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 Leadership Service

Brother Superhero

Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound! A description that is fit for Superman, but one that sometimIMG_5070es can be used to describe a brother, one may call a “Superhero Brother”. He’s always active on the campus, passionate about everything he does, and still makes sure to get his work done and stays active in the fraternity. You sometimes might think he has a magic time turner like Hermione or lives of a diet of air and extracurricular. But in all this, he might not have time to sleep, eat, or even just to take time out of his day for himself. He might realize this or he might be oblivious to it. Brother superhero is truly a crucial asset to your chapter, does the work of five brothers, and usually surprises you for the better.  Losing him is something you should strive to avoid at all costs. Almost everyone loves brother superhero, and don’t get me wrong, he’s who we should all strive to emulate in some ways, but he is also one of the most dangerously problematic brothers in your chapter. Here’s why:

  • Doing others’ work – Brother superhero may get things done but instead of trusting the process to educate other brothers he has a tendency to take over (usually nonchalantly)  and ends up doing more work than necessary. Other brothers may become lazy or remain uneducated about some of the things they were tasked with.
  • Burnout – This brother arguably is the most overworked and somehow finds time and energy to do excellent work but sooner rather than later will burnout and may crash hard. Come to his rescue, either by sharing some of his workload beforehand or giving him proper space and time to recover.
  • Dependency – When the rare day comes around (and it will) that brother superhero cannot save the day, your chapter may find itself up a creek without a paddle. No one person missing should derail any endeavors your chapter takes on, always have a backup plan just in case.

That’s where we fly in. As brothers, it’s our duty to be a support and voice of advice and guidance to other brothers who might be in this spot, especially new members who feel the urge to be at everything but still might need to balance the rest of their priorities or the overachieving student leader who seems to be involved in everything. The last we want to see is a brother fail in an area that he strives for excellence in. So how do we help? Hold a study session with him during some free time, not only to study but also just to catch up with him and see how he’s doing. Support is always the best option. And if you see that it’s beginning to take a toll on them, maybe then step in and let them know to take it easy. Support before you advise against.

But is being a “Superhero Brother” necessarily a bad thing? No. With effective time management and prioritizing, it can be a positive way to get involved not only in the fraternity but on campus and give some purpose to some of those long, endless hours of doing nothing that you might have. But the emphasis is on time management and prioritizing. Coming from personal experience, it’s a skill that should not be taken lightly. If you honestly can’t fit something into you schedule where you can’t give 100% or might have to worry about finish an assignment, DON’T DO IT! Stretching yourself to the point of breaking is not a good thing.

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In closing, we all have the opportunity to be a “Superhero Brother” in our own ways. As we like to say at camp, take the initiative. Be it a leader of a committee, becoming part of an organization, volunteering, or simple catching up with a fellow brother going that extra step is what makes a brother super.

Don’t Forget to Stay Awesome,

Brother Lemos

Categories
Brotherhood Community Service

Brommunity Service

ImageSummer is the perfect time to give back to your community. One of the many aspects of being in a fraternity is the philanthropic and community service oriented efforts you put forth. Whether it’s because you have mandatory hours you’re obligated to fulfill, or (hopefully) you give and serve out the goodness of your heart, either way you’ve got some work to do. Summer may be your time to relax and take a break from your usual fraternity routine, but fraternity attitudes and initiatives are meant to be not only year-round, but lifelong. The truth of the matter is you definitely have some free time to waste that could be better spent knocking those community service hours out or raising money for your philanthropy. Get to it, and make sure to LOG those hours as soon as you do them. This brommunity service.

The hardest part of community service is the actual finding/planning of what you want to do. If you’re going solo or you’re with your brothers, there’s so much to be done, if you just take the time to look. Here’s a good place to start – Finding Community Service Opportunities: http://www.volunteermatch.org/ – http://www.serve.gov/ – http://www.unitedway.org/

Summer Service Ideas: Hold a Charity Carwash; Squeeze some goodness with a Lemonade Stand; Take a trip to the local Foodbank; Care for pets at the Animal Shelter; Check out the nearest Community Center; Volunteer at the local Fair/Festival

Tips to Serve Better:

  1. Pick a Cause You Care About – Sometimes community service is not “fun” and that’s almost because while you may be helping out, it’s not something you hold near and dear to your heart. If you don’t remember the name of the organization/charity you’re aiding, that’s a good indication that it’s not for you. Choose something you feel connected to or an activity you have a passion for, and it makes the works seem easier and you may actually enjoy it. The worst thing is a grumbling brother at a service event, don’t let it be you.
  2. Serve with Friends – If you’re home for the summer take your friends with you to volunteer. Almost always you’re working with/for people you don’t personally know, and having friends there makes it that much better. Make a day of out it and after you’ve given back, go out to eat, or do something fun afterwards. If you’re with brothers, make it a group outing. Everyone needs the hours and the people you help out could always use an extra pair of hands.
  3. Change It Up – Doing the same thing over and over gets repetitive and old fast. Use the summer to the fullest and get outside. If you’re an outdoor person volunteer for events that will keep you there. Summer presents unique opportunities for community service, check your local paper, or online for once a year things that you could get involved with.
Categories
Community Service

8th Annual Fire Truck Pull, Outright Vermont

For the past eight years, Outright Vermont has organized one of the most creative fundraising events possibly ever conceived  -to further its mission to build safe, healthy, and supportive environments for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth- the Fire Truck Pull. The event sets teams of 12 participants against one another to see who can pull a real fire truck 30 feet up Church Street the fastest. Before the actual event, the teams fundraise in hopes of qualifying to pull by reaching the $1,500 mark.

This year, 11 teams competed raising over $30,000- a new record for the event. Although the UVM Greek Community has always been given the opportunity to pull, this was the  first year that we actually surpassed the $1,500 dollar minimum. But in Greek Life Fashion, not only did we pass our mark, we raised double the minimum and surpassed our own personal goal by $1,000. Through alumni donations, chapter donations, money raised from can drives and bake sales, we were able to raise over $3,000 and rank third in amount of money raised.

Although we’ve lost our title of fastest pull, we should be proud of our efforts as a community to come together and challenge the misconceptions of what it means to be part of the fraternity or sorority.

From left to right: Derick Dubois, Dom Imbarrato, Baldwin Delgado, Gabe Meisenhelder, Teruki Watanabe, Campbell Walker, Phil Morin, Jeff Gaudreau