The Power of Fraternity

By Susan Mathieson


The power of fraternity done right, is an un-paralleled collegiate experience. While I may be a little biased – I whole heartedly believe this to be true. As a fraternity and sorority life advisor, I see the good, the bad and the ugly; and I am constantly front row on an emotional roller coaster that includes the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I recently had the blessing of experiencing ones of these highs when least expecting it  at about 10:00pm on a Thursday night at a fraternity house. 

A chapter President asked me to join him to help facilitate a workshop with the fraternity focusing on trust and values congruency. I, of course, agreed and couldn’t wait to help him tweak the workshop to best fit the chapters needs. The only issue we had was finding the perfect wrap up to our workshop. We wanted it to be meaningful to the chapter, so we decided to see how the men participated and reconvene on our mid workshop break. 

Throughout this experience we asked the men to buy in and participate to the fullest, and I am proud to say they did. We asked them to share some of their defining moments in life, and for some of them who have never even met me; they did not hesitate to share these deep experiences with me. This trust that they had, showed me that they truly had built a brotherhood within those walls. When the chapter president and I reconnected, I suggested that we end the evening asking the brothers to share their favorite part of their fraternities creed and why.

Being in a room of 60 men, reciting their Fraternity creed and publicly recommitting to their values, was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever felt. Knowing those men will consciously make decisions that align with their personal and organizational values, gives me the hope that the chapter will only produce greater results moving forward. I know that the men within that chapter will not only have an experience that changes their lives for the better throughout their membership within the fraternity, but they will impact the lives of the ones around them for the better as well.

Student Affairs - the First Years

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