The Sacred Purpose Blog

It’s clear the Sacred Purpose movement is alive and well.  Our chapters are doing some really innovative work benefiting their members and their campus communities.  As we look to our future, it is essential that we maintain this positive momentum and impact.  Like all organizations and major initiatives, our goal is ever-improving, long-term consistency.  Just like in college sports, where a coaching staff provides reliability and steadiness to an athletic team despite possible inconsistencies in recruiting and talent, the Sacred Purpose movement needs local advisors who can consistently inspire, teach and mentor.

Each of our undergraduate Vice Presidents of Health and Safety is tasked with identifying a Health and Safety Advisor who provides local reliability and steadiness to our Sacred Purpose movement.  In fact, these advisors are arguably the most critical link to our Sacred Purpose leadership structure.  During the next several months, we will work very hard to identify and equip our Health and Safety Advisors. 

In keeping with that goal, we have recently finalized a Handbook for the Health and Safety Advisor.  The Handbook offers role clarity and best practices to new and potential advisors.  It complements the undergraduate Handbook for the Vice President of Health and Safety.  Both books are intuitive and easy to use.  They will serve as a useful platform for long-term consistency and excellence.  In addition to these basic resources, we will offer additional learning opportunities to further inspire and equip our undergraduates and advisors.

For additional information about serving as a Health and Safety Advisor, please contact me directly at sbennett@thetachi.org.

Sacred Purpose is alive and well.  Our Vice Presidents of Health and Safety are working very hard.  I receive notes almost every day updating me on their progress.  I am proud of them and the advancements they are making.  Remember, nobody has ever done this before.  These men are breaking new ground.  Even though I have received dozens of notes, I can’t post them all at one time.   These first updates have been lightly edited but mostly remain the direct words from our Vice Presidents of Health and Safety.  I hope they are as inspiring to you as they are for me.  I will certainly share more in the weeks to come.

Theta Iota/University of California-Santa Cruz

This is Jonathan Adams of Theta Iota chapter in Santa Cruz, California. I wanted to email you and tell you how my experience is going with this new position.  I’ve had a few brothers come to me in confidence and talk about issues that they have been struggling with.  And I can already see the impact that this position is beginning to have on my chapter. Slowly brothers are beginning to see what this position can do and I feel that it was installed at a great time for our chapter. As I expressed at the conference, we have our first brotherhood workshop in the works that will be happening within the next couple weeks and I’m excited to see how it goes.  I also found my Health and Safety Advisor in an alumnus brother from our chapter. I also continue working with different professionals on campus to gather more resources for my chapter.  I am also planning an event with the school that supports sexual assault awareness called “Walk a mile in Her Shoes”.  I just wanted to express my gratitude for this movement.  It’s an honor to be a part of something so new and to perpetuate the ideals I swore to uphold. I hope to keep in contact to keep you up to date on our chapter and am shooting for that front page of the Rattle.

Zeta Kappa/Ohio Northern

This is Justin Ray.  I wanted to update you as to how things are going at Ohio Northern University. The campus professionals that hear about Sacred Purpose are very excited to receive our assistance and to perhaps come to our chapter to hold discussions! My Health and Safety Advisor is a Theta Chi alumnus who works for Ohio Northern. He is very active in the community so I felt he would be a strong choice to help improve the image of Greek Life within the community. A good number of our brothers have joined the Active Minds chapter and it has grown substantially with our support, and we have already held an event for Eating Disorder Week.  

Eta Phi/Oakland

This Matthew McClure.  I wanted to let you know we had our first campus-wide event for this semester and our first speaker this month. We had representatives from MADD speak at our event called “Theta Chi Presents a Day on Alcohol Awareness.”  We partnered with our counseling center to provide the following services: virtual bar, beer goggles and a remote control car, beer goggles on a line test, word wall, raffle prizes, free food, and a fish bowl of statistics.  For a first event, we considered this a success as many students and many Greek members from all organizations showed up and signed in. We have already begun planning for the next event and hope to get more publicity for it.

Our speaker was a fraternity man from the University of Central Michigan who is now an officer for our police department.  He informed our brothers about possible situations involving drugs and alcohol, and taught us how to take the necessary precautions in such situations. We plan to have a CPR trainer come in next!

Just thought I should keep you updated on our progress. The assembled a task-force committee to help plan each event. And, I will continue with this group throughout the semester.

Theta Rho/McNeese State

This is Donavan Tietje of the Theta Rho Chapter at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. I’m emailing you to let you know that we have identified our Health and Safety Adviser. She has a couple of presentations set up for us regarding resiliency training and suicide intervention. I will keep you posted on the dates when they are set.

