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Rogers inspires fellow students and friends to ‘Find Your Roar’ on campus

Division for Student Affairs Greek Man of the Year strives for excellence inside and outside of the classroom

By Morgan Ledet
On May 4, 2017

Student involvement is what every student can do to be a part of the university whether it be in sports, campus events or Greek life. One student takes student involvement to the next level. 

Originally from Denham Springs, Austin Rogers had intended to only study his prerequisites at Southeastern. 

“Both of my siblings had attended Southeastern, and I had planned to attend to complete my prerequisite classes and transfer to LSU,” said Rogers. “But when I started, I quickly found out that Southeastern was my home, and I could never leave.”

Rogers has been involved on campus in numerous ways. He was an Orientation Leader in 2015 and was appointed justice for Student Government Association where he has worked under the chief justice for three semesters. 

“This year, I am serving on the president’s cabinet as the co-director of Leadership Council with Richard Davis,” said Rogers. “It is kind of bittersweet because the first thing I did on campus was join the Leadership Council as a member my freshman year. Now I get to see things on the other side.” 

On top of all of this, he is the founder and president of the Society for Collegiate Leadership & Achievement. He is in his second year serving as a Division for Student Affairs Leadership Ambassador, was initiated into Order of Omega, was appointed to serve on the Interfraternity Council executive board, serves as a College of Business ambassador and was voted onto the Homecoming Court for 2016. Also, Rogers is president of his fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha that he joined in 2015.

“At the time, they were still a colony and had yet to become a chapter,” said Rogers. “I was lucky enough to join right before we received the charter, so I am a junior Founding Father of the Mu Nu chapter. In my soon to be two years, I have served as campus involvement, public relations, treasurer and the current president.”

As president, one of his fraternity brothers says he puts his all into his position.

“Austin puts a lot of time into his position as president,” said Neil Bourgeois, a senior communication major. “There are a lot of times where he has to put off his own things to work on stuff for the chapter. He is very selfless with his time he gives to the chapter.”

Rogers is a senior with a double major in management and marketing while also minoring in communication. He has worked closely with professors during his time at the university and David Faucheux thinks that he and Rogers have a close  relationship. 

“You can tell he’s focused,” said Faucheux. “Me being from the real world, I take things a little more seriously about why you should be in class. Why you should learn, why you should set goals, why you should have a plan of action going forward. Austin is one student I saw that with, and so my interaction with Austin in the classroom and outside the classroom is almost more than a teacher-student relationship. It’s more or less a mentor-protégé relationship. That’s the kind of relationship I wanna have with my students.”

Faucheux explains that a farmer has to plant seeds depending on exactly what he wants. Faucheux thinks Rogers is one of those farmers.

“I always tell my students, ‘While you’re young, your priority should be planting seeds for your future,’” said Faucheux. “Any farmer knows that if you want tomatoes or cucumbers or strawberries, you got to plant seeds. If you don’t plant the seeds, you can’t harvest the crop down the road. If you plant the wrong type of seeds, if you want oranges and you plant apple seeds, you’ll get apples and not oranges. Austin is someone that plants the right seeds.”

Faucheux also explains that Rogers does well in the classroom. 

“He does the right things in reference to the classroom assignments, but not just do the right thing, he goes one step beyond,” said Faucheux. “He almost wants to be a perfectionist. In other words, go one step more.”

One of Rogers’ communication professors thinks that his class work is not what stands out to her the most. 

“What stands out is that he juggles that with really interesting extra curricular commitments,” said Dr. Claire Procopio. “He does the fraternity, he does service work, he does internships, he does political engagement work, where he is working on campaigns and volunteering so it’s not the classroom stuff I would say, not that that doesn’t stand out, he is a good strong student. But it’s that he balances that classroom commitment with really interesting out of classroom experiences. So much of college is about what you do outside of class and he seems to really understand that. He’s engaged and he’s involved.”

Rogers is a part of Pike and is the current president. He sometimes works with Student Engagement Assistant Director Kyle Gallagher who also doubles as a mentor for Rogers.

“I have had the chance to watch him develop both as a student and a leader on campus,” said Gallagher. “Austin has a deep love and sense of pride for both Southeastern and the many organizations he is a member of. Every time I see him he is working tirelessly on behalf of these organizations.”

Bourgeois has been a friend and fraternity brother to Rogers for a couple years. They have worked together numerous times and they are a close team.

“Me and Austin have done a lot together for our fraternity with him being President and me being Secretary,” said Bourgeois. “We have planned multiple events like socials, semi formals, and even put together our chapters first formal together. We always tackle everything as a team and that’s with everything not just things with Pike.”

As a part of campus community, Rogers often shows great skills. 

“Austin has inspired me with how he goes above and beyond for our fraternity,” said Bourgeois. “He has shown how much of a great leader he is and how much he cares for the people in his life. I am very proud to call him one of my closest friends. I would want people to know that he gives everything he does his all. He will go above and beyond for his organizations and friends.”

Being involved on campus has been a part of Rogers’ life and DSA took notice. At the recent DSA Convocation, Rogers fraternity was awarded IFC Chapter of the Year, he was awarded the Green “S” Award, was recognized for being a DSA Ambassador, awarded the Vice President’s Excellence Award and he was chosen as the Greek Man of the Year. Rogers thinks these awards mean he is doing something right.

“Whenever you are in a leadership position, many people can only see the things that are going wrong,” said Rogers. “We do not really see the good things that we have accomplished. Earning these awards has showed me that I can do well even if I do not think I am doing everything the way I think they should be done. They also push me to do better than I have before.”

Rogers has had people in his life that see him for who he really is and there is always something more to each person.

“Behind every great person there’s a story,” said Faucheux. “There’s a story of hard work, a lot of hard work, maybe a lot of pain, a lot of sacrifice, a lot of prices to pay and Austin’s one of those people that I could see doing really great things because he doesn’t mind paying the price. He’s willing to make the sacrifice to move and go forward. I see him doing all the right things to send him up and position him for great success down the road and in the future.”

Rogers explained that Southeastern has made a huge impact on him through his years and he hopes he can be a role model to future students.

“I take pride in the family culture that Southeastern has,” said Rogers. “It will always be close to my heart. I would like to teach people that it does not matter if people tell you that you cannot do something. Use that as the fuel to push yourself harder and show them that you can do anything.”

Being a Lion is much more to Rogers than just attending classes.

“Being a Southeastern Lion is more than just being a student for however long it takes to get a degree,” said Rogers. “Being a Lion is being part of a 92-year-old legacy. It is a connection with the students that came before us and the students that will come after us. We all have a connection to the thousands of alumni scattered throughout the world just because of this university.”

Neil Bourgeois, left, has worked with Austin Rogers, right, this past February on the Lions LEAD leadership retreat that the DSA Ambassadors put on.  Rogers was in charge of putting together the first Advanced Leadership Track which Bourgeois assisted him with.
Larshell Green/The Lion’s Roar

 

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