By Jason Krakower
When Trenton Gaucher arrived in Syracuse for the first time in the fall of 2007, he had never stepped foot on campus and knew little about the university. The first sign of his Orange future appeared during his descent into Syracuse Hancock International Airport.
“The first thing I saw on my plane into Hancock was the Carrier Dome,” said Gaucher, a junior accounting major. “I looked out the window and saw a giant, cloud-like dome, and I couldn’t wait to be part of this school.”
Since his first day on campus, Gaucher has done everything he could to be involved. This led him to the school marching band and Otto’s Army, the entirely student-run organization representing the student section for Syracuse athletics.
Gaucher joined Otto’s Army his freshman year, and is now the president of the spirited student organization. He took over during a period of “restructuring,” and made it his goal to expand Otto’s Army and make it a bigger part of the university.
“I got involved in Otto’s Army so I could make a difference for student fans and Syracuse as a whole,” Gaucher said. “I want to give this university and our athletes the student section that they deserve, and I want to give the students that love this school the experience that they deserve when they attend sporting events. Otto’s Army is my opportunity to do all of that.”
Under his leadership, Otto’s Army has taken large strides to benefit Syracuse University students and the overall community. Gaucher instituted new committees to spread the organization’s influence, and has arranged trips to major sporting events in Pittsburgh and New York City in an effort to get more students to support Syracuse athletics. Tickets to both trips were sold out.
On Monday, Jan. 25, Gaucher and the Otto’s Army board arranged for giveaways for the student section during the men’s basketball game against the visiting Georgetown Hoyas. These included signs, track jackets, and “Otto’s Army” helmets. The game was televised on ESPN, and many camera shots featured the student section wearing their Otto’s Army gear.
Gaucher’s job as president of a student organization is difficult and demanding, as it is his responsibility to correspond with the Syracuse University Athletics Department and
maintain organization within Otto’s Army. Nearly halfway through his first year in charge, members of Otto’s Army’s executive board, including communications officer Shannon Lins and public relations officer Dan Lyons, expressed their satisfaction with his effort and the direction in which the organization is going.
“[Trenton has] been good at dividing up the large workload that we have as the executive
board, and has helped keep us on track as an organization that is better, in many ways, than we were last year,” Lyons said. “Without Trenton,
we would not have been able to have buses to Pittsburgh or [Madison
Square Garden], and he has a tremendous relationship with SU Athletics, which has been invaluable for us this year.”
Gaucher does more than lead Otto’s Army as an organization. He also displays his desire to be as involved as possible in his everyday work, as he frequently interacts with group members and Syracuse students during Otto’s Army activities.
“I think the great thing about Trenton is that he is involved with everything that goes on within the organization,” said Louis Milman, a junior who regularly works with multiple committees for Otto’s Army. “Everything that I have worked on this year, from being a liaison to Relay for Life to fan buses, Trenton has been involved, and has made everything run smoothly. He’s a driving force behind everything this organization does.”
Although Gaucher’s life seems to revolve around Otto’s Army, he has also played snare drum in the SU Marching Band for three years, and continues to devote much of his time to his heavy course load. Gaucher plans to graduate in three years, so his schedule is more crowded than the average undergraduate student.
“I know Trenton well outside of Otto’s Army, and I’m always amazed by how he’s able to juggle all that he does,” said Brian Roberts, the vice president of Otto’s Army. “Band took up his nights three times a week (for three hours a day), yet we were still able to accomplish everything that we did and he never complained.”
As tough as it is to have a limited amount of free time in college, Gaucher knows that his hard work and experience will be helpful down the road. He plans to follow the accounting route, interning with KPMG, one of the “big four” accounting firms, this summer. “My dream is to someday be a CFO, COO, or CEO in a Fortune 500 company,” Gaucher said. “I hope to use all of my education and experience to become a leader in the business world.”
As unrelated as accounting and Otto’s Army may seem, his experience leading Orange nation may be the catalyst that drives a successful future career.
“Being our president has helped him become a leader and work in professional environments,” Roberts said. “He has the drive to succeed after college, and I think Otto’s Army has helped prepare him for the real world.”