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Brotherhood Community

Looking Back & Looking Forward

In 6 days, classes will officially end, finals will begin, and my first year of college will come to a close. In these past few days, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting, on how the start to my next four years has turned out. To be honest, there have been many downs, especially in my first semester. But for all those down, amazing, fantastic, wonderful ups have occurred that have made those seem like miniscule specks of the grand picture of my freshman year. With Greek Awards Ball having finished only a few hours ago and even more events to come up in these last few weeks, I’m just starting to break through the surface of what I have gotten myself into when I joined the brotherhood of Phi Mu Delta.

Great Memories:

So far, some of my best memories have been made with my fellow brothers, be it the great bonding experience of our retreat, or the celebration of winning chapter of the year (even though I wasn’t there when we got it). All those memories stick out, along with countless others from outside of PMD such as attending Climb where I made so many new connections with other members of the FSL community as well as learned how to improve our community and be a leader. Or just getting the motivation and drive to become involved more in the UVM community.

Great Friends:

I am so proud and honored to call the men of Nu Gamma chapter my brothers. All of them, be they senior or first year, are some of the greatest men that I have met so far on this college campus. They not only serve as a great support system when needed, knowing how put a smile on my face even if I’m having the worst day imaginable, or just allowing me to come out of my shell and be myself, appreciating and embracing it for all that it’s worth. I joined in hopes of finding a brotherhood like the one a had at summer camp, and I think…no I KNOW that everyone of my brothers has done that and more.

Greater Self:

Like said already, being a part of PMD has allowed me to be who I truly am without fear or ridicule or judgment. Coming to college, my goal was to be myself and not let the fear of social rejection that I had in high school keep me down. But doing that is harder than it looks. So I just retreated into the shell of my dorm room, with the occasional tiny peek out into the light. Now, that shell is gone and hopefully never coming back, because I know that I have a group of brothers who appreciate me for me. I don’t need to be someone different to fit in, or some stereotype to fit what they expect of me. I can be myself.

So I know this all sounds sentimental, like something that one might hear more from a senior about to put away the joys of college and put on their big real world pants, but all this sentimental stuff, that’s the fuel that keeps me going, the fuel that keeps me passionate about being a part of this great organization. And I know that from here, the experience can only get better (hopefully…you never know) and my love for this fraternity and all the men in it will grow. Looking back now, at the first checkpoint on the long hike through the next four years, I have little regrets. There are some that are still there, but they’re the ones that probably were out of my control. In terms of the actions that I personally took and the choices that I made, no regrets whatsoever. And of all these actions, I have no regrets about getting involved and becoming a brother of Phi Mu Delta. Because this organization, and all the brothers in it, will be there through it all.

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Don’t Forget To Stay Awesome,

Brother Lemos

Categories
Brotherhood Community

Spoonful of Brotherhood

Check out a special blog post by Brother Oteng recapping and sharing his thoughts on our spring retreat on his blog:

http://youthful-life.blogspot.com/2014/04/spoonful-of-brotherhood.html

Follow the link and check out some pictures below:

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Categories
Brotherhood Community Leadership

Climb

Almost a week ago today, I had the opportunity to partake in an event that truly impacted my life. CLIMB, the UVM Fraternity and Sorority Life Social Justice retreat allowed me to meet and build so many new bonds with my brothers and sisters in FSL, but also opened my eyes and made me stop and think about my role in the communities that I am a part of. It made me think about my values, those that have been instilled upon me by the teachings of others and the ones that I have created in my own personal growth.  I had no clue what I was getting into when I first signed up for this even at my first chapter meeting in February, but now have had the time to let the lessons of that event sink in, I can honestly say it was the best spur of the moment decision that I’ve made.

You Are Always Wearing Your Letters – video

One of the goals of CLIMB is that the lessons in leadership, social justice, and the living of our values be brought back to our fraternities and sororities.

