I’ve recently been awakened by some noisy, over-served coeds outside my host Brother’s apartment in Raleigh.
I sleepily scan the room to try to remember where I am (this happens frequently). Three lights capture my attention: the red glow of the surge protector, the piercing neon green of the digits on the cable box clock and, lastly, the orange who-knows-what of the fish tank in the room (by the way, I’ve since learned that these two fish are unnamed. Please submit name suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org). This fish tank light has got me thinking about the lifestyle of a domestic fish. I can’t fall asleep. The only logical thing to do is write a blog. This is my Jerry Maguire moment.
Think about it for a moment, what if you lived this sort of exposed fishbowl lifestyle for one week? Your every move, your every laugh, burp, meal, scratch, unsightly habit and trip to the bathroom would be on display. Imagine people lined shoulder to shoulder, faces pressed up against the glass, just to see what you were going to do next. There would be nowhere to hide.
Now think about this, what if your Alpha existed in a fishbowl for one week? Nervously, you scan the exterior glass to see who is watching you. First you see your favorite professors, your Greek Life director, and your most esteemed alumni. Then you see some classmates and old high school buddies. Finally you notice your parents, your grandparents and siblings.
They all see things that they don’t like, that, secretly, you don’t like either: the drinking to excess, the shady pledge education practices, the liberties taken with initiation. You’ve had these discussions before, “why do we do that, anyway?” None of the other Brothers say anything, so you assume it’s no big deal. You gaze outward. Every one of these people is looking in at you, wondering what you’ll do next as a leader in your Alpha. Are you going to keep letting this go on? You exhale. What do you do?
One of two things just happened to you, I’ll bet.
1) You just squirmed in your chair. You scratched your face and you ran your fingers through your hair. We don’t mean anything by it you think to yourself. It’s all in good fun. Maybe you’re already trying to pass the buck– it’s a tradition our alumni started. Or better yet, someone else will stop it. You know who you are. Recognize this moment.
2) You just thought to yourself ‘sucks to be that guy.’
2010 was the year that everything became public. Like a twisted game of hide-and-seek Wikileaks, led by founder Julian Assange, came after companies, governments and militaries– ready or not. What if Wikileaks came after your Alpha? What if every dirty little secret about your Alpha became known? What would your university’s administration think? What would your parents think? Would your Alpha retain its Charter?
There is good news though. Wiki is giving you a 24 hour window to clean up your act. You’ve got 24 hours to hold an emergency formal meeting, to discuss the err of your collective ways and commit to a change. 24 hours from now you must drop an envelope full of signed contracts from every single Brother into a mailbox. These contracts outline your errant ways and state an action plan for improved future operations. It’s your last hope and your only option if you want to save your Alpha. Would you do it?
Sooner or later everything is going to come to the forefront. The time is now to make a change. What are you waiting for?