Iota Beta/Missouri State

This is John Jurss.   I wanted to fill you in on what has been happening at Iota Beta. We are in the process of finalizing plans for our campus wide event for the spring semester. It is going to be called Relationships 101 and its focus will be on how the decisions we are making now will affect the rest of our lives. This event is looking to be something much greater than imagined when the idea was initially discussed. Brother Kris Wolfe and his wife, Kristen, will be the guest speakers since they specialize in relationships, as well as what it really looks like to be a real men and women rather than what our culture says. We are also selling t-shirts to promote the event.  But, even greater than that, we are giving 100 percent of the money made from the shirts to a place called Harmony House, a shelter for women and children affected by domestic abuse. We will also ask small businesses in Springfield to support the cause as well, so it may become a Springfield effort, rather than just Missouri State event.

We have a guest speaker coming into meeting today, alumnus brother Scott Pearson who is a local attorney.  He will speak to us about the laws here in Springfield.  As for the next guest speaker I am still considering what be the most beneficial for the guys.

One other thing I’ve incorporated into our chapter’s new member education program is a new member questionnaire. The questionnaire helps our members by asking thought provoking questions that inspire meaningful conversations among the brothers.  Guys are starting to buy into the idea of Sacred Purpose and it’s pretty awesome to see. I look forward to keeping you updated in the future.

Iota Rho/Southern Polytechnic

This is Michael Rives at Southern Polytechnic.  We have been making a lot of headway for Sacred Purpose. There was a sexual harassment seminar done at our school recently by the founder of PAVE. PAVE is a national organization that stands to help victims of sexual harassment both male and female. It sounds like she and her organization may be interested in helping the Sacred Purpose movement. I believe that her group has many resources that will help the Fraternity.

Alpha Pi/Minnesota

This is Chandler Ignaszewski.  I  wanted to keep you up to date on some of the things happening at the Alpha Pi chapter through my position.

1. I found out that a large number of guys in my fraternity were interested in a bible study so I implemented a bible study that will be held every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. I am bringing in a pastor from a church on campus to lead us in this and help us become better men.

2. I set up three speakers to come speak to us this semester. One is Men’s Warehouse which will be held on a Thursday evening as a type of brotherhood event. Another speaker is on drug and alcohol abuse and how it negatively affects college students. This will be held right before our spring break. I figured this would be a good time to remind brothers of these dangers. The third speaker will discuss sex. It will cover topics of consent, sexual assault, sex and drugs, etc. This will be held in April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

3. I have partnered with the philanthropy chair of my chapter and we are in the process of organizing an event which will be a campus-wide dodge ball tournament that will raise money and also inform the entire student body about our Sacred Purpose movement. We plan on having the University of Minnesota Police Department sponsor and take part in this event since crime is a growing concern on our campus.

4. Lastly, I have been connecting with various professionals on campus and explaining to them my role of VP Health and Safety and also visions for the fraternity and entire student body.

Delta Gamma/West Virginia Wesleyan

This is Ryan Lopez.  I am the new Vice President of Health and Safety for the Delta Gamma Chapter at West Virginia Wesleyan College. I wanted to reach out to you and let you know that we have already done our first presentation to the brotherhood. A new organization got started on our campus known as Just Stand. Their goal is to raise awareness on sexual assault. The presentation was done on Wednesday January 15. It went really well.  We will be working with that organization plan their presentation to the entire campus community.  Everything is going extremely well for the Sacred Purpose movement as a whole. Thank you again for this movement.

 What is your chapter’s update?

The Power of Empathy

Empathy for another person is a cornerstone of our Sacred Purpose movement.  It is one of those things that is quite easy to talk about but is sometimes very difficult to do.  Empathy is when we understand another person’s condition from their perspective. It is when we place ourselves in their shoes and feel what they are feeling.  Sacred Purpose calls all of us to more intentionally be there when people need it most.  That action of being there for another person actually starts with empathy.  The research is overwhelming clear—feelings of empathy increase authentic helping behaviors.  Or, in other words, feelings of empathy inspire us to be better friends and better brothers.

I have watched this three-minute video many times. Personally, I am inspired by its deep wisdom but I am also humbled by what I learned.  To be honest, there are times when I have not had empathy for others, including the people I care about the most.  Although I was not trying to hurt them, sadly I did.  I certainly was not a great friend or brother.  I wish I could go back and do things differently.  I wish that I would have made the choice to be empathetic.  So, what should I do now?  In many of those situations, I can offer a heartfelt apology to those who needed me.  But, perhaps the best way to honor past regrettable situations is acting differently in the future.  I can take what I have learned here and really apply it to my life.  I can recommit to keeping my eyes open and seeing what others may be feeling.  But, it must not stop with simply seeing what others are experiencing.  It must be about taking action and doing something.  It must be feeling with someone and being there when they need it most.  I hope you will join me.

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