What If… Fraternal Extremes in Action

by Matt Mattson

Back in December of 2009 I delivered a small breakout session with my friend Brandon Cutler at AFA titled Fraternal Extremes.  Some pretty wild ideas came out of the session that you can see here and hereImagine the compelling story we could tell potential members if these ideas were put into action.

Funny thing…  Someone actually put these ideas into action!  I love being inspired by fraternity/sorority life, and this is one of those occasions. 

Two quick notes to make this post absolutely relevant to our blog and Phired Up’s messages.

  1. If we’ve never clearly stated it before, Social Excellence necessitates a dedication to social good (at least that’s what I believe).  If fraternities & sororities are going to truly become socially excellent, they must do bold things like the stuff described in the E-mail below.
  2. Want to be better at recruitment?  Have cool stories to tell.  Don’t be boring.  The stuff in the E-mail below makes me want to join their organizations.

What’s really cool is that I’m about to deliver a similar session to the one I helped deliver at AFA when I’m at FEA Field Staff tomorrow.  Could this E-mail I got (below) be any more timely?

Read and be inspired.  Thanks Alex.

 —–Original Message—–
From: Brown, Alex
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 8:43 AM
To: Matt@PhiredUp.com
Subject: Extreme Fraternalism Follow Up

Good morning sir,

This is Alex Brown, and I met you at the 2009 AFA Annual Meeting. I attended your Extreme Fraternalism presentation, and shared some of our projects from the South Dakota State Chapter of Delta Chi. I wanted to take a few moments to share some successes that I’ve seen from my own chapter, and others that I worked with.

threeatfloodwallI had mentioned when we met how we had brothers bike from Brookings, SD to Las Vegas, NV for our National Convention to raise money for the Jimmy V Foundation. This year, our Convention will be held in New Orleans. Four brothers decided they would canoe from Brookings to New Orleans to raise money for the Jimmy V Foundation once again. For more information about their trip, you can visit their website: http://canoeingforthecure.webs.com/.

At the time of the AFA Annual Meeting, I was the Greek Life Graduate Assistant at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. As I told you before, I came back more energized than ever, and was ready to share that with my students. My first opportunity came when I helped lead a service trip to Ecuador in January. A newly member to our STG chapter was along, and we began to have discussions about what it truly meant to be a member of Greek Life, and it was amazing to see how he responded. When we got back for the start of the Spring Semester, he took off and truly became a leader in his organization. When their recruitment efforts faltered, he lead the charge and brought in nine new guys. Along with other young members of the chapter, they organized an organ donation event, which served as a kickoff to a new program by the state of Wisconsin, as well as raised a significant amount of money for a new transplant house in Madison, WI. The state organ donation organization was so impressed and grateful. They’ve also begun to spearhead other projects, including their new push to coordinate a sexual assault/prevention program sponsored by fraternities across the state of Wisconsin. He has been just one of the shining examples from the community that has responded to Extreme Fraternalism.

However, there was one event in particular that made me the proudest. During your session, you asked us to write down one idea that we would like to implement. I wrote about my desire for our community to host a supply drive to benefit an international community in need. Moved by his experience in Ecuador, my student (along with many supporters) recommended that the philanthropy event for Greek Week be a supply drive for the needy families in Bunche, Ecuador. The community responded very well, and raised over 750 lbs of clothes, books, school supplies, medical supplies and so much more. The donations continue to roll in, and many community members are planning on participating in the service trip to help deliver these donations.

This week, I began my new job as the Coordinator of Greek Life and Student Leadership at Keene State College in Keene, NH. This is a newly created position, and I have the opportunity to really begin to give this community the attention, support, and advising they need. I’m very excited to be a full time professional in this wonderful field, and am eager to see where the next few weeks take me. I wanted to thank you and the entire Phired Up team for the work that you do. It is truly appreciated! Thanks again for everything, and have a great day!

Best Regards,

Alex Brown
Coordinator of Greek Life and Student Leadership

L.P. Young Student Center
Keene State College
229 Main Street
Keene NH 03435

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit”- Aristotle