Pretty fly, Theta Chi
Out of over 130 active chapters across the country, it was Towson’s Theta Chi chapter that was awarded the highest honor in Theta Chi, The Howard R. Alter Award for Chapter Excellence.
“We were one of three chapters to win it so it was a really big deal. It was the first year that we were up for it because we just got chartered about a year and a half ago,” Vice President of External Affairs for the chapter Taylor Sevik said.
Although fairly new to Towson’s campus, the Theta Chi brothers committed themselves to being the best that they could be in all aspects of what it means to be a Fraternity chapter.
“We have a really amazing group of guys who really want to work and really want to make a difference on this campus,” Sevik said.
After compiling a roughly 60-page application which outlined all of their accomplishments from the past year, six of the brothers traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota where they were presented with the award.
“It covers all aspects of being a Fraternity chapter,” President Jack Dunlop said of the Alter Award. “Its not just excellence in recruitment, its excellent in chapter grades and chapter operations and how we influence the school and philanthropy and community service, social aspects, athletics, academics it covers all of that in one. It’s basically just that you have to excel in all categories to even be brought up as a potential winner of the award.”
Sevik said that to see their hard work pay off and to be recognized at a national level made him proud of all that they had accomplished. As a founding father of the chapter he has helped to build the fraternity into what it is today.
“It wasn’t easy at all and a lot of work went into it but I am really proud to say that when I leave this campus myself and my chapter made a difference on this campus and we are going to continue to hopefully make a difference for years to come,” Sevik said.
Although the award was for overall excellence, both Dunlop and Sevik owe much of their success to their high levels of student and campus involvement. The chapter has 16 members who are involved as Orientation Leaders, seven Residence Advisors, several campus tour guides and student ambassadors, as well as SGA President Kevin Kutner, URG President Alex Crenshaw and Sevik, who is the Student Director for New Student Programs.
“We have a lot of on-campus involvements which I think has made people want to push to be better and we always preach that we are only in college for four years so make the best of it, build up your best resume and do it all through Theta Chi,” Dunlop said.
This semester, the chapter hopes to continue to set the bar even higher by raising their eligibility standards from the previously required 2.5 GPA to 2.67, which is one of the highest on campus.
Dunlop explained that much of the chapter’s motivation is due to the fact that a majority of their founding fathers are still active members who can continue to pass on important values to the incoming pledge classes.
The original 12 members of the chapter began to form Theta Chi at Towson after enduring severe hazing by another fraternity on campus that was subsequently suspended.
“They [the founding fathers] said we are going to start our own, we are going to be the best that we can be and we know that we want to do anti-hazing and make it as strong as possible,” Dunlop said. “They kind of built off of that foundation, it was a known thing that if you were going to be extended a bid there was a lot to be expected of you on all of the fronts so there has never been a culture of apathy.”
In addition to receiving the Alter Award, Theta Chi was also named Towson’s Chapter of the Year, a title which has not gone to a Fraternity in a little less than a decade due to the continued excellence of Towson’s sororities.
“I am really proud of the Greek community we have here at Towson University and I believe we have really strong chapters which allow us to continue to want to be the best and to work with other chapters but have that friendly competition,” Sevik said.
Dunlop thought that the Towson’s chapters should not just fulfill the cap requirements, but go above and beyond them to show why Greek Life is important to campus.
“Winning an award like this, as well as chapter of the year at Towson really just showed, I think, everybody kinda that we are on the right track and us pushing us so hard has more than worked,” Dunlop said. “Now we have to continue pushing ourselves in other ways like working on our grade point average and building more social aspects with other fraternities to make sure everybody knows that there is a lot of Greek unity on campus, and with a potential Greek Village in the works I think that is exactly what needs to happen to make things successful.”