5 questions with…homecoming king, student leader James Silay

Homecoming King James Silay and Queen Gabby Pruchno at the Spartan football game.

When the homecoming king and queen were announced at last Saturday’s football game, some might have noticed an ever-so-slight delay on the part of the king.

“I was kind of hesitant to accept the crown and sash because I still didn’t think I had actually won,” said James Silay, the 2012 homecoming king. “I truly thought I wouldn’t win, so I was really shocked when I did.”

But Silay, the only junior nominated for homecoming king, did take home the crown, after officially being elected by his undergraduate peers. The homecoming court nominations were a new process this year: Interested individuals submitted applications, and a select few were invited in for interviews. Through the interview process, a committee chose five male and five female court members, who were announced at Spartan SpiritFest, and then voting opened up to undergraduate students to vote for their top candidates.

Silay’s participation in numerous activities and organizations, including Beta Theta Pi and the Lambda Eta Mu Greek Service Honor Society, certainly has allowed him to get to know plenty of people across campus. He’s connected with many in the classes below him as an orientation leader and a former resident assistant. Plus he’s held leadership roles such as secretary of the Student Executive Council, volunteer co-chair of the Relay For Life planning committee and a mentor in the Emerging Leaders Program.

“Over my past four and a half semesters, I have completely immersed myself into all that the university has to offer,” Silay said. “I love being a student at CWRU, and I think that everyone that I interact with knows that as well.”

Learn more about the Pittsburgh native through this week’s five questions.

1. What are you reading—and how are you reading it (print vs. digital)?
Besides all the books and readings for class, I am attempting to read The Essential Wooden, which is a personal account of John Wooden’s words of wisdom and leadership advice that he learned over his lifetime. Everything I read I enjoy having in print because reading something digitally makes me more tired.

2. What can’t you live without?
I can’t live without laughing or smiling. Whenever you see me I am almost always smiling or laughing and when someone tries to tell me to be serious I get an even bigger smile. I just can’t stop smiling.

3. What’s your favorite spot on campus?
I think my new favorite spot on campus is Thwing Center. Most of my classes are on the Mather Quad, so when I have time between my classes I just like to sit in the atrium and do some homework and listen to the music playing. It is a relaxing place and allows me to see my friends that I don’t have class with.

4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
It would have to be, “Do what makes you happy.” Last year I was really worried about changing majors, but my parents and friends just kept telling me to find something that I would enjoy and it made making a decision so much better. I think that I use this simple phrase often when I make my decisions.

5. What’s your favorite thing about Case Western Reserve University?
Just like many others, my favorite thing about CWRU is the people. The people are so diverse and interesting. I love being able to walk across campus and see a lot of familiar faces.