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Fraternities at CU

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

 

Why hello! Sorry I've been so bad about this blog in the past few months, it's just been non-stop work and excitement this semester! I've been busy with the marching band, applying for (and receiving, as of this weekend) a grant to do research on campus, doubling the size of my fraternity (a huge accomplishment!), trying to continue flight lessons, giving tours, tutoring a couple students, and a tough class load on top of that! Not that it's not rewarding; it just uses up almost all of my time!

This post, I'd like to talk about my fraternity experience/fraternity life here at CU. Something like 12% of students are involved in Greek life at CU. This is a great number because it means we have a vibrant Greek community, but non-Greek students are not alienated on our campus, unlike some other large schools. Personally, when I came to CU, I didn't expect to join a fraternity at all. Coming from Austin, in the shadow of UT, I was used to the fraternity scene, and it didn't really interest me. I knew that if I did join a fraternity, it'd be Alpha Epsilon Pi, the national Jewish fraternity. Unlike some multi-cultural based Greek organizations, AEPi is a social fraternity just like any other, but it just happens to be all Jewish men, which is a really cool thing on a huge college campus. I didn’t really seek out AEPi at CU, but they somehow found me, and eventually, I found myself pledging. I hadn’t planned on it, but the experience offered and the potential friendships made by joining a fraternity really sold me on the subject.

Long story short, it’s been an awesome two years in AEPi. The brotherhood I share is so strong, and I know that my brothers and I will stay in touch forever. We have a bond that not many have the privilege to experience. In addition to all that stuff, I’ve gotten a ton of leadership experience that is relevant to all of my other extracurricular activities, especially Student Ambassadors. I’ve been the Lt. Master (essentially Vice President, in charge of all internal affairs) for the past year and a half, which has been both the most challenging and most rewarding part of college so far. Being in a fraternity has also allowed me to gain and hone many skills such as my public speaking, event planning, and time management skills. If there’s one skill I’ve developed most in my time in AEPi, it’s time management. I’m involved in so many activities that if I couldn’t manage my time well, I’d be toast by now.

In the past 3 or 4 years, our chapter of AEPi has been very small. When I joined, we were a solid 25-man chapter, and over my freshman year, we dwindled to a scary minimum of 12 brothers. We’ve been on the rebound ever since, slowly rebuilding. We started this semester with 17 brothers, which included all of our new pledges from the year before, minus the graduating seniors and brothers who decided to leave. Now that we’re in a new house, we had the chance to essentially start over. With a ton of ground-work and a lot of networking, we are on track to double the size of our fraternity (assuming all of our 17 pledges make it through the pledge program!), which is huge for us.

It’s really, really neat to see the fruits of my two-year labor. I’m really excited to see what these new men do with our chapter, and to come back in 5 years to a campus leading chapter. Stay tuned for more (and more frequent) updates!

Mike
Biochemistry, Atmospheric/Oceanic Studies (ATOC) minor • Austin, Texas