Student involvement goes beyond the major

Mackenzie Freund, City Editor

Student involvement on and off campus is something that is frequently seen when people walk through Eastern campus.

Some students will start a Registered Student Organization, and others will improve on some that they are already involved in.

Derek Pierce, a sophomore finance and accounting major, started doing sessions with the Mattoon High School students to debunk some of the misconceptions he heard about Eastern while he was in high school.

Pierce, a Mattoon native, said he got tired of hearing his peers talk about Eastern negatively and not be willing to give it a try while looking at schools.

“I was so sick and tired of hearing kids not give it the time of day when it’s a great school and we got a lot of good things to offer here,” Pierce said.

PierceJason Howell

Pierce said he choose to go to Mattoon because he is from there and he can connect with the students on a closer level because of that.

He said it is also nice to visit the high school and remind his teachers that he is okay from time to time.

Pierce said he does these talks with people from different parts of campus that came from Mattoon. He said he likes to have different people go so it is not just people like him giving presentations.

“This year we had a girl who transferred in from Lakeland come with us and then last year I had a girl who was a junior on the dance team who went with me,” Pierce said.

Being from Mattoon, Pierce said he chose Eastern because they stayed true to everything they said during the tours he went on, like small class sizes and involvement on campus.

Pierce was also able to make sure the tour guides were telling the truth because his parents and both of his brothers also went to Eastern.

“Being such a great campus it’s easy to get involved in and get leadership roles,” Pierce said. “I looked at some other schools and they always tell you the same stuff over and over, but at the end of the day is it actually true?”

Starting these informational sessions is not the only thing Pierce has done since he has been at Eastern. He has been involved in Student Government, Student Action Team, along with joining the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Pierce also said starting the sessions has given him a job through the admissions office as a tour guide.

“It’s kind of showing that hard work does pay off,” Pierce said. “It kind of shows that Eastern’s the perfect school to where if you want to go out and accomplish 20 different things you can do that or if you want to sit around and do one or two things you can do that as well.”

Pierce also said that a lot of the success students achieve is because of their personal initiative.

Pierce was shown as a “Real Panther” on Facebook during Eastern’s “Real Panther” Campaign, because of his involvement on campus.


Mackenzie Freund can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].