Cooper Adams • Staff Writer
Cheers erupt from the main floor of the University Center. Thunderous applause and harmonious hollers bounce off the walls and echo through the open air before finding their way to the third floor. Joseph Hudson, who hears the reaction, smiles and gives a small laugh.
“Those are the guys,” Hudson said, gesturing toward the direction of the clapping and cheering. “They probably got someone else to do the pushup competition.” Hudson, a sophomore at UT Tyler, is the fundraising chair for the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and as he explains, the applause and cheers are for good reason.
“We’re raising money for Muscles for Miracles, which is a weightlifting and strength competition that benefits the Children’s Miracle Network,” Hudson said. “There’s a table set up downstairs. We cheer every time someone donates. Last week, we had someone drop in a few quarters, so we all stood up and clapped. Anything helps because it’s all going straight to the kids.”
Despite the matter-of-fact statement, excitement gleams in his eyes and a small smirk has found form. Hudson runs his hands along his gray SAE polo, smoothing out the wrinkles. One can tell that he takes pride in his appearance as well as the work that he does.
“Basically, SAE helps fund the different facilities, equipment, medication and anything else needed for the sick children,” Hudson said. “A lot of the equipment is specialized and expensive. So, although we’re donating $1,000, some of this equipment can cost up to $70,000. This program is honestly doing great things to help the children in the East Texas area get the help they deserve. So, being able to at least somewhat support is a great thing. Every little bit helps.”
Hudson’s backpack sits unzipped on the floor, its contents and loose papers spilling out for the world to see. Biology and ecology homework sit next to a planner, which has seen its fair share of wear. The backpack shows someone who is multifaceted – someone who is three-dimensional. While his contribution to his fraternity is lofty, it is only a small portion of his life.
“I’m a biology pre-med major getting a minor in biochemistry,” Hudson said. “On top of SAE, I’m in the Honors Program, the Disc Golf Club and also the Pre-Health Association. Really, I just try and keep it going day by day. I make sure I have a schedule planned out. I work on the weekends, so if I can take care of everything else throughout the weekdays, that’s always easiest.”
Despite his carefree and relaxed demeanor, Hudson admits that it is not always as easy as he makes it out to be.
“I would definitely say I’ve made sacrifices,” he said. “It’s just a matter between how much I can do in a 24-hour span while staying sane. I have a lot that I need to do, but it’s just a matter of finding the time to do it as well as finding time for myself.”
Another symphony of cheers emanates from the SAE table downstairs, catching Hudson’s attention, which results in another smirk and another gleam in his eyes.