The Sacred Purpose Blog

Today we have received some great news from two chapters who happen to be about an hour and a half long car ride away from each other. It’s only appropriate that we share it with you all, now! We couldn’t be more proud of our Epsilon Zeta/ University of Tampa and Iota Theta/ University of Central Florida chapters. Keep up the good work, gentlemen!

Epsilon Zeta/ University of Tampa

UPDATE: Epsilon Zeta/ University of Tampa had originally expected around 100 people in attendance for their event and topped that with over 180 people in attendance! Great job, Brothers! 

On April 1, 2015 at 7:00pm in the Reeves Theatre (Vaughn Building) on the University of Tampa’s campus, the Epsilon Zeta/ University of Tampa chapter and the University of Tampa Active Minds chapter will be hosting Mr. Jordan Burnham to speak on behalf of suicide prevention and awareness. This event is open for all who wish to attend. Their goal by bringing in Mr. Burnham is to raise awareness for suicide prevention and mental health all while raising money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The Epsilon Zeta brothers will be selling wrist bands for $2 prior to the event to help offset the costs of bringing Mr. Burnham to campus as well as to provide a cash donation to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. They hope to raise over $500 from now until the date of the event by selling wrist bands and hosting an event at The Outpost after the conclusion of the Mr. Burnham’s presentation. Patrons of The Outpost from 8pm-10pm will have 10% of their meal total donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The Outpost is located at 909 W. Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, Florida 33606.

 

Brother McCabe, Vice President of Health and Safety (Epsilon Zeta/ University of Tampa), said, “I hope that this helps other Vice Presidents of Health and Safety and other chapters of Theta Chi Fraternity so that we can all do well in our respective communities and make a real difference!” Thank you to Brother McCabe for sharing your event with us! We wish you the best of luck!

UT CWE1

 

Iota Theta/ University of Central Florida

 

The Iota Theta/ University of Central Florida chapter hosted their first Sacred Purpose campus wide event of the semester at 6pm on March 23,, 2015, in the Cape Florida Ballroom on the University of Central Florida campus. They hosted an event in collaboration with The Florida Abolitionist Movement and the program’s goal was to raise awareness of the terrible horrors of human sex trafficking. Brothers of the Iota Theta Chapter came into their relationship with The Florida Abolitionist Movement through one of their members while he was running for Mr. UCF. Brother Lucdwin Luck’s platform while running for Mr. UCF was based upon spreading awareness in order to stop human sex trafficking. After Brother Luck’s campaign had ended, he encouraged his chapter to continue their relationship with the Florida Abolitionist Movement in order to perpetuate the spread of awareness. Approximately 40 students and guests were in attendance for this event and left with a wealth of knowledge in regards to ending human sex trafficking.

 

Thank you Brother Wallach, Vice President of Health and Safety (Iota Theta/ University of Central Florida), for sharing this with us! Keep up the good work!

UCF CWE1

 

 

Editor’s note: A huge “thank you!” to Bill Russo, Director of Volunteer Development, for his time and assistance with this blog post!

One of the most important duties and roles of the Vice President of Health and Safety is actually one of the most simple, recruiting a Health and Safety Advisor. This article is geared towards the chapters that may not currently have an Advisor, or may simply be looking to replace the individual in that position that no longer has the time to serve. A lot of the time, we just tend to overlook and overthink how simple it really is to find a great Health and Safety Advisor.  Let’s take a look at a step by step model on recruiting your very own Health and Safety Advisor.

First, we must understand why we need an advisor, and what their duties and roles are to the chapter. Health and Safety Advisors are going to spend much of their time collaborating with the undergraduate Vice President of Health and Safety in developing an annual strategic plan. These Advisors should also look to inspire and motivate the undergraduate members to live a healthier and safer life style. The Health and Safety Advisor will also act as a resource should a chapter crisis arise. Finally, it is important to understand that while we have a Vice President of Health and Safety in our chapters, he is not the “chapter counselor”. College students today are facing an all-time high level of stress and anxiety. The last thing that we want our undergraduate members shouldering are the bulk of everyone else’s problems, too. This is where your Health and Safety Advisor can be the most helpful by collaborating with the Vice President of Health and Safety in guiding brothers towards the best possible resources.

So where should we look?

Chances are your Health and Safety Advisor is right under your nose! By reaching out to your local Alumni there is a great chance that these Brothers have your answer waiting for you. A question to ask is: “Brothers, do we know anyone who has a background in health and safety?’ A background in health and safety is vague and open to much interpretation depending on what you think health and safety really means…and that’s okay! Depending on the challenges of your Chapter, there might be a greater need for fire health and safety over nutrition and physical education. By all means, bring on the most qualified and relevant Advisor to your mission as a Vice President of Health and Safety. They can have experience as a First Responder (EMT, Police Officer, Fireman, etc.), Psychologist, Nutritionist, Physical Education Instructor, Doctor, Nurse, Guidance Counselor, Social Worker, etc. The key to finding the right Health and Safety Advisor for your chapter is keeping an open mind. There is no stipulation as to who your advisor has to be. They can be man or woman, Theta Chi or not, a University employee or Government official. It’s completely up to your chapter!

