In the past few years, James Hass has used his time at RELLIS to create an entirely different experience for not just himself here and now, but for future generations of students on campus.
Originally, Hass headed to college to play soccer, where he excelled as an athlete but struggled to find the student-athlete balance. Eventually he headed home to Florida for the semester to regroup and reset his mentality.
His dream was always to make his way back to the Brazos Valley, having lived here for five years when he was younger. He has watched countless family members cross the stage as Texas A&M graduates. But when the choice arrived, Hass opted to enroll in classes at RELLIS.
“At RELLIS, the path you blaze is all different. You’re creating an entirely different experience for yourself,” said Hass.
A different experience is exactly what Hass carved out for himself as a criminal justice major at Tarleton State University. During his time at RELLIS he helped establish two student groups – the RELLIS Rangers and the Student Advisory Council.
“Because of RELLIS, I had the opportunity to make the best friends, and then create organizations with those friends,” said Hass. “I got that team comradery piece I was missing from helping form the Rangers, which was built from a simple idea and a plan to move forward.”
He also served as the president of the Student Advisory Council in its infancy, setting the standard for future members and officers of the council.
“The council was easily one of the most rewarding experiences. Speaking for all the students at RELLIS really changes your perspective and helps you grow up,” said Hass. “It taught me how to engage with people, leadership skills and service.”
In his mind, the council didn’t just help shape him, but really has helped to build the identity of the RELLIS Campus as it is today.
“Having representatives from all the schools helped to unite us and make us realize there is a bigger message to be sent,” said Hass. “Without that experience it would not be the same RELLIS it is today.”
While he knew there were unique opportunities to be had at RELLIS even from the beginning, there was no way for Hass to know the impact he would leave on campus. As he prepares for his final semester of classes he is already dreaming of his return to the campus in the future.
“It’s going to be great to come back in 10 or 20 years and see what it has become,” said Hass. “When you get to see something being built that you know will be there in a 100 years, you realize the ‘right nows’ are important, but what happens after you is more important.”
One thing is for sure, James will leave his mark as a founder of multiple student organizations, the first student council advisory president, and most importantly a Tarleton Texan.
Originally published May 26, 2020