Life On The Road

Kevin Hahn, Delta Deuteron '12

Life on the road has been quite an adventure, as each couple of days meant new places and new faces. My second month of travel found me mainly in Upstate New York but also in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. It's very interesting to see how different each Charge is from the next but discovering at the same time that our Theta Delt values and Ritual are consistent. If the first half of this academic year is any indication of what's to come, what with the many exceptional men I have met so far whom I am fortunate to call my Brothers, then I can't wait to get back on the road again once school is back in session next year.

Theta Triton Brothers barbecuing on campusTheta Triton Brothers barbecuing on campus

My first stop in Upstate New York was Theta Triton at Binghamton University. The brothers live in one of the few houses in Binghamton that looks like a fraternity house with 4 white columns on the front facade. Their Charge House also predates our Fraternity, having been built around 1840, and is recognized as a historic landmark in the city of Binghamton. These brothers are relevant on campus, as they are involved in philanthropy events and have recently made the news for their effort to clean up the streets and improve the quality of the community around them. At a campus where, in the recent past, pledging for all Greek organizations was halted due to hazing allegations, these brothers are making a positive effort to raise the standard for what it means to be a fraternity man at Binghamton.

Nestled between Ithaca’s famous Libe Slope and beautiful waterfalls is a mansion of a Charge House affectionately referred to as Thumpty by the brothers of Beta at Cornell University. As a fraternity on the smaller side of the spectrum at Cornell, the brothers at Beta are working on their recruitment to bring in larger pledge classes. Fortunately, they benefit from excellent alumni aid in the form of an educational foundation unique to their own Charge known as the Spectemur Agendo Foundation. With the help of this entity, they have been able to make improvements and repairs to their physical Charge House as well as host a variety of extra-curricular programs open to all Cornell students, including a swing night where a dance teacher is brought in to teach swing dancing, a chocolate tasting event, a Bollywood/Bhangra night which promotes Indian culture, and a battle of the DJs event. Thumpty, due to its large grand hall and high quality speakers and sound equipment, is known to be a music venue by students in Ithaca and hosts many local and nationally renowned artists. Beta’s president also was recently elected to IFC Executive Vice President, the first time in many years that a Beta brother has held an executive office in IFC.

The Xi House Past & PresentThe Xi House Past & Present

Xi at Hobart College is located on fraternity row in Geneva that overlooks the beautiful Seneca Lake. Because they have recently grown in size, the brothers have been moved into a larger university owned house. They keep their eyes on the prize, though, which is their old Charge House that sits just across the street. The brothers, many of whom are athletes in lacrosse, hockey, soccer, and football, have in the recent past earned the highest GPA and most recently won the Citizenship Award, given by Hobart to the fraternity with the best involvement in philanthropy and community service. Xi’s president also holds an IFC executive position. Xi continues to do well at Hobart.

The brothers of Psi at Hamilton College in Clinton are doing their best to endure a new school rule that mandates that only sophomores may pledge fraternities. Coupled with the fact that they were unable to recruit for an entire year in 2010 due to a conduct issue, Psi currently only has a sophomore and junior class. However, the brothers, many of whom are soccer and squash athletes, are making the best of their situation by using their new found extra time to focus on themselves and work on their internal structure, their recruitment skills, and their knowledge of Ritual.

Alpha, one of nine fraternities at Union College in Schenectady, is considered one of three largest; of those three, our Mother Charge is the only one to have a house all to itself, as the other two share theirs with sororities. Alpha is known as the football house because a little more than half of their brothers are football players. They possess an impressively strong knowledge of our Fraternity’s history (ever heard of the Theta Delta Chi whistle?) but could use some work on their knowledge of our Ritual. They also regularly participate in philanthropy events on campus and host a football clinic for at risk youth in the surrounding Schenectady community. Alpha’s president is currently IFC president, and another Alpha brother has been elected as next year’s IFC President and is joined by two other Alphas who will also serve on IFC.

