By Kat Riddler, Editor-In-Chief
Coming back after winter break brings new leadership to some student organizations. One new student leader will be Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity’s President Daniel Pogue, junior, mechanical engineering.
Pogue attended Farmington Senior High School in St. Francis County, Missouri, before he joined the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ joint engineering program. The program requires him to take classes at both the UMSL campus and the Washington University campus. Pogue said, “I saw the program with Wash U and I jumped at it because it is an excellent deal and I wanted the most bang for my buck.”
While in high school Pogue was sociable, a new city, campus, and community made him a little nervous. Pogue visited the Sigma Tau Gamma house a few times and really liked the people there. Michael Hayes, now alumnus, who was there to help ease any tension or hesitations about the fraternity, asked if Pogue had thought about Greek Life. At that time there were about 13 active members in the fraternity. Some of those most influential to Pogue besides Hayes included Clayton Roberts, alumnus, Devin Thompson, alumnus, and Kevin Mangrum, senior, business administration. He continued to go back until the brothers of the fraternity extended him a bid to join the fraternity. “I accepted in 30 seconds because I was like ‘This is what I want and this was who I want to be at this point,’” Pogue said. “What drove me to [Sigma Tau Gamma] was the brotherhood. What kept me here was the chance to grow it.”
Pogue’s involvement with Sigma Tau Gamma also helped him feel more comfortable on campus and he agrees with the Office of Student Involvement’s slogan that UMSL students should “Get A Student Life.” Getting involved helped Pogue stay motivated to continue his education. Even though Pogue took a semester off, he came back to finish his degree with the help of the fraternity. Pogue said, “The fraternity has introduced me to so many different people on so many different levels. I have met CEOs of companies and Vice Presidents of companies, and not just our alumni running companies, but [people] who they know. I’m part of student life so I get to meet the faculty and staff who run it. I get to know a lot more about campus than the average student might.”
Pogue is also part of the Associated Black Collegians and UMSL’s Student of Service on top of his new leadership position in the fraternity. Pogue said, “I like UMSL for the fact that it is a commuter school and it brings so many different people from different walks of life together. It allows us to network with each other.”
Pogue was nominated by fraternity members for the position. He was given two weeks to prepare his presentation to the fraternity chapter after a chapter meeting. Pogue was nervous and did not know what to expect. He said, “I read a book… ‘Reality Based Leadership’ [by Cy Wakeman] and it set me up for what I was going to say.” After the presentation, nominees left the room for the chapter to discuss then hold a vote for the position.
There are no term limits for president. His term officially starts January 1, 2017 but Pogue has been meeting with administration and with the past president of the fraternity to ensure a smooth transition for the student group. Pogue said, “In my personal opinion, after your one year, you should be able to hand the baton off to someone else and be there if they need you. I feel that different people should be in the leadership position every single year. No one person should lead more than one year. You need a different mindset. You need different eyes to look at it.”
Sigma Tau Gamma does lots of philanthropy programs. Their biggest philanthropic event is the Polar Bear Plunge, held in February, which raises money for Special Olympics. They also contribute to community service in the Bel-Ridge area, participating in Adopt-A-Family, Bel-Ridge Dinner, Haunted Hayride, and more. Pogue hopes to continue the service projects to include a spring picnic for the community and community cleanup, besides contributing to MLK Day of Service through UMSL as well.
Pogue encourages students to check out Greek Life and be more involved in organizations on campus. “Being part of the fraternity, they are my family, and how much fun it was, push[ed] me even harder to not only come back to school, because I did have to take a semester off, but [to] push me even more now to continue to do well.”