Once we’ve narrowed down our choices to one or two, it’s time to reach out to them to join you on your Sacred Purpose journey. When contacting your potential advisor, it’s crucial to keep a few things in mind:

  1. Introduce yourself and why you are contacting them.
  2. Identify the best means of contact (electronic mail, hand delivered letters, or a simple telephone call)
  3. Ask them how their day is! Be personal and professional.
  4. Explain your job as a Vice President of Health and Safety and if they aren’t already aware of what Theta Chi is, now would be a great time to give them a run-down of what Theta Chi Fraternity is really about!
  5. Explain that you have done some research and would like them to advise you in your role as Vice President of Health and Safety.
  6. Explain that there is generally a time commitment that comes with the role of advising (whether it be attending a Chapter Meeting or two, or exchanging emails periodically, etc.). Keep in mind that these individuals are respected professionals and have prior commitments, much like you have classes and the like.
  7. If they are skeptical of the advisory role, ask them if they have the time to come and meet your Chapter Brothers. Invite them to a Chapter meeting or have your Executive Board meet them for dinner.
  8. Finally, if all goes according to plan and you find that this individual is ready to accept the responsibility, have a formal vote in your Chapter Meeting to confirm them as your Health and Safety Advisor. Then, formally ask them to join you in providing top-notch health and safety advice to your Chapter, University and community!

Now what?

Now that you have successfully recruited a Health and Safety Advisor your next step will be to integrate them into the Chapter Advisory Board (CAB).  If your chapter does not currently have a Chapter Advisory Board please contact Director of Volunteer Development Bill Russo at bill@thetachi.org for information and assistance in forming one.   The Health and Safety Advisor may find it to be beneficial to have other professionals and advisors to communicate with regarding the chapter’s needs.  Even if your chapter does not currently have a CAB, you will want to introduce the Health and Safety advisor to prominent Alumni advisors and house corporation officers.

With a Health and Safety Advisor voted and confirmed, you’re ready to move forward.  Continue to keep the dialogue open in discussing your strategic plan and finding new ways to relate to your communities. Most of all, thank them. We should be so honored to have so many willing and dedicated advisors. They spend countless hours out of their already so busy lives and it’s our job to thank them…relentlessly. Without our advisors, we quite simply would not be able to accomplish such great feats.

As always, if you need further resources or have further questions; you can consult your Vice President of Health and Safety Handbook , Health and Safety Advisor Handbook, or contact Director of Education, Brandon Younkin.

 

We’re less than a month away from the award application deadline! Has your chapter applied for the David L. Westol Sacred Purpose Award yet? Below is an article from this past summer’s 158th National Convention and School of Fraternity Practices. Last year’s recipient of the David L. Westol Sacred Purpose Award was Beta Phi/ University of Nevada-Reno. The award application can be found here and must be submitted by April 10, 2015! Please contact Brandon Younkin, Director of Education, if you have any questions with your application process.

 

Editor’s note: This blog was originally posted on August 8, 2014 by Shawn Bennett.

Congratulations to the brothers of Beta Phi Chapter at the University of Nevada-Reno for winning the inaugural David L. Westol Sacred Purpose Award.RE_2014_thetachiconvention_-522 - Sacred Purpose General Session - Paul Norstrem Presents Dave Westol Award to Beta PhiThe quality of award applications submitted this first year were truly outstanding. We could not be more proud of what our undergraduates have accomplished during the first semester of our Sacred Purpose movement.

The winning chapter hosted two health and safety related expert guest speakers for their members. The first speaker explored the important topics of sexual harassment, discrimination and sexual assault prevention. The second expert speaker discussed mental health among college students with a special emphasis on depression and stress reduction.

For their campus-wide program, the chapter worked in conjunction with a prominent advocacy group called Zero Fatalities to raise awareness on the dangers of drinking and driving. By reserving space in a large auditorium, the event attracted 130 students from every corner of their campus community.

In addition to these impressive programs, the chapter cultivated relationships with the campus Health Center, the Title IX office, Zero Fatalities, and the Department of Public Safety.Beta PhiBeta Phi 2Presented annually, the David L. Westol Sacred Purpose Award goes to the chapter that most exemplifies the spirit of our Sacred Purpose movement. Launched in the fall of 2013, the Sacred Purpose movement is the modern expression of our motto— the Assisting Hand. The Sacred Purpose offers programmatic support at the chapter and international levels that concentrates specifically on health and safety related topics. The movement called for the creation of new leadership positions that help us better care for and understand one another.

The award is named in honor of David L. Westol, Beta Zeta / Michigan State 1973, whose volunteer and professional career have been devoted to the health, safety, and protection of fraternity and sorority members. After graduating from Michigan State in 1973, Dave worked for his alma mater as Assistant Director of Student Activities and Advisor to Fraternities. He was admitted to the Michigan Bar in November 1979 and became an assistant prosecutor for the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney in Kalamazoo County, MI.