After my last Charge visit in Upstate New York, I made a quick jaunt up to Hanover, New Hampshire to visit the Lodge Boys at Omicron Deuteron at Dartmouth College. Many of these brothers are football or lacrosse athletes and live in a Charge House they affectionately refer to as the Boom Boom Lodge. Three black Labrador retrievers with red collars also regard Omie Deut as home; red-collared black labs have been a local tradition for many years. The brothers regularly participate in philanthropy and service events and recruited a massive 29 man pledge class this fall term. However, the brothers will have to work to improve themselves as they have faced some misfortune recently with sanctions from the university due to some conduct issues last term.

Men of Tau Tetraton, our newest colonyMen of Tau Tetraton, our newest colony

Both John Lowry and I have been spending time at our newest colony, Tau Tetraton, at Johnson & Wales University (JWU) in Providence. I made another visit after Brother Lowry’s to attend a meeting with JWU’s Greek advisor, Matthew Gilsbach, to help set the foundation for our new boys to become both a beneficial addition to JWU’s Greek community and a successful Charge of Theta Delta Chi for many years to come. I am pleased to report our colonists are a group of endearing and enthusiastic gentlemen. If rush goes well next trimester at Tau Tetraton, we may be able to schedule a spring chartering date for this colony to become the 31st active Charge of Theta Delta Chi.

Closer to home base at the CFO and just across the Charles River lies Theta Deuteron at MIT in Cambridge. The brothers here have really turned it around since 2008 when they were on the verge of folding, winning Fraternity of the Year at MIT last year in addition to the Victory Cup at Convention in Toronto. They live in a large Charge House that overlooks the Charles and boasts a beautiful view of the Boston skyline. As a smaller fraternity at MIT, the brothers are working on their recruitment skills to boost the size of their next pledge classes. However, the brothers are heavily involved on campus and recently held a successful alumni event with over 40 Theta Deut alums in attendance. Three Theta Deuts have held IFC office in the past 6 years, the most recent being a current undergrad who serves as the IFC Risk Manager.

Winter is coming, and for this California bro, it’s getting much too cold on the East Coast. While I’m excited to head back home to the West Coast for the winter break, I’m looking forward to the Preamble Institute and eager to continue my travels once school starts next year. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

 

 

End of Fall Report

John Lowry, Theta Triton ‘13

Winter break is approaching for our Undergraduate Theta Delts. Many are excited for classes to finally end and to return home for holiday celebrations. Some of our Charges are also celebrating the addition of new members into our brotherhood: congratulations to all new initiates. The bonds of brotherhood are esteemed by those who embrace them. I can thank my friends, brothers, and fraternity for helping me grow, for giving me direction, and truly giving me a home away from home. Had I not embraced and given to the fraternity, I would not have received so much from it.

Xi TritonThe Brothers of Xi Triton

My fall Travels have ended. I am happy to say I have survived it all. Sometimes it’s daunting to consider the many weeks I spend on the road. I can say that through it all I have learned a lot, and become more prepared and ready for my continued travels. Rather than be overwhelmed or intimidated by my goals, however, I am more ambitious and excited for what’s to come.

Mid-October I started my travels again; my first stop was the Xi Triton Charge at the University at Albany. Despite being our newest Charge they are quickly becoming one of the most active on campus. They are the second Charge to adopt the Bros United program and they are very active with both community service and philanthropy efforts. They have found their place on the Albany campus and made their presence known.

Tau TritonTau Triton

My next stop was in Poughkeepsie, New York. The men at Tau Triton have solidified their presence on the Marist campus; they have strong recruitment, welcoming nine new members this semester. The group is looking toward continued success in the future, and is setting up the framework to make it all possible.

From New York I went to Providence, Rhode Island. Providence is home to the Zeta Charge at Brown and also to our recently added Tau Tetraton colony at Johnson & Wales University. Zeta recruits only in the spring and is looking to take a large strong class of new members. Consistently one of our largest Charges and Zeta continues to be prominent on campus. The Tau Tetraton colony is excited and motivated to work towards being the next Charge of Theta Delta Chi. The group has many strong members and is highly motivated for recruitment and for taking on their first class this coming trimester. They were intermural hockey champs last year and look to take it again this year.

