By Hannah Newman
THE 2023 Cranberry Court winners, senior marketing major Charles Mule and senior music production major Yusef Collins-Bryant, have made a name for themselves at Rider and continue to show their passion for cranberry and white as their days as Broncs are nearing an end.
The Rider News will be showcasing both winners; first will be Mule.
Mule began his college experience virtually as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seeking ways to get involved, Mule decided to look into Greek life and received multiple invitations to join, including from Theta Chi.
“Three of the brothers were very persistent in getting me to join,” said Mule.
After joining Theta Chi, Mule learned that his uncle had been a brother in the ’80s.
“One night I was at one of my new member meetings, and I was downstairs and my uncle was over. He asked me what I was doing, and when I told him what I was doing, he had a whole story about Theta Chi, which I got to go back and share with them,” said Mule.
Mule’s work ethic was valued early into his membership, which is what led to his election as president as a sophomore.
“I was the youngest member in the chapter, but they believed in me, and that’s all I needed,” said Mule.
Mule discussed that the hardest challenge he faced as a young president was holding those that were older than him accountable and leading by example. The chapter felt his determination for Theta Chi’s success was pivotal and elected him for a second term as president in his junior year.
Mule was one of the first presidents to be elected for a second term since Theta Chi’s was reinstalled in the 2017-18 school year.
“That was probably one of my best decisions because my second term as president had to be my favorite by far,” said Mule. “The biggest thing I’ve learned as president is business and friendships. It’s one of the hardest things to do but when you learn how it’s super rewarding.”
His second term as president was not only a success for himself personally, but for the campus, as he was named fraternity man of the year for the spring of 2023.
Nickolas Witkowski, a junior communications major and fraternity brother of Mule, said, “Charles has worked so hard, not only for the brothers of Theta Chi but the entire Rider community, with the utmost enthusiasm. If I had to say one physical accomplishment, it would be fraternity man of the year. Just seeing his beaming smile made me know how much that meant to him.”
This award tied together all that Mule has accomplished within his organization and how it made him into the person he is today.
“I hope to leave the chapter with a brand new foundation of norms and expectations,” said Mule. “Personally I hope to leave with a high working motor that is compatible in the work world.”
In the summer going into his senior year, Mule became an orientation leader. He then turned into a role model for the freshman class and the things they can accomplish when they challenge themselves.
“My favorite part about being an orientation leader is making friends I would’ve never thought I would have along with having the freshmen come to me for advice still because they remembered me,” said Mule. “It just shows that I left some impact on their lives.”
After his nomination for Cranberry Court, Mule was determined to give the competition every ounce of himself, The nomination tied every part of his college life together, making his crown the finishing touch to it all.
“The one thing I’ll remember the most is all the long nights of being super involved that led to some of the best memories of my life,” said Mule. “Having some of the best people in my corner supporting me and pushing me to be the best version of myself.”