed the question "What is your Why?" to the audience. It appeared every audience member was on the same page as responses consisted of words like legacy, sisterhood and brotherhood.
"These are the unique things that matter to us...Our Why and What impact what we do."
At times, it is easy to lose sight of goals, to step off the path and wander. Jones-Fosu told the story of a time in his life where he met someone and he changed for the worse. He used his experience as a lesson for the crowd.
"Why are you trying to impress someone who can't give you a scholarship...a summer internship...," he commented. "What is your vision? What does your short term look like? Long term?"
o break away from the typical setup of presentations, he invited a sorority sister on stage, which soon became a crowd favorite portion of the Greek Senate Conference. Some dancing ensued, all of which tied into the current lesson, with people responding differently to situations.
When you fight with everything you have, you give everything you have...if people know you're a member of your organization people look at you as a reflection of your organization, [and say] 'We understand the value of [your] organization,'" he stated.
The meaning of the conference was to remind Greek members why they became brothers and sisters in the first place. With sessions covering topics like Step Up! against inhumane acts and what's expected of being brothers and sisters, attendees walked away refreshed with understanding.
One of Jones-Fosu's closing remarks heavily resonated with audience members: "When we step up to our ideals, we make an impact...We need strong members who are willing to wear their letters every single day."