Wow…so glad Election Tuesday is over! I don’t think I could have taken any more of the media hype surrounding the candidates and the Facebook statuses that constantly covered my newsfeed with political views and incredible sources. Nonetheless, there are a number of heated issues facing our country today, and the decisions that will be made in the coming presidential term will have major effects on each of us. Regardless of political affiliation, let us all be thankful to be citizens of the United States — where hard work ethic and a dream can become a reality. We may not have realized it when we took to the polls yesterday, but the ability to vote is a right and an honor that we must be proud of.
Politics and Greek organizations have always maintained a special connection since the first Greek fraternities were founded at Union College in 1827 (Holla!). Don’t believe me? Here are a few statistics and fun facts:
- Nearly every U.S. Supreme Court Justices since 1910 were fraternity men. Chi Psi’s very own Melville Weston Fuller, H ’53, was appointed Chief Justice in 1888 and served until his death in 1910.
- Many U.S. Presidents and Vice Presidents have been members of a fraternity.
- James A. Garfield – Delta Upsilon, Williams College
- Chester A. Arthur – Psi Upsilon, UNION COLLEGE!
- William Howard Taft – Psi Upsilon, Yale University
- Woodrow Wilson – Phi Kappa Psi, Johns Hopkins University
- Calvin Coolidge – Phi Gamma Delta, Amherst College
- Harry S. Truman – Alpha Delta Gamma, University of Missouri at Kansas City
- John F. Kennedy – Phi Kappa Theta, Hahhhvid College
- Ronald Reagan – Tau Kappa Epsilon, Eureka College (IL)
- George H.W. Bush – Delta Kappa Epsilon, Yale University
- Bill Clinton – Alpha Phi Omega, University College at Oxford, UK
- George W. Bush – Delta Kappa Epsilon, Yale University
So what is it about fraternities and sororities that breed politicians and successful individuals? Is it some secret that members are told not to tell non-members? Clearly, this could not be the case since it is as explicit as could be. Fraternities and sororities were created with the intention of enhancing their members individually and collectively. Our Fraternity’s mission statement and the Preamble of Our Constitution are both written testaments of what it really means to be a Chi Psi. The values we uphold, the goals we set for ourselves and our Brothers, and the service which we provide for others around us are a part of our Chi Psi experience. Being a Chi Psi Gentlemen could not possibly be fully defined by the memorable Friday and Saturday nights as undergraduates, but rather by the life long experience that you’ve been given the opportunity to live.
Whether it is at the federal, state, or municipal level, citizens will always vote for a candidate that they believe they can trust and will represent their interests in the most effective way. We want our voices to be heard and to be represented by outstanding men and women who will serve as role-models for our children. In times of doubt and peril, we want a leader who will stand up above all and voice their opinion. We want a leader who is willing to put others before himself/herself and work with others to create an effective and fair compromise. And last but not least, we want a leader who will leave his/her office in tidy condition, allowing the next elected official to take over with upbeat feelings to continue tradition.
Fraternities and sororities allow its members to assume responsibility light-years beyond their period in life. If you hold a position in the Alpha, do you feel you are challenged personally in order to deal with difficult tasks? Are you forced to make difficult decisions? How do you interact with your fellow Brothers to accomplish difficult tasks? Do you place the Alpha before yourself when doing your job? I hope you’ve answered ‘yes’ to many of my questions. For the alumni reading my post, do you feel that you’ve felt positively empowered by your times in the Alpha? And finally, for those undergraduate Brothers who have yet to hold a position or assume an unofficial responsibility, I encourage you to do so. Challenge yourself. Learn about yourself. And, most of all, push those around you become better men.
I hope you all exercised your right to vote yesterday. Remember that although presidential voting is once every four years, we are forced to make decisions each and every day. Make the right decision. Place forth the values we uphold as Chi Psi gentlemen. And, above all, make your voice heard!
Good luck the rest of the semester!
Justin M. Zolot