Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Psi Upsilon Pride

By Dan Grande, ’11, Psi Upsilon

The Psi Upsilon Fraternity’s 167th convention took place at the University of Illinois (Omicron Chapter) in Champaign, Illinois from June 25th through June 28th. Overall there were 141 brothers in attendance representing 30 different chapters. But what really stood out was the fact that there were 66 active delegates compared to 75 alumni delegates ranging from age 22 to 75. Immediately I understood that these brothers held the phrase “lifelong friendship” as highly as we at the Eta do.

I was joined by my fellow brothers Dan Coviello ’13, Ian Smyth ’12, Todd Jenkins ’12 and alumni Jeremy McKeon ’08 and Alexander Senchak ’06 over the three day trip. Our schedule included a Leadership Institute for undergraduates and alumni, committees on Awards, Budget & Development, Nominations and Credentials, and a special memorial service for those brothers who had recently passed. I found the Leadership Institute to be particularly helpful as we learned how other chapters deal with different situations. Through a three hour session we explored ways we can better ourselves as well as help the new chapters shape their futures. In typical fashion Psi U fashion, we also managed to fit in a few social events such as a cookout at the Omicron chapter house, a banquet and awards ceremony, and a special Centennial Dinner honoring the Omicron for its 100th year. It was at these events that delegates from different chapters really got to interact with one another and share stories and experiences with one another. In particular, I liked to hear stories from brothers whose chapters were located outside of the northeast, as they often had very different fraternity experiences than I have had.

But perhaps the highlight of the entire ordeal was recognition of the Eta via two awards, the Clasped Hands Award and the Award of Distinction. The Clasped Hands award is “presented to chapters that have devoted significant time and effort to philanthropic efforts and community service” while the Award of Distinction “recognizes a chapter when they perform in an extraordinary manner [in philanthropic service] which merits special recognition.” Being recognized at this high of a level with such prestigious awards has made me really value what I have here at Lehigh- a great brotherhood. After attending convention this summer I can say with conviction and absolute certainty that I am a proud member of the Eta and a proud member of Psi Upsilon as an international fraternity.