Rodney A. Mason, Jr. wakes up every morning and looks at himself in the mirror. “Rodney,” he says, “it’s gonna be a good day. You the man!”
And he is the man, making each day on campus count. Mason is president of the African American Student Alliance, which is hosting a Hurricane Katrina Relief Banquet on October 29. For this banquet, he is in charge of the food and decorations that will bring to Colgate “the rich African American culture of New Orleans” through live music and New Orleans-inspired food like jambalaya, gumbo and crawfish.
As a member of Big Brothers, Mason participates in an Adopt-a-Family program that takes place in Hamilton every December.
“We bring them a nice Christmas dinner and toys for the kids,” says Mason, reminiscing about sitting on the floor with the children as they played with their new gifts.
As a first-year, Mason noticed the lack of an urban theater club on campus. As innovator of the club, he “took it upon [him]self to reinstate it so that it stays on Colgate’s campus.” He is now general manger of Colgate’s Urban Theater project, and he directed the play Class, which was written by fellow classmate Will Arnold last year.
Involvement in his community is a must for Mason, who is on the SGA executive board as a co-elections commissioner. He is also a steward for University Church, a Konosioni member and a senior advisor for WeFunk.
When he’s not making executive decisions, Mason can be found directing the Sojourner’s Gospel Choir, which is in its 32nd year at Colgate. He is a tenor, though he maintains that he “just direct[s]” and that “you’ll never catch [him] singing!”
Mason is so jovial that common conversations with him cannot help but carry a hint of musicality, friendliness and compassion. Indeed, if you catch him at the right time, you can actually see him break into song, and contrary to what he claims, he does have a lovely singing voice!
One of the things that has brought Mason the most joy at Colgate is his position as a residential advisor. This year Mason advises the HRC and has the opportunity to work with first-years, sophomores, juniors and seniors. He considers that a nice change. “The first-years bond really quickly with their RA. One of my first-year residents and I are undefeated in Spades,” says Mason. In the HRC chess series, Mason admits to having a record of 0-3 but has no worries that he will soon catch up.
To the first-years, Mason gives the following advice: “Don’t walk up on stage at graduation with regrets. Join all the groups you can think of, and if you can think of more that aren’t around, then create them.” He smiles, adding, “Oh, and also – take advantage of the Jug. That place is great.”