Categories
Brotherhood Community Recruitment Service

Dual Summer Duel

Summer break can singlehandedly be the best and worst thing to happen to your fraternity chapter. It gives those that require some much needed time to recover from the hectic end of the academic year just that and those that were ready for a break from one another that as well. It’s a time for brothers to head home and spend some quality time with their family and friends, travel and experience various cultures, and others to join the workforce and get the money necessary to pay for their fall dues among other things. Summer can be a massive opportunity to get a jumpstart on your next year, continue your community service/philanthropic efforts, and forge even stronger bonds … if you make it out to be so. Summer can also be the downfall of a chapter, a cause for disconnection, wasted time, and a momentum disrupter. Take your pick, what’s it going to be in a dual summer duel.

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More often than not the summer break period is when brothers are most disconnected. Being away from campus and one another has the tendency to shift the focus from brotherhood and fraternity to family, friends, travel, work etc. That change of focus brings up so many questions. Am I living my values daily and if so, how? Am I representing my brothers and the entirety of the fraternal movement to the best of my ability? Am I wearing my letters, and with the pride I do when I’m on campus? It’s just like those old inspirational artworks that teachers use to have in their classes – integrity is what you do when no one’s watching. Summer often means returning to a life away from college, but am I who I say I am? If there’s difference in how I embody my ritual when I’m surrounded by my peers compared to when I’m on my own, why is that? As fraternity members, the pledge to be better men encompasses our lives regardless of where we are or who we’re with. Everyday is a challenge, a worthwhile one at that, to be best version of our ourselves and one that our forefathers, brothers, and community members would be proud of.

The “hardest” thing about summer is again that break in visibility between you and your brothers. Hardest is in quotes because that’s what we tell ourselves when it actuality it’s unbelievably simple to continue your relationships with your brothers. Many a brother has been lost during the school year because of not feeling like they mattered or that others were invested in him, those notions can be amplified exponentially in the summer when deafening radio silence becomes the norm. Why do we only think of our brothers when we see them in person? Why do we tell ourselves it’s too much effort or that someone else will check-in with our brothers? Why do we think it’s okay to not talk to people we used to see weekly for 3-4 months straight? Honestly, it’s disheartening and thoroughly makes people question the authenticity of the so-called brotherhood, and they have good reason. What an outrageously bogus claim it is to say you love, are best friends, or even value someone when everything and everyone else in your life is too important to remember they exist. Just like you talk to your parents, and in particular, siblings weekly – that’s how you should treat your brothers. The relational significance of the word brother is imperative. That’s supposed to be someone you’re connected to for life, not when you feel like it, when you need them to get you in to a party, or to be your wingman. Be a good, no a better brother, and text, call, message, tweet, Facetime, Skype, whatever the hell you want your brothers. If not everyone, at least those in your big/little family. Prove you understand what it means to be a brother and reach out.

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Summer is time for yourself but not a time to forget what you decided to commit to for the rest of your life. Do what you have to do and enjoy yourself but remember that you’re part of something bigger than yourself. Be productive and knock out some preparation for the school year.

  • Make a calendar with the details of as many events as possible completed
  • Create and solidify your recruitment plan with achievable goals 
  • Book meeting room, event spaces, and tabling times as you are able
  • Brainstorm new ideas to keep brothers engaged throughout the fall semester
  • Find a pursue a community service project wherever you are  for the summer (log your hours)
  • Stay in regular contact with at least two brothers

The choice is yours, shoot and choose wisely.

 

 

 

Categories
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