CSU-Pueblo student organization Seeking Ourselves to Unite Leaders (SOUL), sponsored a bar-b-que and mixer on Sept. 5 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center.
The event was attended by about 100 students, and whether the crowd showed up for the free food or for the social community that SOUL provided, it was the first step toward getting more people involved with their message.
“We create, promote, and motivate students to make healthy lifestyle decisions,” said Nicole Hult, a SOUL member leader.
Although SOUL has been an organized group at CSU-Pueblo for four years, this is the second year it has been a registered student organization rather than an interest group. SOUL has a $20,000, 3-year grant given by NCAA Choices. The money goes to fund every event and meeting in order to keep the program alive.
Last year, SOUL held 68 events including, the Late Night at the Rec, the zombie halftime show at the staff vs. students basketball game, and the drunk goggles course during the women’s soccer halftime show.
“We are a small school, and we are aware that what we lack is school spirit, so we attempt to create different types of events to bring the students together in a fun and healthy way rather than in a partying way,” said Jonothan Stephenson, another SOUL member leader.
Along with holding events throughout the school year, SOUL uses surveys, one at the beginning of the year and one toward the end to assess its success. Questions are aimed at understanding the students’ responses to college life and to see if the students are responding to the healthy lifestyle ideas that SOUL has promoted.
Stephenson explained that last year’s survey results concluded that students were more open to drinking in moderation, and some even said that they drink one less drink at school parties.
“You’re your own person, so be your own leader,” said Paul Browning, a member of SOUL. “I’m helping to make a difference on this campus by pushing the message that there are alternative ways to have fun besides getting wasted.”
College life has a stigma of partying and drinking that many students don’t necessarily believe in but go along with because that’s what they have been told to do. SOUL is here to create a different outlook on college and a different outlook on fun.
Browning explained that everyone is their own person and in complete control of their own actions.
“Our ultimate goal is to bring out a leader in everybody,” Browning said.
SOUL meets the second and the fourth Monday of every month in the Crestone room in the OUC at 8 p.m. SOUL is putting together a pep rally the Friday night of Homecoming, Oct. 17. For more information on joining SOUL or attending their upcoming events and meetings, visit the school website and go to the student activities calendar.