Student Body President Travels the World After Choosing a University Close to Home
James Radley says college should be about more than a diploma, it should be an experience.
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Lisa Britton
University of Cincinnati Student Body President James Radley of Delhi is proud to say he’s from a close-knit family from the west side of Cincinnati. Those strong family ties were what led him to a college close to home. His father, John Radley, is also a UC graduate, who earned his degree in accounting. Like his father, James Radley is studying in the College of Business, as a fourth-year finance and marketing major in the Carl H. Lindner Honors-PLUS Program for students who have demonstrated excellence in academics and leadership.
Radley is first to add that he honed his leadership abilities by getting involved in UC’s student organizations. UC offers more than 300 student organizations that appeal to a variety of student interests, from academic clubs to social organizations, cultural/ethnic organizations, athletics and recreational clubs, religious groups, service organizations and sororities and fraternities.
As Student Body President, Radley says Student Government is working on initiatives to educate students about protecting their safety, including spreading the message about the Bearcat Transportation System, the UC/Metro partnership and Nightwalk. Radley explains that, “These are all services offered to students to help provide a way to campus, from campus and around campus safely.”
He adds that Student Government is also working to educate students about student services offices at the university and what they have to offer. “There are so many things that the university offers that students don’t take advantage of, just because they don’t know about it,” he says. “There are so many opportunities here and if students took advantage of them, they’d enjoy their experience a lot more.”
Radley’s commitment to serving students stretches back to high school where at St. Xavier, he served as an at-large member of Student Government. At UC, his campus connections also include working as a student tour guide for UC Admissions Bearcat Roar, a program that encourages student tour guides to share their own experiences about being a UC student with campus visitors. Furthermore, Radley is a member of the Cincinnatus Honorary Society and the Order of Omega Greek leadership honorary.
Radley says his pathway to his current leadership role in Student Government began his freshman year when he joined Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity.
“It’s the best decision I could have ever made,” he says. “Coming out of high school, I was looking for that close-knit group of friends that I’d always had. I was instantly put into leadership roles, plus this was a huge networking opportunity. Joining the fraternity was how I first got involved with Student Government. I joined the Student Activities Board with a couple of friends.”
Radley adds that the UC chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha recently claimed his national organization’s highly-prized Robert Adger Smythe Award, which recognizes leadership and robust membership. Two other UC fraternities, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Sigma Phi Epsilon, also recently claimed top honors by their national headquarters.
Radley says his experience with Greek organizations has led to leadership development, friendship, networking and service. UC’s Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development (SALD) reports that every year, UC’s Greek organizations contribute more than 20,000 hours to community service. Radley says his fraternity, for example, raises money each fall to buy holiday gifts for school children who might not experience a traditional holiday. “We call this service event ‘Pike’s Presents;’ we get donations from family, friends and sponsors in order to fulfill wish-lists from the students. We deliver these gifts with pizza during a holiday party.”
“We also do an event in the spring called ‘Pike Spike.’ It’s a volleyball tournament that we sponsor to raise money for Shriners Hospital.”
Each spring, all of the Greek organizations participate in Greek Week, a week of competition and fundraising to demonstrate their dedication to the community. Last spring, UC’s Greek Week surpassed its fundraising goal of $15,000 – raising $22,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and helping three children with life-threatening medical conditions make their dreams of seeing Disney World come true.
He adds that although UC is close to home, that doesn’t mean his studies are limited close to home. During his freshman year at UC, an internship took him to Manhattan. He has also completed two cooperative education experiences in GE’s aviation division.
Just as fall quarter began, Radley returned from a whirlwind international trip offered by the Carl H. Lindner Honors-PLUS Program. He was one of 22 fourth-year students taking part in an international experience. “We traveled to South Korea, China, Hong Kong and Thailand. We got to hear from a lot of high-ranking business people about what it’s like to do business in Asia. We also visited a lot of monuments and traditional villages.”
Radley’s personal advice to students? “I guess the best advice I can give to new students is to find your place at the university. There are so many student groups, so many things that you can get interested in – find something that makes UC your university. It’s not enough just to go to class. That’s what you did in high school.”
UC’s Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development is hosting a Student Life Open House that takes place from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, through all six floors of the Steger Student Life Center (SLC). Music, food, entertainment and cash prizes are all part of the open house to educate students about how they can get involved in student activities at UC.