Phi Kappa Psi - University of Texas

Summer 2018 Newsletter

Texas Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity at the University of Texas

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B rothers, over the past year, I have had the honor and privilege of helping build a culture and environment at Texas Alpha that should be the envy of any fraternal organization. In today's campus environment, an unmanaged fraternity will rapidly devolve into a social club focused on entertaining the entire student community. We see these out-of-control fraternities in the media every year. I am happy to communicate that Texas Alpha is a fraternity with structure, governance and values which provides an experience unlike any other at the University of Texas and perhaps nationwide. While working for our national fraternity, I traveled to over 60 college campuses and had the opportunity to study fraternities and their interactions with university administrations. Our Texas Alpha alumni boards are working diligently to provide support and education to the active chapter as we implement the combined best- practices from fraternities all across America. Our quest to be the best is swiftly becoming reality. FORMAL STRUCTURE AND TRADITIONS RETURN The young men of Texas Alpha have shown a tremendous amount of fortitude and resolve through a culture change and behavioral adjustment. In accordance with national policies, we have modified pledgeship to last a maximum of 6 weeks. We have also reinstated many of the lost Texas Alpha traditions such as chapter dinner, formal chapter meetings, Roberts Rules of Order, house formals, and a variety of other events that have made Texas Alpha a leader on the University of Texas campus for 114 years. ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE AND SUPPORT INITIATED In terms of academic success among IFC members, Texas Alpha went from a GPA ranking of 15th to fourth (out of 30) in just two academic terms. We also improved the relative size of our new member class from sixth to second. There are eight total student members with 4.0 GPAs, three of which were freshman, and two who had a 4.0 both semesters. We have implemented firm academic standards, including a raised minimum GPA to be initiated, increased GPA to be considered for a chapter leadership position, and have removed all Austin Community College students from being active members of the chapter. Our charter and insurance policy forbids non-UT students from being members. Other fraternities on campus have found non-UT students to be disruptive. ALUMNI BOARD AND ALUMNI SUPPORT The chapter is grateful for the continued and generous donor contributions to the Texas Alpha Endowment Fund. With these donations, we are able to support student challenges and accomplishments as well as provide undergraduate members with tutoring services and scholarships. We placed four members on a newly formed Academic Enhancement Probation this past semester and all witnessed significant increases in their GPAs. When we design and execute plans, we have seen an enormous amount of success. We thank you for your support. SAFE ENVIRONMENT Texas Alpha also leads in the area of risk management with social events. We were one of the first fraternities on campus to implement registered guest lists, licensed third-party bartenders, licensed security services, and most recently, the banning of hard alcohol on chapter premises. Studies have shown that 84% of student injuries and deaths in Greek organizations are hard alcohol related. We strive to be in full compliance with best practices for providing a safe environment for our members and their guests. And yes, the students still manage to have fun! CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT The young men have also excelled unbelievably in the University of Texas community with some members founding new campus organizations including the Texas BlockChain Group/ Foundation, Texas ImProv Club, and Sports Radio Podcasts. There have been members who have worked on the campaigns of the student body president/VP and also a high influx of Phi Kappa Psi representation on the Interfraternity Council, including the vice president of finance. RECRUITMENT As always, rush is a critical component of the long- term success and vitality of any fraternity. In the 2017-18 year, we added 60 young men of great character and resolve. For this upcoming year we are looking to add an additional 70 men. The rush team and the local alumni in each of the major cities have been working hard to accomplish these goals. This recruitment is aimed at positioning Phi Psi as a competitively sized fraternity in line with our peers. ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT Our alumni base needs to learn about the differences between Texas Alpha today, a model for the future of fraternities, in contrast to the antiquated fraternity experience of years past. The new fraternity model is designed to provide relevance in the 21st century. Our model is special and we want to expand the alumni experience. We want to build trust and broaden support. To close that gap, we are inviting all of you back to our structured tailgate parties with renowned entertainers. There will be new rules to follow, but the alumni will still manage to have fun! TEXAS ALPHA NAMED MOST IMPROVED CHAPTER The undergraduates have accomplished a great deal in a short time. They received awards for Most Improved Chapter at the 2018 Grand Arch Council as well as Chapter in Good Standing Award from the University of Texas Sorority & Fraternity Life Office. Several individual students also received awards and accolades within their programs. During the 2018-19 school year, we will strive to have the right, caring, engaged, and educated alumni working hands-on with the young men to ensure they have the support and resources around them to help further their personal and professional goals. I am excited and enthusiastic regarding the character and strength these young men possess. I am energized by their spirit. They are the perfect young men to return Phi Kappa Psi Texas Alpha to its rightful place as a premiere fraternity on the University of Texas campus. They are quickly becoming the benchmark for compliance, standards, and what it means "to be a fraternity, not a club, run by men, not boys". -Ralph "Dud" Daniels Live Ever, Die Never. In The Bond, Matt Kifle Executive Director TEXAS ALPHA TAKES GREAT STRIDES Chapter Improves in Academics, Rush, and More summer 2018 ALPHA AVALANCHE T E X A S A L P H A

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