It has been an interesting year, to be sure. Thankfully, no one has been injured, there have been no late night calls from the university authorities, and so far, no calls from the local law enforcement agencies. In that regard, I’d call it a pretty successful year.
But there have been some bumps along the way. We’ve had some pretty serious conversations about brotherhood and what it means to be a brother of this great Bond. Some of our younger alumni just didn’t get a well-rounded education during their associate period or after initiation, either. Their opinions of Lambda Chi Alpha is that is first and foremost about fun (read: having parties all the time) and they felt that accountability and responsibility are off limits. It was pretty ugly early on, as I was working with the High Zeta in particular to set a new tone for the chapter. The attacks got pretty personal, and I was ready to toss in the towel–even recommend closing the chapter and starting over in a few years. At the least, I was ready to resign and let someone else deal with the problem.
[...]I’m glad I didn’t, because these last couple of months, I’ve really begun to see the changes in the undergraduate leaders. The biggest change has been an openness and willingness to say, “I don’t know how to do X, Art. Can you teach me?” Wow! Can I? Please?! That is what I think is the coolest part of being a High Pi–to teach and help guys grow. The officers weren’t real happy to have ideas challenged or to be asked, “Have you considered…?” in the first months, but as we began to work together, and especially to talk about living out our Rituals (though I’m not sure that most of the officers saw that’s what we were talking about!), there was a growing openness to learning and growing.
Good stuff. We can all learn from each other, and sharing challenges and successes shows that maybe our situations are not as unique as we thought.