Interview: Steven Eliya

1.What made you decide to come to Rutgers?

I pretty much knew I was going to do a big state school kind of thing. Something with a good marching band where you could just do music on the side if you wanted. I looked at Rutgers because it was in-state and it was the cheapest option out of all of them. I narrowed it down to Rutgers and Penn State, but to me the most practical decision was Rutgers because a.) it was closer and b.) it was cheaper. Although I did like the feeling of Penn State better, the reasons for Rutgers outweighed Penn State’s. Now that I’m here, I do like that it has a bunch of campuses because I like how you can go do a different campus, and it feels like you’re in a different school altogether. Marching band is a good reason too.

2. What has your Rutgers experience been like so far (extra curriculars, favorite classes, etc)?

It’s been pretty active because marching band and pep band have kept me busy. I do Super Smash Brothers Club on the side just for fun, and then Mu Beta Psi this year. Engineering is pretty tough, but I’ve been managing to get through it. I like the AutoCAD course I’m in now. It’s fun. You make different machine parts on a graphic program, and you can do floor plans and blueprints stuff. It’s only a one-credit course, but it’s fun. I also like the class I’m in now, Work Design. It’s pretty interesting. That’s one of my major courses. For our final project, we have to find a company we get to work with, figure out one of their problems, come up with a solution, and present it to the class. That’s cool because we get more real-life experience with companies and get exposed to that kind of stuff. I’ve also met a lot of different people. Most people have been from New Jersey, but it’s taught me that New Jersey is a super diverse place. I’ve also met people not from New Jersey (shout-out to TJ Johnson).

3. What made you choose your instrument?

My mom knew piano, she taught it, and she got taught by her mom (my grandma). My mom taught all of her kids including me. I liked it a lot, so I stuck with it. Before saxophone, I actually started with French Horn. It definitely wasn’t for me. My older sister played the saxophone, and I decided it looked pretty cool, so I went with that instead.

4. What made you decide to join Mu Beta Psi?

I actually had no plans of doing Mu Beta Psi (nothing against it; I just didn’t really want to do a fraternity in general as of last year). Then I got a bid this year even though I didn’t tell them I wanted to do it. I kind of rethought it. Everyone’s nice, so that’s a big plus. They’re very supportive. It’s something new that I haven’t done before. It was also to kind of spice up my life. I was doing band stuff, then I would go to video game stuff. Throughout high school and even in college that’s all I’ve been doing. Even though this is music related, it’s a different kind of thing. I wanted to get closer with people more than just friends from a club. I wanted a closer bond with people, and this seemed like a really good opportunity for that. They were all super supportive and nice.

5. What has being in Mu Beta Psi been like for you?

It’s been a good experience so far. The Education process was definitely something different that I’d never experienced before. That’s been the bulk of it so far, since we’ve only been official Brothers for less than a month now. I’ve gotten more of an idea of how the meetings run and more just general ins and out of how the fraternity is run. It’s interesting to me to see how things work. I’ve really enjoyed getting close to the people, which is the best part, in my opinion.

6. Do you have a favorite memory in Mu Beta Psi?

My favorite memory is the retreat. I enjoyed painting the paddles, talking and getting to know each other, telling our stories, fooling around, and just having fun. Getting close was the best part.

7. What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I like to play video games, play piano, watch videos on YouTube, and hang out with friends.

8. Do you have any advice for anyone interested in joining Mu Beta Psi or looking to get more involved?

Definitely don’t assume anything because you might be surprised. Keep an open mind and try to get to know the people beforehand. It will give you a good idea as to whether you want to be around the people and get to know them on a deeper level. If you already know a few of the people, then that’s a plus. Also, definitely put yourself out there. If you have even the slightest intention, just go to a few events and get a better gist of what the fraternity’s about.