CSO president gains new perspective through involvement

Nareemah Griffiths/Assistant Entertainment Director

Before starting college at FIU, Stanley Evans II was a shy student that didn’t get involved in extracurricular activities throughout his high school years. Feeling deprived of that experience, he made it one of his goals to be 100 percent involved on campus when he came to FIU.

Coming into FIU as a freshmen, Evans didn’t know much about what the school had to offer. However, he began to discover and explore the school on his own.

“I was just trying to test the waters, trying to see what was on campus, what wasn’t on campus, just trying to get the vibe of everything,” the 20 year old said. “So basically trying to see what fits best for me personally. Just trying to grow into a leader on campus, make sure I get involved more, try to make sure my voice gets heard, trying to make my impact on campus.”

Since the spring of 2016, Evans has served as the president of the Council for Student Organizations, the governing council at MMC that oversees the registration, promotion, and allocation and distribution of funds for clubs and organizations at FIU.

CSO manages over 250 organizations on campus and mediates communication between the Student Government Association and clubs. CSO operates under specific laws and bylaws given to them by SGA, functioning as an extension of the association.

As the president, Evans delegates tasks to make sure everything is handled properly and on time. That process begins by having an E-Board meeting at the beginning of the year to outline numerous goals for the semester. He serves as the face of the organization, representing CSO by supporting other clubs events and attending meetings with SGA and advisors.

Due to FIU’s vast body of multicultural students, Evans has faced challenges curating different events on the behalf of CSO to accommodate every demographic on campus. Some events don’t benefit a large amount of people but they are necessary to touch every type of student.

To combat this issue, Evans has made an effort to diversify the organization’s E-Board by encouraging E-Board members to be a part of other clubs and organizations on campus.

“One of my E-Board members are a part of the Asian Student Union and another one of my E-Board members are a part of the Caribbean Student Association,” Evans said. “It’s two different organizations that hit two different demographics, so getting their viewpoints on different things, we can combine them and try to make a medium of how we can hit both sides of the party… we try to have an open relationship with everyone.”

Sharing experiences and relating to other people has helped him create friendships that will last a lifetime and be beneficial inside and outside of school. It is these friendships with like-minded individuals with a mutual objective at hand that has motivated Evans to make an impact on campus.

“Two heads are better than one so having a whole organization with the same mindset, the same mission, the same purpose, can make so many amazing moves on campus,” Evans said.

Born and raised in West Palm Beach, coming to FIU and getting involved on campus has helped him learn self-awareness. By being the President of CSO and interacting with a lot of different people, Evans has become educated on other cultures he wasn’t previously aware of.

“[I learned] that everyone’s culture is very genuine and specific to their well being, it’s really a lifestyle, because at first I wasn’t really that exposed to different cultures,” Evans said. “I learned more about people in general, and that everyone grows up differently and everybody has their different way of doing stuff. But, it’s not just one way of doing something great, there’s multiple ways.”

Evans initially got introduced to CSO by one of his frat brothers, who sent him an email with different opportunities to get involved. Evans was hired as the secretary of CSO for the fall term of 2015, after he applied for the role and completed the interview process.

During his time as the secretary of CSO, Evans encountered opportunities for him to learn more about the organization. After gaining hands-on experience with the club by contacting various organizations via email, Evans acquired a better understanding of the club causing him to become more passionate about it.

“[We want to] let people know that being involved on campus is actually cool,” Evans said. “You don’t have to be in a box and just go to school and go home. You can actually get involved on campus and try to enjoy college life.”

Although it’s fun, balancing campus activities, school work, and his personal life, is a handful. With school as his first priority, Evans plans meetings and events around his classes at the beginning of the semester. Keeping updates on his phone with reminders of upcoming tasks ensures that he stays on top of everything. He emphasizes time managements, staying organized, and planning ahead as key aspects to maintaining a balance between his busy lifestyle.    

Balancing all campus involvements and classes. School comes first. Base meetings around classes, fraternity around schedule. Time management and planning ahead. Updates on the phone with reminders, staying organized.

Along with being the president of CSO, Evans is also a part of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and SGC-MMC as a senator at large. Outside of campus he is a part of 100 Black Men, where he mentors young men in middle and high school, who have limited resources or absent fathers.

As a hospitality management major, Evans is pursuing a master’s degree to start his own hotel and resort management company. With his company he would like to open numerous hotels from scratch, and remodel existing hotels exterior and interior, including their business operations.

“I would love everyone on campus to be involved to let the world know about their interest, let the world know that they are special in their own specific way and that there is a club or organization that touches that category.”

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