Since the fall of 2002, I have been involved in some capacity with the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Over the course of 16 years, my roles have been varied. I have been another face in the room. I have undertaken positions without much fanfare. I have led a chapter. I have advised a chapter. No matter the role, when my fraternity asked for my participation, I stepped forward.
I continue to step forward because our Alumni Charge demands it. We promise before fellow brothers to continually serve the organization in some capacity. I take that promise very serious. In some ways, I am trying to nurture the next generation of leaders because I believe this organization is shaped in a way to change men for the better. I am also trying to make up for my failings as an undergraduate leader. I failed repeatedly. By continuing to volunteer, perhaps I am trying to fill the gaps in my past and help members avoid some of the mistakes I made.
Recently, after a move from Seattle to Los Angeles, a new thought has been on my mind. Perhaps it is time to walk away from the fraternity. This is grown out of some frustration. I am finding it nearly impossible to volunteer in the LA area. Secondly, it seems to occur almost weekly that I flip on the television or scroll past some article about some fraternity hazing or worse. The frustration I feel for those who continue to drag the names of our organizations through the mud cannot be understated. When coupled together, a clean break weighs on my mind.
Yet, I know the outcome. It is already predetermined. Something indescribable continues to pull me back into the fold. Perhaps I will never volunteer while I live in LA. I might have to wait on my return to Seattle. News stories will continue to break about fraternities and I know in my heart of hearts this will motivate me toward change and not retreat.
With all that I have given to this organization, it still fails in comparison to what this organization has given me. So, I write this annual letter to vent. I also do it because I know I am not alone. Countless volunteers have stood where I now find myself. For them, I write this letter hoping to connect and get some words of wisdom. For those no longer connected to Pike, I write this hoping you will reconsider. Our organization, now more than ever, needs committed leaders inspiring young men toward greatness. I also write this letter for the undergraduate members. Be kind and patient with your volunteers. At the end of the day, most of us have only the best intentions for Pike in mind.
Be good to each other,
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