Student involvement develops leadership


Erica Welter/The Lion’s Roar

Ali Leto, a freshman biological sciences major and chapter secretary of Alpha Omicron Pi, speaks with Taylor Mangus, a senior nursing major and president of Order of Omega, about Greek Week.

Taylor Mangus, a senior nursing major and president of the Order of Omega, found her Greek beginnings in the Phi Mu chapter at the university.

After four years with Phi Mu, Mangus joined the Order of Omega, the university’s only coed Greek honor society. According to the organization’s website, applicants must be a junior or senior, have a 3.00 cumulative GPA and be in good standing with their fraternity or sorority to be considered for membership.

“It represents the top 3% of students,” shared Mangus. “It’s based on scholarship. It’s based on academic involvement. Community involvement, character, the way you are on campus, your reputation and how much you contribute to Southeastern as a whole is what goes into membership selection.”

Each year, the Order of Omega plans and hosts Greek Week, a series of competitions for the roughly 800 members of Greek life.

“It has been quite difficult to please everyone because everyone has an opinion, but we have worked really hard,” explained Mangus. “We try to incorporate events that appeal to everybody. We added a trivia this year because we’ve never had any kind of academic competition. We added a water activity. We added ‘Battleship,’ which we’ve never done. So, we’re excited about that.”

The additions are part of the changes Mangus has made during her tenure as president. She also created a lasting platform for future presidents and board members to plan their Greek Week events.

“This year, I made sure that we had binders and we had a Google Drive,” stated Mangus. “We’ve put so much effort into leaving a paper trail of what to do and what not to do to make everything better for the next batch of members. I really want the next batch of e-board members to have a better understanding of what they’re taking on when they get in that position and have a better idea of how it’s supposed to work.”

Outside of Greek life and classrooms, Mangus enjoys the outdoors.

“I love being outside,” shared Mangus. “I like fishing, going on the water, being on a boat, anything like throwing a football around. I’m happy when I’m outside.”

Organization is a big part of Mangus’ leadership style. After planning Greek Week, the New Orleans native prefers to hang back, delegate tasks and remain available for crisis management as needed.

“I am a big planner,” said Mangus. “So, I love to be very hands-on with the planning of events, but since we have five days of Greek Week and we have six of us on e-board, every e-board member has a day, and I am strictly backup.”

Mangus uses her organizational skills to prepare for her future.

“I would like to be a pediatric NP, nurse practitioner, with a specialty in pediatric oncology and hematology, hopefully at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee,” shared Mangus. “That’s like the end game goal. I had leukemia in high school, and they treated me there. That’s a major reason I wanted to be a nurse.”

Nursing holds an important place in Mangus’ life because of the connections she made with her caregivers during her illness.

“I thought I wanted to be a nurse before I got sick,” explained Mangus. “Then, I got sick and thought, ‘If I never see a hospital again, it’ll be too soon.’ Then looking back, I thought, ‘No, I want to be that for somebody.’ I want to be that safe space. I want to be that trusting person that you know is taking care of you and that you know has, quite literally, your life in their hands. That’s what I want to be.”