By Marilyn Baer
Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity is one of the newest additions to the Greek community at OWU.
Fiji officially gained its first pledge class on March 8 of last semester after their national headquarters facilitated their new charter and recolonization. Fiji had been an active fraternity on OWU’s campus previously, but had their charter revoked in March of 2008 due to financial issues and declining membership.
Members of Fiji are a part of many organizations on campus such as the Wesleyan Council of Student Affairs (WCSA), tennis, basketball, soccer and lacrosse teams.
It is this diversity that senior Paul Hendricks, president of Fiji, sets his fraternity apart from the rest.
“A lot of the fraternities have kind of stagnated and settled into a stereotype, and I think we are very different in that sense because we have guys who are literally coming from almost every single organization on campus,” Hendricks said.
Sophomore Philippe Chauveau, a member of the philanthropy and brotherhood committee and the pledge education committee, echoed this same feeling.
“We are a pretty diverse group of guys,” Chauveau said. “Some fraternities you can look at and say oh, they are football players and they are basketball players, but not us. We have soccer players, lacrosse players, tennis players, baseball players, ultimate Frisbee players, we have WCSA members, and all other organizations.”
Fiji is also different than other OWU fraternities because they do not have a house.
That doesn’t seem to hinder their appeal to potential new members however, as Chauveau said they just signed on seven new pledges.
Not having a house may not always be the case, though. Chavauveau said he speculates they may get a house his in the next year or two.
“This is just speculation, but what I was told was that, by either my junior or, latest, my senior year, we will be getting our old house back or some other house on campus,” Chauveau said.
One thing the men of FIJI said they expect to add to the Greek community is gentlemanly behavior.
“We are trying to have the image of the nice guys I guess,” Cheaveau said. “Just being gentlemen, always helping out, and being an active member of the community by doing a lot of community service and also by being very sociable.”
Another thing that the self-proclaimed Fiji gentlemen plan to add to the Greek community is a higher grade point average.
“We will also definitely bring a higher GPA to the Greek community. I believe we had a 3.0 last semester, so we lost by like a decimal to Alpha Sig. I think we will get the whole GPA up,” Chauveau said.
Although the fraternity is no longer being run by the graduate brothers who, during the six week transition period Hendricks said “held our hands” and “showed us the ropes, ” the brothers aren’t completely alone.
“I actually have biweekly correspondents with our top graduated adviser, our purple legionnaire, to talk about things,” said Hendricks. “We also have a board of colony advisors which represent every single area of our fraternity; one for recruitment, one for philanthropy etcetera and those guys are in contact with our committees regularly.”
Fiji has had a few issues getting up and running, which is why their presence is more dominant this year than the last. One of those main issues, according to Hendricks, was organization.
“The committees didn’t know who to report to, and lot of the people didn’t know who to report to, so just creating that structure has been my top priority as president and now people are starting to hold each other accountable and we are starting to get things done,” Hendricks said.
Not all the problems have been bad however, according to Hendricks.
“One of our slogans is ‘not for college days alone’ so I am constantly being contacted by graduate brothers asking if they can get involved and what they can do to help,” said Hendricks. “It’s almost to the point that I don’t know what to say to them because we have so many people volunteering but that’s a great problem to have.”
The men of Fiji are well underway this semester and already have several events in the works that students can look forward to Hendricks said.
“We are hoping to hold a Wittenberg soccer run with the Fiji chapter there to increase school spirit for the soccer game and we are also hoping to get some kind of signature philanthropy event on campus, maybe a fundraiser or two for the USO and our national philanthropy the Red Cross,” Hendricks said.