Tau TetTau Tetraton Colony

Next I visited UMass Dartmouth, not far from Providence. Our Iota Triton Charge is in the middle of a campus push to strengthen Greek Life. In the coming months the group is going to be working with the school to strengthen the relationship and influence of Greeks on their campus. The group has had successful recruitment the last few semesters and is continuing to increase the Charge’s size.

Now I am back at the CFO getting ready for my first Boston winter; hopefully my four years in Binghamton, NY have prepared me for the snow and the cold. Planning for this year’s Preamble Institute has me excited for an escape to the much warmer Scottsdale, Arizona in January and my other west coast travels. Of course our 2014 Convention in New York is always in the back of my mind. Being from New York I can’t wait to see brothers from the area and to meet many new ones.

Charge Consultant:
John Lowry, Theta Triton '13
October 2013

Report from the Road

Travel Map

I started my travels unsure of what to expect from the next month I was going to spend on the road. Travel can be both exciting and exhausting; life away from home most certainly has its ups and downs. While most undergraduate Theta Delts started to open their textbooks and begin a new academic year, I found my month of September starting quite differently. I headed out from Boston and made my way to South Carolina where I started my travels up the east coast visiting Charges in North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

My undergraduate time at Binghamton University left me without a college football team to root for. I quickly was able to make up for lost time with Charges luckier than mine that were happy and quick to educate me on game day and tailgate procedure.  These Charge houses became my home away from home while on the road.  The brothers I met on the road made this experience one that makes me excited for my continued travels. The hospitality of those that opened their doors to me is a testament to our brotherhood at large. While our Charges differ across the nation one thing that remains consistent is quality of gentlemen. It was most certainly the brothers who hosted me that made the trials and burden of the road manageable.

All the brothers and Charges I visited are looking to excel and continue their successes. I am almost as excited as our undergraduate members for this semester and the year to come, as our Charges make and complete their goals. Some of the successes I’ve seen are exceptional recruitment from the men of Rho Proteron in South Carolina, whose numbers this fall greatly surpass those from the year prior. The brothers of Lambda Triton at Rutgers University continue to exceed their fundraising goals for Autism Speaks by raising over $12,000 this semester, and I was proud to hear that Theta Triton Charge at Binghamton made the local news for their support of the community through local clean ups and work with Safe Streets during my first semester as an alumnus. The Mu Triton Charge at UNCG is looking forward to starting an Autism Speaks U chapter on their campus.  The men at Nu Triton at Virginia Tech are proud of the recognition they got at this year’s convention for their efforts with Autism Speaks and look to continue in this direction. The Sigma Triton Charge at Penn State is excited for the coming year and continued success, their homecoming this weekend will certain bring alumni from far and wide. The Nu Charge at Virginia is looking to work with the campus and the Greek community; big steps are being made to make campus wide changes.

I’m excited to continue my travels to the Charges I have yet to visit, and can’t wait to meet up with many of the brothers I now call friends when I return in the spring. Also to anyone who has considered making it to this coming year’s convention in New York City start planning now.  Many of our undergrads are already talking about their plans to make the trip en masse both as first time attendees and as veterans of convention celebrations.

Charge Consultant:
John Lowry, Theta Triton '13
October 2013

Founders' Day Report

Kevin Hahn, Delta Deuteron '12

It has been an interesting and exciting life on the road, to say the least. My first month out of the Central Fraternity Office was spent in the Midwest at Charges in Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan, and in Ontario in Canada, as well. My greatest fear on the road was that I, as the traveling face of “Nationals,” would be unwelcome and ignored by some or that my recommendations for improvement would fall on deaf ears. Quite the opposite, I found, was true. In fact, I discovered that the constant between each different Charge was the quality and hospitality of the brothers I encountered and their willingness to discuss bettering their undergraduate experience for themselves as members of Theta Delta Chi and for those who would come after them.

