Phi Gamma Delta - University of Texas

Fall 2022 Newsletter

Texas Fiji of Phi Gamma Delta at the University of Texas

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The Longhorn Fiji–The University of Texas at Austin Established 1883 TEXAS FIJI H Fall 2022 A recent Wall Street Journal article asked, "Will hazing and misconduct end Greek life on campus?" A quick Google search of the many national fraternities that have recently been disciplined or disbanded for hazing or misconduct suggests that fraternity culture is on the ropes. It is indeed a challenging time for the Greek system, and many wonder if it can be sustained. One of the contributors to the WSJ article put it this way: "Physical abuse, sexual misconduct, and toxic exclusivity all pervade American chapters today. But the answer to this problem should not be the unilateral dissolution of Greek life. Instead, fraternities must become more transparent with administrators, parents, and students. Chapters should inculcate individual integrity in the face of collective pressures. These reforms are possible because Greek life is a tradition too empowering and dynamic for us to abandon. It is the wellspring of institutional belonging and lifelong relationships." As head of the Board of Chapter Advisors for the past few years, I know that Texas Fiji has made sincere efforts and great strides to get ahead of these problems. Our Chapter's student leaders not only recognize the need to develop a "a better business model" for being a sustainable 21st century Fraternity, but they have also taken steps to cultivate a culture of community service that moves our ship along a constructive path. It's not an easy path—and the stakes are high— but I have confidence in these young men and in their ability to lay a solid foundation that includes accountability, respect for others, and reaching out to those in need. This includes formation through service and philanthropy, taking care of Buen Retiro, and defying the Animal House frat stereotypes. Texas Fiji has been around since 1883, the year UT was founded; it has a glorious tradition that means so much to so many. Let's press on and keep it going! In the next few months, I will send a letter to all alumni requesting specific ways to support our community service programs. Your commitment will help Texas Fiji build on its already good reputation to serve others. GTBO, Rev. Stephen W. Kinney, Ph.D. '74 Head of the BCA T exas Fiji functions as one unit, bound by a commitment to friendship, knowledge, and service. This fall, we have applied these values toward philanthropic, scholastic, and extracurricular excellence within and beyond the fences of Buen Retiro to maximize its brotherhood-building potential. Service Last year, our Chapter's commitment to service merited its distinction as "Most Outstanding Service or Philanthropy" by the University of Texas Office of the Dean of Students among the 63 chapters affiliated with Sorority and Fraternity Life on campus. Philanthropy Chairmen Brooks Ballard '20 and Gregor Smith '20 expanded Texas Fiji's emphasis on working for justice through community service partnerships with Feed My People, Hands on Housing, The B+ Foundation, Second Harvest Food Bank of New Orleans, and the Central Texas Food Bank. This fall, brothers have volunteered with Feed My People and the Central Texas Food Bank on a bimonthly basis, collecting 623 total hours of community service, and have raised $38,678 to support the B+ Foundation's childhood cancer research. On September 9, we hosted the first Jake Ehlinger Memorial Fundraiser, raising over $10,000 for the Jake Ehlinger Foundation. Brothers spend time with Ronnie, a B+ Foundation cancer patient. Pictured: John Trahan '21, Jack Nelson '21, Oliver Ames '21, Teel Sabom '21, Jack McMahon '21, Brooks Ballard '21, and Kenan Oldham '21. Making Great Strides Toward a Strong Future TEXAS FIJI MAINTAINS A GOOD REPUTATION A Brotherhood of Leaders Members Serving the Campus and Community (Continued on page 2)

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