From 1975-1980, Westol served as a Regional Counselor for Theta Chi before being elected to the Grand Chapter as National Vice President in 1980. He remained in that role until completing his maximum second term in 1988. In December of that year, he was named the Fraternity’s Executive Director and held that position for 18 years. Today, he is the founder, owner and CEO of Limberlost Consulting.

Westol’s interfraternal career is equally impressive. He was elected to the board of directors of the Fraternal Information and Programming Group (FIPG) in 1993 and has served continuously on the board since that time. He has also served FIPG in the roles of Director of Policy Interpretation and Administrator since 1996. In July 1998, he was elected to the Fraternity Executives Association (FEA) board of directors and served as president from 2002-2003. He has also served on the board of directors for HazingPrevention.org and on the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values (AFLV).

Dave has become a ubiquitous figure at fraternity and sorority leadership development events. He has performed his signature anti-hazing presentation “Hazing on Trial” over 1,800 times since 1981 and has spoken on more than 350 campuses and at over 200 Greek leadership events. Dave has served as a faculty member for AFLV, the Northeast Greek Leadership Association, the Southeast Interfraternity Conference and the Fraternal Risk Management Trust, (FRMT) Inc. From its first session in the early 1990s through 2010, he was a faculty member for “Risk Management on the Road,” an annual traveling consultants’ workshop for women’s national fraternities and sororities.

In 2012, Dave was named a recipient of the North American Interfraternity Conference’s Gold Medal, the most prestigious honor in the interfraternal world. Brother Westol is one of only four Theta Chi members to have received the Gold Medal.

The Dave Westol Sacred Purpose Award consists of an engraved crystal trophy bearing the chapter’s designation and the university or college name. The award handsomely displays the Sacred Purpose logo as its primary visual element.

The award also prominently features one of Brother Westol’s favorite quotes. Authored by Edwin Markham, the quote eloquently captures the spirit of the Sacred Purpose movement.

“There is a destiny that makes us brothers
None goes his way alone.
All that we send into the lives of others
Comes back into our very own”
Edwin Markham 1852-1940

All active chapters and colonies were eligible to apply for the award. Applicants are nominated by the International Headquarters staff. And, final approval of the award winner was confirmed by the National Sacred Purpose Committee.

You may never be able to throw a 100mph fastball, experience the excitement that is playing in front of 37,400 people at Fenway Park, or high five “Big Papi” after an extra inning win. However, you could stand up for what you believe in with passion and conviction because that’s exactly what Curt Shilling did this past week.

In today’s world, the Internet is everything.  Many in this millennial generation spend hours waiting for his or her 5 seconds of fame just to put someone else down all while hiding behind a keyboard. After congratulating his daughter on being accepted to play softball in college via Twitter, individuals wanting their 5 seconds of fame began to respond via Twitter. After hours of sending ruthless and demeaning tweets, Curt Shilling took a stand and defended his daughter against the evils that are keyboard warriors.

So what…people get trolled on the Internet all the time, right? It is ever increasingly important that we as members of Theta Chi Fraternity realize that everything that we do is no longer apart of just “yourself.” You joined an organization that is much larger than yourself and by doing so, you represent every single one of us. Here are two links to visit to see Curt Shilling’s response.  Be aware that one of the individuals called out by Curt Shilling is a member of another men’s national fraternity.

  1. Via madworldnews.com
  2. Via Deadspin.com: *** Warning -link contains graphic language & content ***

During our recent Mid-Year Leadership Conferences throughout the country this past January and February we discussed the importance of our Sacred Purpose and how Theta Chi Fraternity can be a leader in addressing and preventing sexual misconduct and sexual assault. We call upon all of our brothers to stand up for women and others in our lives and to challenge those who demean them.

Always be mindful of your actions and words. You represent something much greater than you or I. You represent Theta Chi Fraternity. Use your brain, have fun, and be safe.

Hello! The last time that I posted, I was still on the road as a Field Executive. I am pleased to announce that I am now back at the International Headquarters in Carmel, Indiana! Over the coming weeks I will continue to post blogs that pertain to the health and safety of our members and communities, and also highlighting some great accomplishments that chapters all around the country have done. With that, I need your help. Often, our members do great things but rarely tell anyone about them. This is your chance! I look forward to working with each and every one of our Vice Presidents of Health and Safety in showcasing the great work that Theta Chi is doing. I encourage everyone to reach out to me with any advice or questions you may have pertaining to the duties of our Vice Presidents of Health and Safety or Sacred Purpose . You can reach me at: (317) 848-1856 #2041 or Byounkin@Thetachi.org.

I will also be working to generate ideas in creating methods by which we can work together to better understand Sacred Purpose in the coming weeks. If your chapter would like to reach out to me on Skype, email, or telephone, I would be glad to work with you through those mediums. Remember, I serve you.

As midterms approach, remember to relax and focus on your studies. As someone who just graduated just a short 8 months ago, I understand the pressures that students face. If you find yourself in a bind with school, remember that there are resources on your campus to aid you in your success…use them! With that, I wish you all a wonderful Spring Break! In the coming weeks I will provide tips and advice that your members can utilize to ensure a safe and fun Spring Break experience.

In closing, be well, and there is no better time to be a Theta Chi!

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