Regrets and missed opportunities – Two things that the Kentucky Epsilon Chapter at the University of Kentucky has not had to endure since re-chartering in March of 2003. We attribute a great deal of success in this area to the commitment the Fraternity made to eliminate alcohol in chapter housing along with the hard work and dedication of Kentucky Epsilon to follow the direction that the Fraternity put forth.
When it comes to alcohol free housing, Kentucky Epsilon is unique in the fact that we re-chartered into the alcohol-free housing program. There where no predispositions, and in my mind, this fostered a better acceptance of the program put in place. We were willing to do whatever it took to get the job done and to be a part of the bigger picture that is Phi Delta Theta. Reflecting back, we recognize how much of an impact it has had on our success. It has cultivated the relationships within our brotherhood, promoted sound learning and success academically, taught us respect and has assisted in recruitment and building our brotherhood.
The most fundamental principal that Phi Delta Theta founded itself upon is brotherhood. Being able to live in quarters that are neat and clean and most importantly free of alcohol has allowed Kentucky Epsilon to sustain a tight brotherhood where every brother perceives one another as part of their family. It has differentiated us from other fraternities and has dismantled stereotypes of what fraternity men are and what they stand for. Kentucky Epsilon has set the bar high on what it means to be a fraternity man and more importantly a brother.
Alcohol-free housing has cultivated an environment that has allowed the brothers of Kentucky Epsilon to come home to a place where they can develop their academic record. The Chapter has maintained a cumulative GPA above the all men’s average since re-founding in 2003, and we have been able to maintain the cardinal principle of sound learning since inception. We can honestly say that alcohol-free housing has promoted this principle and allowed us to stay on the straight and narrow when it comes to academics.
Finally, recruitment has also been positively impacted by the implementation of alcohol-free housing. It has allowed us to promote the Fraternity in a positive light and be clear minded in deciding the best possible candidates to become a part of this brotherhood. Since re-chartering in 2003, Kentucky Epsilon has grown at an average rate of 27% each year; 24 men in the Spring of 2003 to 138 in the Fall of 2010. The appearance of the house has evolved into the benchmark for what student housing should look like, and we are very proud of this accomplishment. We couldn’t have done it without the direction that the Fraternity put forth to eliminate alcohol from the chapter quarters.
Kentucky Epsilon is honored be a part of the 10-year success of the alcohol-free housing program and is looking forward to the next 10+ years. We feel that it has led to a great deal of success within our Chapter’s operations, and we will continue to follow the direction that the Fraternity has set forth. Kentucky Epsilon is unequivocally gracious for the Fraternity’s leadership in this area.
Chris Motley’s blog post is part of a series to celebrate Phi Delta Theta’s Brotherhood: Our Substance of Choice campaign, a 10-year celebration of alcohol-free housing. Read the white paper, written by Dr. Edward G. Whipple, Past President of Phi Delta Theta and Vice President for Student Affairs at Bowling Green State University, recapping 10 years of alcohol-free housing.