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Lahey uses SOAR to inspire students

Derek+Lahey+expresses+happiness+as+a+member+of+the+Western+Leader+Recruitment+Committee+and+a+Summer+Orientation+and+Registration+%28SOAR%29+leader+striving+to+have+a+lasting+impact+on+incoming+students+
Derek Lahey expresses happiness as a member of the Western Leader Recruitment Committee and a Summer Orientation and Registration (SOAR) leader striving to have a lasting impact on incoming students

Derek Lahey expresses happiness as a member of the Western Leader Recruitment Committee and a Summer Orientation and Registration (SOAR) leader striving to have a lasting impact on incoming students

Josh Defibaugh

Josh Defibaugh

Derek Lahey expresses happiness as a member of the Western Leader Recruitment Committee and a Summer Orientation and Registration (SOAR) leader striving to have a lasting impact on incoming students

Emily Stieren, Assistant News Editor

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Sophomore Derek Lahey’s main goal as a Western Illinois University student is to influence incoming students through his position as a Summer Orientation and Registration (SOAR) leader.

 “I was a SOAR leader over the summer, and not to toot my own horn, but I was a good leader,” Lahey said. “For other people the job is over, but for me it is continuous. I talk to all my SOAR students when I walk around campus. People I don’t even know, know me, because I made some sort of impact on them.”

 Lahey is now on the Western Leader Recruitment Committee because of his outgoing personality and outstanding performance as a leader. However, he was already content with how many students he had impacted through SOAR.

 “When I was at Camp Leatherneck everyone remembered me as being a cool leader,” Lahey said. “I mean I didn’t know these people. I only had like 30-second interactions with them, but I was the only guy they interacted with on campus, so that meant I made an impact on their lives that made them remember me and appreciate me. That to me is awesome.”

 Lahey’s appreciation for Western is what motivated him to advise first-year students. According to Lahey, his devotion to the university is what made the job worthwhile.

 “I think SOAR is the most rewarding position here at the university,” Lahey said. “To me, I absolutely love Western. I will fight that this is the greatest school there is. There are incoming students that are coming here in the Fall, and it is my job in those 48 hours to get them pumped, excited and just ready to go to school. My goal when people left SOAR was for them to say, ‘I can’t wait to come back.’”

 Lahey said that his main purpose was not to make a lasting impression on the students, but to prepare them for their future career at Western. In the end, he hopes that he encouraged the students to better the university.

 “My SOAR leader, Kenny, is an amazing guy, and he was my inspiration for what I wanted to do,” Lahey said. “He made me excited, he made me love this school and he made me ready to come here. I think SOAR is not about the school now, but Kenny inspired me, and I inspired others. Therefore, that transcends to the point where Kenny no longer goes to school here anymore, and there is going to be people leading this school based off of what Kenny did. It is not about the people who are here now, but it is about the future of our university.”

 According to Lahey, joining clubs and participating in school events are essential for campus survival.

 “Get involved,” Lahey said. “It is the same thing I say to every SOAR group. No one admits it, but they’re scared their first year. There are so many student organizations. There are over 250 on this campus, and they recruit people. The number one group of students that (organizations) recruit is freshmen or first-year students because of the fact they are not committed to anything yet. The reason I say to get involved is because if you’re not involved and you just graduate and walk out of this university, no one is going to notice and no one is going to care.”

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Lahey uses SOAR to inspire students