What it means to be a bulldog brother

Bulldog Brotherhood is a group formed for residents to do community service, bond with one another and develop leadership skills in the community. Many of the original members are still part of this group today.

The goal of Bulldog Brotherhood’s community service is to show how young people can come together to serve others. The brotherhood strives to create skills that will help the members with their future careers.

The group was originally created by the hall director for Brophy and McNerny, Emmanuel Ogua. Members Markel King and Tayjon Smith believe that it is a safe space that allows the members to support each other in mental health.

Bulldog Brother Markel King presents the importance of the group
to students in the Robinson Quad. Photo provided by Emmanuel Ogua

Ogua created the group originally in 2022 as a way for residents who violated the rules of their housing arrangement to do community service. The group started as a small project but has now turned into what Ogua believes to be a “powerful force” for good in Big Rapids.

“The Bulldog Brotherhood has not only made a difference in the lives of those they serve, but it has also had a positive impact on the members themselves,” Ogua said. “You could put a bunch of good men in a group and good things are bound to happen from that.”

King, a dental hygiene sophomore, feels that this group has helped him step out of his comfort zone. Joining the Bulldog Brotherhood helped him meet people from different groups and not just stick to what he knew.

“I’m far away from South Florida.” King said. “I didn’t know anyone coming here but I was able to meet a few guys from the group. If we didn’t have the group, I would have never spoken to [Smith] and become friends with him.”

Community service is one of the group’s main focuses. By working together on service projects, the men can build stronger connections with one another, and have also allowed them to “develop leadership skills” for their future careers.

Ogua is passionate about the group’s service project which was the kickoff event for the fall. They have done several events across campus such as a mental health walk. The group always welcomes new ideas for community service and has even been recognized by President Bill Pink for their service.

“We did a service project called Project Hero, where we sewed up stuffed teddy bears and gave them to homeless veterans who don’t have families,” Ogua said. “We also gave the stuffed bears to families who lost loved ones in the battle.”

Ogua founder of Bulldog Brother Hood was the one to reach out to get new members to join and make sure that the boys felt as though they were in a safe space where they could open up about their lives and express themselves.

Smith, a heavy equipment sophomore, believes this group has changed his experience at Ferris. He first joined the group to stay active and be an involved student.

“When I first joined the group, I was a freshman and mainly stayed in my room,” Smith said. “[Ouga] brought up the group to me and told me how it could be an outlet. It gave me something to do and gave me people to talk to.”

According to Ogua, the group’s core values are unity, leadership and community service. Ogua believes the brotherhood is built on the unity and trust that the members have.

“People share real things. The information that is shared is kept between the members” Ogua said. “This encourages people to open up even if the conversation is difficult to have. We operate on the understanding that nothing leaves this group so people can feel secure.”

The group has 10-15 male members. They meet weekly on Sunday nights at 6:30 p.m. in the basement of Brophy Hall. The group is always open to having new members. If interested in joining the group, contact Emmanuel Ogua by email at EmmanuelOgua@nullferris.edu or direct message the brotherhood page on Instagram @bulldawg_brother_hood.