Many undergraduates often question why their chapters have to conduct community service events, raise money for philanthropy, and apply and strive to win awards given by their university and by their fraternity’s headquarters. These are legitimate questions for a young man whose first question is, and ought to be, what is it in for me? As men mature, they begin to further understand the importance of giving to their communities and better realize that they are small pieces in a slightly bigger puzzle; however, college men who are seeking to obtain the most value from the very short collegiate experience need to ask, “how is this the best use of my time, effort, and overall, what do I have to gain from this?” Is this question selfish and inconsiderate? No, these inquirers are simply analyzing whether the benefits outweigh the cost of conducting and performing these actions.
In today’s era, community service, philanthropy, and awards are not only encouraged, but often times required. Why are these requirements of a social fraternity that has the main objectives of fostering lifetime friendships and offering an experience that builds men’s character and leads to the development of leaders? Because the often-unwanted requirements bestowed upon the chapter directly fulfill the purposes of building strong relationships, developing leaders, and most importantly, these events give young men the opportunity to learn how to practice excellence in all facets of life.
The experience of planning an event can give people valuable event-planning knowledge that will come in handy many times throughout their professional and personal lives. Similarly, conducting a philanthropy fundraiser will give the people valuable experience and the knowledge in the fields of planning, cold-calling, and overall selling and fundraising skills, all which will prove to be very beneficial later in life. Furthermore, the teamwork that is required to make these events successful builds strong bonds based on productivity and reliability, which naturally leads to a powerful networking base that is crucial in the professional world. Finally, I want to hit on my main point of why awards matter so much. Winning awards isn’t about brown-nosing an application packet or conforming to your headquarters requests to stay in their good graces; rather, winning an award is a byproduct of practicing excellence. Fraternities should not strive to win awards, but instead they should strive to excrete excellence in all their endeavors. More important than any skill we as humans could ever learn, a commitment to excellence in every thing you do will not only lead to personal growth, but also to a self-satisfying feeling that you truly are the best.
In conclusion, I want to encourage all of my undergraduate brothers of Phi Delta Theta to ask what they have to gain out of the less enjoyable facets of Greek life. I encourage you to ponder how you can build your human capital by entering into experiences where you stand to gain valuable knowledge that will help your personal growth. Most importantly, I encourage you to stop thinking of awards as an end goal and rather as a byproduct of the continual practice of excellence, which we as Phi Delta Theta men should constantly strive for. Do what ought to be done, and reap the benefits.
Yours in the Bond,
Ga Gamma 1360