Probably, Beta Theta Pi is the organization that got me most excited about joining in my first year at Denison. It’s a fraternity compiled of Men of Principles. Now, to tell you all how I got selected for a bid and initiated as a member is going to be too long. From the early days that I met the other 11 guys in my pledge class to the day of initiation was a hard-fought process for each of us, with multiple rituals to follow, stories to tell, and brotherhoods which get bonded. To sum up, here is the testimonials letter that I read during one of the rituals before we get initiated to all members of the fraternity. It sums up how I feel about this organization:
“2 months have passed by since the day I got that special bid. That night of bid day, I got a special feeling that this is going to be an interesting journey, one that is mysterious but would be full of fun and bonding experience. And it did, at least so far… This semester is vastly different from my first one. Beta Theta Pi has completely reshaped me in a positive way. It forces me to step out of my comfort zone and step in the shoes of others, to imagine in their point of view and to exercise sympathy/empathy towards them. It creates a sense of belonging within the brotherhood that is valuable and worth to be treasured. It promotes an environment in which sharing is caring, that all brothers are allowed to be vulnerable, knowing that others will truthfully respect their vulnerability. Most of all, it is a community in which everyone is comfortable with each other and honesty is valued the most. Out of the whole pledging process, the Dragon’s Breath ritual was undoubtedly the most powerful bonding experience for me. It was the first time ever I truly got to know my soon-to-be brothers, in the deepest and most emotional way. Hearing all of these extraordinary stories about the struggles and difficulties that heavily impacted their life reshaped my point of view on a lot of them. Overall, that sense of sympathy and respect led to our closeness, making us brothers, fraternity, family. I want to give a special thanks to some individuals who have made my pledge experience to be wonderful and memorable. To Ryan Keller, our pledge educator, who is awesomely nice and friendly. Thanks for taking the time off from the midst of academic pressure, track & field, and social life and spending time bonding the 12 of us together, educating us about Beta values and rituals. To Will Longo and Adam Rice, who are always chill and hilarious at most situation. Thanks for offering me a hand to become part of the Macbeth family and sharing your advices as well as experience with the fraternity. To Ben Chiewpasa, and Chris Morriss, the older members of the family, for being really accepting and welcoming to me, for sharing a family’s dinner and allowing me to know you all better. To Sam Heyman, my DU Lead leader, for introducing me to the fraternity and showing me the benefits of it. To Peter Hurford, recruitment chair, for being so open and helpful during rush events and even in pledging. To Stetson Thacker and Deniz Aydogan, 2 of my favorite seniors, for offering me wisdoms and showing me the Beta qualities by leading with example. To Jackson Wu-Pong, a true example of Men of Principle, for sharing some great and meaningful conversations with me not just about Beta but also about Denison. To Ryan Erickson, our president, for being the easiest person to talk with at all matters. To Yusuf Ahmed, an amazingly spirited Beta, for showing me what Beta pride is and how to represent it. To Rex Cao, who put off an amazing effort with King of the Wing, for showing me the type of philanthropic events that we do. And lastly, to all of my pledge brothers, for sharing this experience with me and being with each other when we’re troubled the most. The upcoming years will be an amazing journey that I cannot wait to experience, not with anyone but with the 11 of you, my dearest Beta brothers. And to conclude my testimonials, I will use a quote from my big Will, “Stay hungry, Stay foolish, because in the face of death, all fear of embarrassment and failure vanishes”. The quest for my Beta journey will officially start next week, and I’m ready to go at it, knowing that our brotherhood will lift me up and help me sail-pass through all troubles and difficulties I might face along this journey.
Soon to be your brothers,