Monday, July 19, 2010

Convention Connections

By Adam Pittenger, '11, Theta Chi

Incredibly, with over 500 brothers in attendance, the central region of Florida was more appropriately named “Brolando” from June 30th-July 3rd. Though this is seemingly only a small inside joke from the 154th Anniversary Convention of Theta Chi Fraternity, the nickname proved to be true. It seemed everywhere you turned you were running into a brother. Men from all across the nation (and Canada) traveled to the home of Disney World in order to take part in this spectacular event. I, along with Jon Pribis ‘12, Jason Raschiatore ‘12, Todd Ferreira ‘13, and Alex Lass ‘13, represented Lehigh University’s Beta Sigma chapter.

Our first night at the Rosen Plaza was one to remember. The five of us were honored to receive awards for Chapter Excellence for New Member and Member Education Programming, The Ritual, Community Service & Philanthropy Programming, Alumni Programming, Chapter Finances, Chapter Operations, Internal Cooperation, Campus Involvement, Risk Management Practices, and Social Programming. While that served as great recognition for our past achievements, we realized that convention is about meeting new people and learning for the betterment of our chapter.

Throughout the next three days, the five of us took part in numerous challenges, team-building exercises, and listened to a variety of speakers. Personally, I felt the breakout sessions were the most valuable learning tool in regards to the future growth of our chapter. Also, having never been to a national event before, it was great to meet brothers from different chapters and learn about the changes taking place within our international headquarters. Not only were we able to take part in the election of a new Grand Chapter, but Beta Sigma got to take pictures with the group during our formal banquet. Finally, the brothers of Theta Chi spent Saturday night out on the town as we all went and explored City Walk in Orlando. In all, the experience was invaluable and the lessons we learned will certainly carry over to our chapter in the 2010-2011 school year. And since the 2012 Convention is in sunny Palm Springs, California, I’ve already told our younger members that if they need an alumni delegate… I’m their man.