LEADERSHIP: That’s easy. Knowing who you personal are as a leader. Stepping up to take and active role in the leadership of the fraternity, even if you don’t have a position. One of the core values that Phi Mu Delta believes in is democracy. In a democracy, everyone is a leader and everyone has a voice. Every voice is valuable and as I like to say when it comes to voting and playing an active role in the decision making process, you can’t complain if you don’t let your voice be heard.

SOCIAL JUSTICE: This one, in my opinion, is a little bit trickier. The main goal is to make us aware of the personal biases and even stereotypes that might just happen without us even knowing it. The first step is always admitting that something is wrong. Also, educating ourselves on the way that we can potential help others become aware of their bias and being an ally for every person, regardless of color, race, creed, or position.

This last one, VALUES, is a little bit harder. First we have to address our values. And not only the values that we say at the end of every chapter meet, but also the ones that we carry with us in our everyday lives. It is when those personal, public values become intertwine with the values that we hold as brothers of Phi Mu Delta, do we get to the true point of CLIMB. When we start living all of our values, and our fellow brothers and sisters begin to live their values, then a web is built, one that is shown to the community and says, “We are Greek Life and this is what we TRUELLY believe!”

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It is then that we can begin to build a wall, not one that divides, but lifts all of us up to a higher standard that we as fraternity men and sorority women put ourselves to.

It is then that a new, positive light can be shed on the stereotype that surrounds fraternity and sorority life.

It is then that CLIMB and its goals have done it job in building a better FSL community

 

Don’t Forget to Stay Awesome,

Brother Lemos

Categories
Brotherhood Community Leadership

Senior Brothers

 IMG_4646_1With graduation about eight weeks away, seniors (if they already haven’t started) are beginning to feel that overwhelming sensation called senioritis. This rare condition affects the victim by decreasing their interest and increasing their levels of procrastination. For some, they get the opposite, feeling a lingering sense of near-impending doom.  Their reality may appear to be closing in on them and the thought of “adulthood” is a dark, luminous cloud hovering over their head. When it comes to the Senior Brother, they might begin to disengage from the actions of the fraternity. These brothers are living between worlds, half in college and half inching out. They attend the occasional event or make an appearance at a chapter meeting. Be it senioritis, or stress, how does the rest of the fraternity keep them involved before they walk across that stage? Senior brothers, this one’s for you.

Input: Senior brothers usually (not necessarily) have the most experience in the fraternity realm. They’ve done and experienced a lot specifically in the context of keeping your chapter alive. Let them that you value their thoughts, opinions and still need their advice. Making them feel included will keep that buy in strong.

Gratitude: Just like sports team might do, showcase the work of the senior brothers in a special night, dedicated to them. Be it during the school year or before graduation, when families might be present, have a Senior Night, inviting family and friends to honor the brothers that will be physically leaving, but never leaving in spirit. Have their little create a little slideshow or make a poster. If brave, have a Senior Roast (in lighthearted fun). Whatever you do, admonish people speak from the heart. Have your departing brothers share their fondest moments or lend some advice to future brothers.

The last point is knowledge. Senior brothers might remember events that the fraternity did, or ideas that never worked that can be passed on to the next generation of brothers. At camp, it’s the duty of a past director to help guide a new director on the right path. The Senior Brother is in a way similar, helping steer new members towards an idea of what the fraternity is all about and setting themselves as an example to look up to. So though their time at the University might be over, the part that they played in the fraternity will always be there. So let them know, show that once a brother, always a brother.

Senior brothers, finish strong. Give your fraternity all you’ve got. You owe it to yourself to go out with bang instead of fizzling out or fading to gray. It’s so easy to get caught up in the details of your life, graduate schools, moving to new places, staying on parents’ healthcare plans, and everything in between. Not to say that your future isn’t important but it’s worth living in the moment as you complete your college experience. Experience where you are while you there. Be fully present, engage, listen, and value what’s going on around you and the people you’re with before moving on. Make a point to connect with people you’ve always wanted to do so with (it’s not that awkward actually) and solidify your connections that you want to keep post graduation. You joined for life and for life you will be a member. Remember that!

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Don’t Forget to Stay Awesome,  Brother Lemos