Q: What got you involved in Circle K?eric-hastings

A: It was by accident, really. Before I went to Binghamton University, I went to school in Pennsylvania and there were a couple of kids on campus who were holding a teaser party. They weren’t really vocal about what the party was about, so I went to the party, and it ended up being a drafting event for Circle K. I enjoyed it, I enjoyed the fact that I could hang out with other college kids in a community service event. Ultimately that’s what got me involved – the community service.

Q: What made you get more involved?

A: It was a long path. I transferred schools to Binghamton. There was an LTG opening when I transferred, so I took that opening. After that, I went on to become governor. Inherently I’m very much of a leader, and I enjoy leadership opportunities. Back when I was LTG, I just identified a huge desire to be something than just LTG in Circle K.

Q: Do you remember where your DCON was held?

A: Incoming convention was in Lake George. My outgoing convention was in Buffalo.

Q: Do you remember anything particularly notable from your conventions?

A: From the Lake George convention, I remember it was a super competitive convention. There was me, there was another gentleman running for governor from Utica College. It was really close between the two of us. There was a third gentleman, and he, quite early on, it was understood that he probably wasn’t going to get elected. The way it’s set up in the bylaws is if any one person obtains the majority of the vote in the first House of Delegates, then there’s no reason for the second house and the person that wins the majority is elected, and that’s what happened to me. I was just so lucky to get the majority of the delegates the first go through. It was quite a quick election process actually. I won’t forget that.

In the outgoing election, I remember that one because in the electoral process it was very even. The delegates were 50/50, and the governor makes the deciding vote, and John Keegan had me vote in advance and put my vote in an envelope. But I didn’t think my vote was going to count, because it only counted in the event of a tie. But it came to that, so what’s really interesting – I’m the kind of person that usually votes for the underdog, so on my ballet I wrote who I thought was the underdog. But when I was at the podium I crossed his name out and put who actually deserved it, not just the underdog. Because I told myself, if there’s going to be somebody I’m serious about and not who I’m just sympathetic to, it should be the governor elect. So I didn’t go with the underdog. When it came through that my vote was actually going to be the tiebreaking vote and he opened up the envelope, I was flabbergasted, because it almost went to the other candidate because of my sympathies toward him being an underdog. So really it was the electoral process for both conventions that I remember most.

Q: What was your governor’s project?

A: I don’t think we had a governor’s project. What we did is we had Circle K things, like back then it was literacy. It was all about literacy, and it was about the IDD was our international initiative. All I remember was the IDD, which was supposed to go over a period of 10 periods. I do remember having a big initiative towards reading.

Q: Was there any international project?

A: I think that was the IDD. I remember we used to put together those orange UNICEF boxes and we would ask for those donations to go towards the IDD. Internationally we were partnered with UNICEF for IDD.

Q: Do you remember any of the workshops that you held?

A: The workshops were really about communication. I remember one workshop I worked with one of my lieutenant governors. It was quite a fun workshop we put together where it was about communication. You know how the game telephone goes? You put a string of people together, and the first person comes up with a phrase, and you communicate down the line and ultimately the final person has an entirely different phase. We did something with that premise but we did it in art form. So, we would give the first person in line an image, like a painting, with a cat or a sun with green grass and blue sky and maybe a beach ball, and we would have them communicate the texture down the line, and the final person would have to recreate that using paint and such, and when we were done we would reveal the original picture and compare it to the completed picture. A lot of people would chuckle and laugh, and it was a great way of playing telephone yet shows how much we can really increase our communication techniques. So once we did that, we would have round two. Round two would be the same teams, but we would introduce an entirely different picture, and people would be able to communicate a little clearly so that the second picture would be a little bit more true to the original photograph. It was a lot of fun. It’s something that everybody really relates to. It kind of puts a picture in place and allows everyone to see it, rather than just hear it. It was so successful that I ended up using the workshop a few times. And it’s not like you have to come up with a fancy photograph. All you have to do is sit in front of a computer, put some images with different colors on an original photograph, and tell people to duplicate that using crayons or something.

Q: Were there any goals that you set and accomplished?

A: I remember we wanted to open a couple of new clubs, and I had some people on the district level that had helped me with that. I remember opening a few new clubs, and I think we built the district that year.

Q: Is there anything you learned that has relevance in your life now?

A: Lots of friends, and I still keep in touch with many of those people over the years. I keep in touch with my predecessor, the governor before me. I keep in touch with a lot of people who were in Circle K altogether, the international board, and my international president. It’s the friendships that I have held onto more than anything all these years, and have learned to keep in touch with people.

Q: Do you have any advice for present and future Circle Kers?

A: Just have fun. My problem with Circle K is that it became my major. My studies hurt a lot from it. But, just have fun with it. Don’t take it too seriously. My administrator came down a bit hard on me when I was in Circle K because I wasn’t doing the reports I should’ve been doing for international. I could have been a little bit better with that. But for me it was all about having fun first and foremost, and doing the service, and creating those friendships, and not to be so serious with it all. Just have a good time; I think that’s the key. After I finished college I became a Kiwanian and I was an administrator for my local key club. Key club has strength in numbers, and they’re mighty and great and powerful and all that. It’s a huge organization; they’re a good group of kids. Circle K is a lot smaller but a lot of people are in it because they want to be in it, not because it’s a cool thing to do. As long as Circle Kers remember it’s where they’re at because they want to be, have fun doing it and not to take it too seriously, I think that’d be the right thing.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A: Have fun. You’re in college, so enjoy college. Enjoy making those friendships, and don’t take Circle K too seriously. Just have a good time with it.