It Really Is A Time for Reflection On What Is Fraternity

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By Scott Carlson CEO


Here it is Thursday morning and this is the 4th day of this business week that fraternities are in the media.  Racism and degradation of women make the headlines and generate ratings for the networks.

We should all be embarrassed by the actions of the fraternity brothers involved in recent incidents. Their actions feed those in our society that claim fraternities have outlived their usefulness and should be abolished. Their actions tarnish the true image of fraternity.

I have read that Greeks collectively raise for charitable causes over $7 million each year. The Greek system is the largest network of volunteers in the U.S., with members donating over 10 million hours of volunteer service each year. I also remember being taught as a child that it takes ten good deeds to erase the effects of one bad deed in people’s minds.  Benjamin Franklin is quoted with the saying, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”

I, for one, am tired of defending the good that is fraternity because some of our fraternity brothers and sorority sisters fail to live up to our founding principles and our codes of conduct.   Leaders and members of our Chapters must right wrongs when they are confronted with bad ideas or behavior. Speaking up against bad behavior must become the norm.  Not confronting members with questionable behavior makes us all responsible. Chapters that self discipline their members show strength.

I encourage our Chapters and all members to self assess what it means to be a fraternity man.  Acknowledge that you understand your actions reflect on all fraternity men.  Acknowledge that the reputation of the Fraternity, your Chapter and your Brothers should come before any individual’s selfish behavior and/or choices.

Alpha Chi Rho men should reflect and build in our members


Members in Alpha Chi Rho have a right to expect a good reputation.  My goal is to help them enjoy that good reputation.  All too often some members confuse their rights with responsibilities.  Alcohol plays a big part in the overall problems we collectively face as members of the higher education community and society as a whole.  I have heard individuals claim, “I have the right to drink”. They are often the ones who forget they also have joined a group, be it a campus community or a fraternity, which expects them to maintain their good reputation.  What is good for the Fraternity often means putting oneself subordinate to the good of the whole.

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