Midwest MapTravels of a Charge Consultant

After about a month and a half of acclimating to life on the east coast in Boston, it was finally time to leave the nest, and I began my journey to the Midwest in late August. First stop: Beta Deuteron at Iowa State. After making pit stops at Sigma Triton (Penn State) for a night and Upsilon Triton (Indiana University) for two nights (to help them set up for rush), I finally made it to Ames, Iowa, after just over 1,500 miles and almost 24 hours of driving altogether. “Tradition” is the name of the game at Beta Deut, as I was blown away by these brothers’ adherence to our Ritual that I witnessed during a Charge meeting. I can certainly see why they have won so many President’s Cups. The boys at Beta Deut also maintain one of the cleanest fraternity houses I’ve ever seen, as there are rules such as no drinking, swearing, or rough housing on the first floor. They still manage to have a rip-roaring great time, though, which they demonstrated to me during ISU’s football game day against Northern Iowa University.

The brothers of Sigma Deuteron at the University of Wisconsin in Madison are displaying a great amount of determination to succeed in the face of adversity, in the form of a condemned Charge house and university sanctions. Where I thought I would find indifference, I was stunned to discover brothers who not only wanted to turn around their situation but also aspired to permanently change and improve the way they operated their Charge so that the problems they faced now would not happen again in the future.

Thodore B. Brown's grave at the Vale CemeteryTheodore B. Brown's grave at the Vale Cemetery

The brothers of Upsilon Deuteron at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, the latest Charge to win the coveted Victory Cup, are quite a powerhouse despite having a small number of brothers. The phrase, “quality over quantity,” rings true here, as the Charge regularly places in the top 3 fraternities for GPA, are heavily involved on campus, have at least 15 service hours per brother, and still have time to have a lot of fun when they choose to.

Upsilon Triton at Indiana University in Bloomington is fighting hard to gain traction at a school where 80+ man chapters are the norm. With only 8 brothers, it was quite a feat to recruit 4 more solid men; with rolling recruitment, Upsilon Triton will be more fit to compete with the larger fraternities at IU.

The brothers of Gamma Triton at Michigan State in East Lansing have done some recent renovations to their Charge house in the form of new paint, gardening, and new wooden guard rails for their stoop. These men are becoming more established on campus with a new pledge class of 8 guys and more involvement in intramural football and philanthropy events.

Just down the street in Ann Arbor, the Gamma Deuteron boys at the University of Michigan, still adjusting to their stately manor, netted 11 new members through a rigorous interview process. The brothers here live by the motto, “Work hard, play hard,” which I discovered when we all got up at dawn on a Saturday to go help with an autism awareness walk an hour drive away from the Charge house.

My last stop on the trip was up north in Canada with the boys at Lambda Deuteron. At a school that does not recognize Greek life, these wildly friendly and fun-loving brothers are trying to set the standard for what it means to be a fraternity at the University of Toronto by working towards establishing a more unified Greek system and contributing more of their time to philanthropy and service.

The Yates House
The Yates House where the first meeting and initiation took place

At present, I am on the road in Upstate New York and, by luck, happen to be at Union College in Schenectady not only for Halloween, but more importantly for Theta Delta Chi’s Founders Day. Besides being at the Alpha Charge House, I was able to visit both Theodore B. Brown’s grave in the Vale Cemetery and the Yates House where the first meeting and initiation took place. It gives me the chills being here on Theta Delta Chi’s birthday at Union College where, 166 years ago, six men met one May evening to found our Fraternity. Because of these founders’ efforts so long ago, many men, myself included, have benefitted in many ways from a friendship founded upon mutual esteem and dependence. I urge you to take a second and think about what your fraternity experience has meant to you and how you can improve that experience for the next new members that walk through your door. Happy Halloween and Happy Founders Day!

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