Even if you don’t know Luke Garrison personally, you’ve probably seen him around campus. Luke was recently elected co-president of Student Senate, but during his three years here at Gustavus, he has been involved in many other student activities and organizations. Odds are that any student who is relatively active in the Gustavus community has come into contact with Luke at one time or another.
Luke is a senior communications studies major, and anyone who has seen his daily schedule can say that he is getting the most out of his tuition money. His involvement in student organizations and other extracurricular activities far surpasses the average Gustie, and he enjoys every minute of it.
“I’ve never been a straight-A student,” said Luke. “I get mostly As and Bs. What really brings me joy is outside of the classroom.” Still, even a student organization giant needs to start out small. “In my first semester I only did choir. I just wanted to meet more people. After that, the people I knew in one group would suggest another group, and I’d join that one.”
Here’s just a sampling of the hats that Luke has worn in the course of his college career: host of a campus radio show, communication studies board member, Peer Assistant, Gustie Greeter, student ambassador to alumni events, Dancing with the Profs participant, member of the cross-country team, rugby player and staff writer for The Weekly.
Luke can certainly be proud of every one of his accomplishments, but there is one particular organization that he feels especially close to. “I definitely put most of my effort into GAC TV. It’s like part of my schoolwork.” Any student who has attended a campus movie in the last two years could probably recognize Luke as the co-anchor for GAC TV news, which plays before each weekly showing. “I’ve been involved with GAC TV since it started two years ago. It’s definitely made a lot of progress since then,” said Luke.
Luke plans to use his experience at GAC TV and his skills in communication and journalism to land a career as a TV reporter someday. “It’s a really competitive field, but I think I’ve done enough here to make it,” said Luke.
Although Luke’s daily schedule may drive some college students insane, Luke survives. “I only just started using a planner this year. Coffee is my best friend,” said Luke. “You know, some people are afraid to use their time, but I think you can always structure your time to allow whatever you want to do.”
Most college students require a “chill out” time in their daily routines, and Luke is no exception. Although he enjoys keeping busy (he spends an average of five hours a day on extracurricular activities), he has developed his own techniques for staying sane. “I spend an hour running every day. That’s my de-stressor,” said Luke. “I also try and find a half-hour or so to just sit on the bench on the top of Old Main hill and relax.”
Luke didn’t always have the infectious Gustie enthusiasm that he does now. In fact, at the end of his first semester he felt out of place and transferred to Iowa State University.
“It was bigger, my brother went there and it had a journalism major, which was what I was looking for,” said Luke, “but I realized Gustavus really was the place for me.” Ever since then, Luke’s goal has been to epitomize the Gustie spirit and “be the best representative of the college [that] I can. I know what it was like to not feel at home here, and I just want people to love it. I want to be a person that people can talk to.”
Luke still has one year left with us here at Gustavus, and he still feels he has work to do. “It’s like a cycle, fresh every year. The students here learn from people who are older than them, and then they teach the students who are younger than them.”
“I know I’m going to leave here knowing I’ve spent my time well. When you start here, you know your general interests, but you really can’t find out everything you’re interested in until you try stuff,” he said.
“At the end of the day, are you really going to remember a lecture or a TV show that you watched in your dorm? No, you’re going to remember the organizations you were involved in and the people you met. You’ll remember how you made a difference.”