Acacia - Indiana University

Spring 2020 Newsletter

Indiana Chapter of Acacia Fraternity at Indiana University

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The Wreckage PAGE 2 T he COVID-19 pandemic interrupted what was turning out to be an excellent year for Indiana Acacia. Thirty-three new members were initiated during the fall semester, and another 31 pledges were prepping for initiation throughout the spring semester. That translates to overall growth of about 28 members, accounting for graduating seniors. Nite on the Nile in October 2019 was a great success and a blast for both brothers and their dates. We also organized a formal weekend away from Bloomington, this time in Windsor, Canada. Sixty brothers and their dates attended and had a great time at Caesars Windsor. Incoming and outgoing Executive Boards completed one of the smoothest transitions since refounding, thanks to the work of outgoing Venerable Dean Branimir Ilic '17 (#2613). I think we were better prepared for the transition this year. Each year we learn a little more about what's essential at the end of the fall semester in order to set up new officers to do their best. During the 2019-20 academic year, our philanthropy activity really hit its stride, with our spring event, Acaciadilla, in collaboration with Kappa Kappa Gamma. We raised almost $14,000 last spring. Everything was in place to keep up this good work in 2020-21 with a late-night Tuesday Tacos event planned for April. Obviously the shutdown of campus due to COVID-19 eclipsed those plans. However, we will be ready to bring back our spring event in 2021. Acacia Claus was a success this year, too. We have struggled with this in the past, but in December 2019, 87 brothers compiled 108 human service hours while collecting food for the Hoosier Hills Food Bank. Since spring 2019 was such a pivotal period for the Chapter as we worked to rebuild the bike team tradition, we are disappointed that the 75th running of Little 500 was canceled. Five potential bike team members were training throughout the fall and during spring break week in Florida. We know this was typical during other eras of the Chapter, but it was a big achievement for us to motivate brothers to step up their training game. A growing membership has both advantages and disadvantages. We are now one of the larger chapters on campus, but we struggle to keep everyone as engaged in the brotherhood as we would like. This is particularly true with seniors who, following the cultural trends throughout Greek life on campus, prefer independent living in apartments, mostly in downtown Bloomington. We hope to create more incentives to keep brothers involved through their college years and beyond. Overall, 2019-20 was another good year for Indiana Acacia. It still is, of course. Brothers remain safe and healthy, even if disappointed with how the spring semester played out. Fraternally, Will Maher '18 (#2668), Venerable Dean (630) 347-3998 | PUSHING FORWARD Active Chapter Maintains Positive Outlook Despite Campus Closure Acacians collect pantry foods for Acacia Claus in December 2019. From left: Tristan Nedeclu '19, Cameron Solz '19, Cameron Schultz '19, and Robert Gerwing '19. F rom striving for good grades to persistent philanthropic efforts, the undergraduates of Indiana Chapter of Acacia Fraternity have become leaders at IU. While they proudly represent the ideals of Acacia to the Indiana campus and Bloomington community, they aren't solely focused on what they can accomplish during their time as undergraduates. They showed their lifelong commitment to Indiana Acacia by collectively contributing to the Chapter's capital campaign. "We aren't just a bunch of guys living in a house together and thinking about ourselves in the present," Chapter President Will Maher '18 (#2668) said. "It's very important that we set the future up for success. By us contributing to something that we won't see the benefits of every day, it really demonstrates our values and how we support the brotherhood." In February, the Chapter voted to set aside any of the usual summer upgrades and smaller renovations for the next 2-3 years in order to commit their annual renovation fund fees entirely to the Securing the Journey capital campaign. "Everyone voting understood they will not likely experience the benefits of the larger renovation," Will said. "But we wanted to make our own statement about our commitment to the future of the Chapter." "I want alumni to know that we have a really strong brotherhood at the Indiana Chapter. We are holding ourselves to higher standards," Will said. "My executive board is very motivated and has been doing a great job of leading by example, which has been very motivating for the brothers. It helps us, really, to know and see how much the Indiana Acacia alumni are willing to do to support the Chapter." The academic incentives are aplenty for the Indiana Acacia undergraduates. For the 2019-20 school year, brothers have received $21,000 in scholarships from various local and international Acacia scholarship programs. There have also been $4,500 in cash stipends paid to brothers who achieved a GPA of 3.45 or better. A high bar has been set and they're looking to raise it. "My executive board and I have looked into getting study tables at one of the libraries so any brother can go to a reserved area to study," Will said. "As new members, we had a similar situation and I believe it really benefited us." The undergraduates ended the fall semester on an extremely high note by hosting a successful Acacia Claus on December 8. Indiana Acacia collected nearly 800 pounds of food for the Hoosier Hills Food Bank. "It was awesome to see our whole brotherhood doing something for the community that wasn't just raising money," Will said. "We have fulfilled our values in various ways, namely through our philanthropic efforts." Any financial support or time commitment to Indiana Acacia will go a long way toward helping the Chapter's undergraduates and future members. email Will at Indiana Acacia All About Accountability Undergraduate Brothers Contribute to Capital Campaign

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