Name: Matt Enloe
Major: Philosophy, minor in Psychology; University of Chicago Law School Class of 2018
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
This week’s Campus Celebrity is the renowned Matt Enloe! Read on to find out what he’s all about:
HC at Oregon State: What made you choose OSU?
Matt: I had a choice between state schools for undergrad, so it came down to atmosphere. The Oregon State community was really awesome to me – I had heard from friends and family about all of the great experiences they’d had and lasting friendships they’d developed here. The campus is absolutely beautiful, especially as it starts to get warmer, and I think everyone here will agree that OSU’s culture trumps UO’s by a long shot. It was a clear choice, and if given the chance to do it over again, I wouldn’t have it any other way!
HC at Oregon State: Tell me a little bit about how you are involved at Oregon State University.
Matt: I am currently the president of three different school-sponsored Organizations on campus: Oregon State University Philosophy Club, Advocates for Freethought and Skepticism (the campus Secular Student Alliance affiliate), and Callahan Hall Council. I’m also active in many other clubs and have offered advice and assistance to programs and planning within the philosophy department as well as the School of History, Philosophy, & Religion. I also regularly collaborate with the Residence Hall Association, and sometimes with University Housing & Dining Services administration.
When various “street preachers” visit campus, I organize bingo (with free candy!) and invite other groups from the Spiritual-Life network to offer their support and inclusion for students that would otherwise be in a not-so-great situation. I’ve been doing that for a few years now, and I’m ready to go for when they come back this year.
In October of 2013, I organized “We Support Spc. Cody James Patterson” and managed the online interactions for the gathering, in response to a threat by the Westboro Baptist Church that they would come to picket Spc. Patterson’s funeral. We – and I say we, because this was an effort of everyone involved – organized over 5,000 people to show up in the span of only 5 days of prior notice. WBC never arrived in Corvallis, according to the Oregon State Police.
Many people these days know me from my presence in online communities related to Oregon State. However, I’m also active around campus! I’ve done all kinds of things this year, from pouring a bucket of ice water over Dr. Tech (Jon Dorbolo) in the freezing November weather to participating in ASOSU’s Yik Yak abuse awareness video.
HC at Oregon State: What drove you to become so involved on campus?
Matt: I just really love this school and everyone here. I’ve been afforded an incredible number of opportunities from the people around me, and cannot stress enough how thankful I am to have the friends and colleagues that I do. I have been keen to pay attention to this, and pass on further opportunities to others as often as I can, which is a huge component of why I try to be so involved. It doesn’t do very much good if the support ends with me – the best thing I can do is inspire others to continue reaching out and doing bigger and better things.
HC at Oregon State: Many students know you on campus because of your involvement. How has that changed your experience at OSU? (Good/Bad/Ugly?)
Matt: There have certainly been more than a few people who aren’t too pleased about what I do or what I have to say – just check back through OSU Confessions or Things Overheard at OSU, you don’t have to look very far. All the same, though, it’s been a fun ride and I’m glad to have had the experience. For each bitter person there are plenty of others who are extremely supportive and overwhelmingly kind. The good? Some of my best friends are people who just reached out to me to say hey because they saw me doing something cool and wanted to be a part of it. The bad? A few people have said some rude things about me behind my back, but it’s not worth the energy it’d take to deal with them. The ugly? Well, I’ve heard there’s this cult…
HC at Oregon State: What accomplishment from your time here at OSU would you say that you are most proud of?
Matt: I think the answer that everyone would expect here is the assembly for Spc. Patterson. That’s up there, sure, of course it is. But I think what I’m the most proud of, really, is helping people figure out where they fit in here. Sometimes that means disagreeing with me, and so be it. But I like to give people a challenge – one of my favorite articles is titled “Who Are You, and What Are You Doing Here?” by Mark Edmundson. This is a question I often ask myself and pose to most people who meet me, either verbatim or as a subtext within a different conversation. For me, college has been an opportunity to discover myself, and I think it would be right to say that I’m a very different person than I was four years ago – for the better. I won’t take full credit for their accomplishments, but I’ve posed this question to a few people and challenged them to find their niche. They have, and they are doing amazing work. I can’t wait to hear what come next from them, and I can only hope they carry on the tradition.
HC at Oregon State: You’ll be graduating this coming June. Do you have any words of wisdom to leave behind for your fellow Beavers?
Matt: It is impossible to adequately sum up the joy and suffering and everything else I’ve been through in any one quote or other morsel of advice, but carrying this one has taken me pretty far, and I hope that some others may be able to carry it as well:
“I know how much you grieve over those who are under your care: those you try to help and fail, those you cannot help. Often we do not achieve for others the good that we intend but achieve something, something that goes on from our effort. Good is an overflow. Where we generously and sincerely intend it, we are engaged in a work of creation which may be mysterious even to ourselves – and because it is mysterious we may be afraid of it. But this should not make us draw back. We can only learn to love by loving. Remember that all our failures are ultimately failures in love. Imperfect love must not be condemned and rejected but made perfect. The way is always forward, never back.”
But, hey, if that’s not enough, message me – I have an arsenal of motivational material and I’d be happy to help you get through whatever’s got you down. My friends know I’m always good for a conversation or advice.
Be sure to say “hello” to Matt if you see him on campus, and check back next week for another incredible Campus Celebrity!