At first I was unsure if I should write about something that I would typically not want to talk about to the general public being the happy, energetic person that I am, but a person who is extremely important to me convinced me otherwise.
“Evan, what has happened is in the past. What you have learned, gained, and grown from your experiences is part of who you are”
As many people have heard in the CMU community, my fraternity has been suspended from Central Michigan for the next three years for breaking university policy. Although many people recently have seen us as the “bad guys” or may refer us to more derogatory terms I want to give my experience as a brother.
In April 2015, I was initiated as brother of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity and it is what happened to be the best thing that happened to me in my college career. I struggled in college, had lost a couple friends, and it seemed at the time that the whole world was against me. Greek Life had never really been something I could see myself being a part of because of all the heat that fraternities take. I didn’t want to be hazed, I didn’t want to be forced to drink, I didn’t want my grades to worsen, and most importantly, I didn’t want to lose all my money paying for dues.
I was convinced by a friend to rush and just see what happens. Eventually I had found that Phi Kappa Tau had most represented me. The brothers cared about me, offered many leadership opportunities, shared the same values, have fun, and had a group that was different from each other yet still held a bond that I will always hold. . I have met my absolute best friends and I could not imagine life without them. They picked me up when I was down, I learned from other brothers’ mistakes, and have been able to serve my chapter and my community. The amount of networking I have made meeting brothers from across the country that all have the same beliefs as me is something truly spectacular. No joke, since joining, I have learned how to manage my time, my grades have skyrocketed, and learned to use my struggles in the past and turn them into life lessons.
I have also been able to take on an executive board position as our Philanthropy Chairman where I raise money for our National Philanthropy, SeriousFun Children’s Network, giving terminally ill children a summer camp experience free of charge. Planning our 3rd annual SeriousFun Week is still one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences I have ever had, as well as raising money through our PKTober-fest this last fall. Up until the suspension, I was able to give brothers community service opportunities, like cleaning up the streets of Mount Pleasant, volunteering at camps, keep everyone aware of opportunities on campus, along with raising money for a cause that I cherish deeply in my heart .
This was my fourth and final year with the group. Although it did not end as planned, Phi Tau was everything I needed and if it wasn’t for this group. I don’t even know if I would still be at Central if it wasn’t for the men that pushed me. I am the man I am today because of my brothers and this year has taught me so much about overcoming something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I’m blessed to be a part of a group that is so accepting to who you are. Just because my house doesn’t have letters anymore does not mean that I still won’t represent Central Michigan in a positive and welcoming atmosphere.