by Guest Blogger Chris Corriveau, ΔΔ’12
If you find yourself at an institution for higher learning near the Pacific, the chances that you are near a Lodge are rather slim. Despite the abundance of quality schools lining the West coast, Chi Psi maintains a presence at only three, none of which are located in the same state. Under these circumstances, the undergraduate experience as a Chi Psi at one of the Western Alphas may be different from that in regions where there exists a more robust Lodge presence.
Despite the hundreds of miles separating our Alphas, we on the West Coast maintain healthy relations across state boundaries. In a few short weeks, dozens of Brothers from Alpha Delta Delta and Alpha Theta Delta will descend upon the University of Oregon for this year’s Rowe Regional Conference, hosted by Alpha Eta Delta. Along with many of my Delta Delta Brothers, I’ll be making the 500+mile trip from Berkeley to Eugene. This annual gathering is an opportunity for us to exchange ideas, share memories, and collaborate with each other around our common bond in Chi Psi.
Last year I was fortunate enough to be present for the Rowe Regional Conference held at Alpha Delta Delta. As a neophyte, it was an incredible experience to meet dozens of other young men who were as excited about fraternity life as I. What I found to be most remarkable was the ease with which I was able to relate to these individuals who attend a different school and have different social scenes.
The collaboration over fraternity business which occurs during a Rowe Regional Conferences provides an excellent structure for the weekend and a compliment to the socialization. As West coast Alphas, we are able to relate about common issues we face such as smaller Greek populations at our colleges and issues with recruitment.
When I first joined Chi Psi I never would have expected that the close relationships developed within my Alpha would be apparent in connections with Brothers from different schools. However, it pleased me to hear that one of my Brothers from Alpha Delta Delta would be spending a portion of his Spring Break with a Brother from Alpha Theta Delta. Unsurprisingly, the same thing will be happening again this Spring Break.
One of the nice features of having close relations with Brothers from other West Coast Alphas is that we are visited occasionally by Brothers who are traveling somewhere. Numerous times I have been able to spend time with a visiting Brother who is spending the night at Delta Delta on his way to some other place. Our level of comfort with each other is what makes this hospitality possible and so beneficial for our spirit.
In spite of our isolation from the majority of Chi Psi Alphas, we on the West Coast have found a way to develop lasting connections and share valuable experiences with each other. We may be hundreds of miles apart and divided by state lines, but our Alphas are willing to sacrifice the time, money, and energy necessary to travel to another Lodge and spend some time with our fellow Brothers in Chi Psi.
Chris Corriveau, ΔΔ ’12, is currently #1 at Alpha Delta Delta at the University of California Berkeley. He has previously served his Alpha as #5, Alumni Relations Chair and Pledge Class President. Brother Corriveau is studying Political Theory and is a member of Students for Liberty and the Undergraduate Political Science Association.