By Tim Alford
This week is an exciting time for all of the fraternities on campus, as we get to extend invitations to men to join our brotherhoods. In this time of things to come, I reflect on my experience of receiving a bid and what being in a fraternity has meant to me.
Coming to Ohio Wesleyan as a freshman, I had absolutely no intention of ever joining a fraternity. I only knew them from television shows and movies and did not have any interest in joining one. I had my group of friends in Smith Hall. Why would I ever need to join a fraternity?
One of the first fraternity men I met was Spencer Meads, who was the president of College Republicans at the time. While he had mentioned Phi Delta Theta (Phi Delt) and invited me to lunch a few times to talk politics, I never really thought much about joining.
By the end of my first semester, a harsh reality began to set in about my current group of friends: they were all transferring. Many of them were football players from out of state, as far away as New Mexico and Texas.
I didn’t really want to leave OWU. I was a leader in many clubs and organizations, and had found my major of politics and government. Leaving didn’t make sense to me, but without my group of friends, it would be tough to stay.
A few weeks into the second semester, I got invited back up to Phi Delt for lunch. Spencer was still the only person in the house I knew, but that day, they gave me a bid to join the house. I was stunned but excited to have received the bid. I thought that maybe this was exactly what I was looking for to stay at OWU.
The next week, I signed my bid and officially became a pledge of Phi Delt. Not knowing anyone in the house or anyone in my pledge class made me nervous, but I knew it was going to be the only shot I had at staying at OWU.
Throughout pledging, I expected to learn about the fraternity. I expected to learn the names of some of the guys in the house. I even expected to become decent friends with some of them. What I did not expect was making true, lifelong friends in the pledge process.
This started just by getting to know the guys in my pledge class, and then grew to everyone else in the house. By the time I got initiated, I had become close friends with every guy in the fraternity.
I have lived in the house for almost two years now and have never regretted joining. I have served a full term as vice-president of the house as well as other various positions and committees.
Living in Phi Delt has given me a group of friends that have helped make me a better person. Though positions, I have learned how to work with people and manage the house. While we all have great times at socials and mixers, some of the best times are just going from room to room to talk, watch a show or play a video game.
So, to those of you receiving bids throughout this week and this weekend, I want to encourage you to really take time to consider joining. Ask questions to brothers in the fraternity. Get into contact with alumni who have been involved with Greek life.
Ask the brothers if you can come and join them for some meals or come and hang out over the weekend.
Express any and all concerns and questions you have to the brothers.
Remember that fraternities do not just hand bids out to anyone. You were given a bid because they legitimately want you in their brotherhood.
I’m proud to be a part of Greek life and I’m excited for anyone who may join. (I’m even more excited for the group of guys who are about to sign bids to Phi Delt.)
It is going to be a great semester for whole Greek community.