SHOEMAKER COOPERATIVE NAMED OUTSTANDING HOUSE UNDER LEADERSHIP OF MEGAN BIXLER
During her senior year of high school, Megan Bixler’s (Ag Econ; Noblesville, IN) agriculture teacher could not say enough good things about her time living in cooperative housing, leading Megan to go through the cooperative recruitment process. Megan was initially waitlisted, meaning she did not receive an offer to join Shoemaker until late March/early April while the rest of her pledge class received their offers in February. Despite that, once she got here, she hit the ground running and was President by her sophomore year. She said, “Going from waitlisted to house president by my sophomore year was quite the underdog story.”
Shoemaker has an election process for president every November where anyone can sign up to run. Then they are required to give a speech on why they want to be president, what goals they must positively change the organization, why they are deserving of the position, etc. and then everyone votes. Megan decided to participate in this process in November 2021 and that is when she began her term as president.
Serving as the president required her to attend meetings each week that lasted anywhere from 30 minutes to 2.5 hours and spend time sifting through emails, delegating tasks, and supporting the other house officers as best as she could. As President, she oversaw all house operations in an organization of over 39 women and served as the main point of contact between the house, the advisor, the alumni board, and the Purdue Cooperative Council. She led biweekly house and executive board meetings and attended regular Purdue Cooperative Council and Alumni Board meetings to maintain clear communication among all. She also was able to implement new best practices and policies including a new officer transition process, documentation methods, and officer mid-semester evaluation tactics to ensure house sustainability. As Shoemaker sisters, they use an acronym to describe what Shoemaker stands for: S – sisterhood, H – helping hand (in our house, Purdue community, and philanthropic organizations), O – opportunity (to learn life skills as a student-run organization and network with alumni), E – education. Megan oversaw promoting that as well throughout her time as president. Her success in this role allowed Shoemaker to be awarded the Outstanding House of the Year award for 2022 and allowed her to be named Purdue Cooperative Council’s 2022 Outstanding House President.
When asked about the challenges that she faced, she mentioned, “One of the biggest challenges I have experienced in this role is remembering to put myself first. At the beginning of my term, I often found myself putting my responsibilities as president above my own personal care and academics. I care so much about the girls in the house and always wanted to make sure I was doing my absolute best, so if was challenging for me to take a step back at times.” Megan said she was also surprised by how much the President does behind the scenes that the rest of the house does not see. Even with those challenges, Megan said she will be eternally grateful for her time at Shoemaker. “I often think that if it were not for my house and the cooperative community, I would not be at Purdue. My entire first semester was virtual and having that community to support me was extremely beneficial to my time at Purdue.” When she thinks back on her time as a member of Shoemaker Cooperative, she stated, “I will remember all the good times, best friends, and support system I had. There are many late nights and laughs that I will always associate with Shoemaker.”