2004 Delta Chi Chapter History
The following is an overview of 2004 Delta Chi Chapter History.
New and Improved Rush
With new rush advisor Laura Spessard leading the way, the spring 2004 rush went without too many problems. The process began with three rush info sessions. One of the strongest aspects of the info sessions was the slide shows, which the potential rushes could view while waiting for the session to begin. In addition, Laura Spessard decided to have strong public speakers present the information to the potential rushes, even if that wasn’t the president. This would also improve the presentation.
Rachel Flink, a member of the Rush & Initiation committee put the slide show together with pictures from the previous semester. A previous problem, which the slide show solved, was that the fraternity was not put in a fun light when discussed at the rush info sessions, and so by showing pictures of how much fun PSP is, it encourages people to rush because they see how much fun it will be.
Rush events started smoothly with the making of cards for sick children. Everyone showed their eagerness to draw cards to be delivered to the children at St. Luke’s Hospital. Because Laura held the event in the UC, the food had to be bought from Wood Dining Services, and so everyone enjoyed cookies and hot chocolate while making their cards. Although not the most exciting of events, Cookies and Cards allowed for everyone to sit and talk to one another, and it ended up being one of the strongest events. The following night, Friday January 30 2004, many rushes and brothers attended broomball. A very fun and exciting event, not many people got to know one another too well, but it showed that Phi Sigma Pi can have fun as well as do service and scholarship events. In order to add in a more social aspect to the event, Treasurer Angela Rizzo recommended getting pizza afterwards so that everyone could eat and mingle. Most rushes stayed and ate. To take advantage of everyone being there, the E-Board tried to arrange some game playing, such as four corners, but with a twist so that information could be learned about one another, such as go to a certain corner depending on where you are from.
Taking a break, pref events did not continue until Friday, February 6, on which day the rushes and brothers were supposed to go to the local Boys & Girls Club, which is a favorite event of the chapter. Unfortunately, weather reared its ugly head, and there was another snowfall the previous day, closing the local schools, and when the schools close, the children do not go to the Boys & Girls Club afterward, and so an alternative event had to be offered. The E-Board brainstormed all afternoon to come up with a competitive group activity, which was recently done in one of their sociology classes, building with straws and paper clips. The judging would be based on height, strength, and creativity. Everyone arrived and was told of the situation. The competition began, and the observers and brother group members were able to see how the rushes worked in groups, a needed quality because of the committee work required in the chapter. After all the work done by the groups it was decided that everyone won, and the reward was juice and cookies provided by the chapter. Once again, everyone mingled and continued to get to know one another.
The final rush event convened at a local union bowling alley with inexpensive games because of the subsidization from the union. Brothers paid only $1 per game, which included shoes, and the rushes were covered by the chapter. The small size of the alley contributed to the environment that allowed for people to talk and bowl at the same time. Every lane had a great time, and a couple of closet bowlers came out to show off their stuff. Everyone only played two games, and so the night ended in a couple of hours. Brothers enjoyed the event so much, that social committee chair Lauren Halgash made another bowling event later in the semester on March 20 2004, with the same prices and the same fun.
Second Brotherhood Retreat
The second semi-annual Brother’s Retreat was held on the weekend of February 20, 2004 in Cherry Hill, NJ at a penthouse in a hotel. Last semester brothers retreated to a camping ground in Pennsylvania where they set up tents, built a fire, ate, and talked. Although the Brothers did not have to endure physical activities, they got to know each other nonetheless. Four cars transported the 12 brothers to the penthouse allowing a get to know each other car ride to begin the experience. Once settled in the brothers ate, played ice breaker games, card games, and board games (including Twister).
Several brothers sat up late into the night talking to one another. Breakfast was provided by the chapter, and so brothers woke up to bagels, donuts, juice, and coffee. That morning everyone left, and although only 12 brothers attended the retreat, those brothers left knowing more about each other than before, some forming great friendships, and ultimately achieving the goal of the retreat.
Better Big/Little Pairings
A very important part of the pledge process is for the initiate to receive a big who helps them adapt to and learn about the chapter, and to be there for the initiate for any help needed. Unfortunately, the Big-Little pairs of previous semesters have not always been the best matching, and so a new process was developed for the spring 2004 semester. Initiate Advisor Stella Maher, with the help of her committee, devised two new events that would help the Bigs and Littles get to know one another so that they can choose people that they can become friends with, which is the ideal situation for a big-little pair.
The first event took place on Sunday February 15 2004. In one of the rooms in the UC, a circle of chairs was organized, and all of the potential Bigs and Littles played Phi Sigma Pi’s favorite game Never-Have-I-Ever. During this game, a person stands in the middle and says something that they had never done. Then, in this version all of the people who had done it would have to get up and try to find an empty chair. The person left without a chair had to do the next "Never-Have-I-Ever".
Next, everyone picked a Starburst candy out of a bag, and depending on the color of the candy one received they would have to tell something about themselves, such as most embarrassing moment, favorite Lehigh moment, and other such facts. In the end the games worked very well and everyone left knowing more than before they came.
This event was followed up the next weekend when a session of “speed-dating” took place in the UC on February 22 2004. First all of the Brothers removed one of their shoes and made a pile. Each initiate picked up a shoe and sat across from the person to whom the shoe belonged. This started the speed-dating. Every three minutes the initiates would switch places and would go through and speak to each Brother for three minutes. This method succeeded in allowing each potential big to talk to all of the initiates and vice versa.
Habitat for Humanity
On March 27 2004, twenty- four Brothers and initiates, including some inactive brothers, woke up early to meet in Campus Square D. The job consisted of rebuilding an old distribution center into their new main office. Some people cut drywall and put up insulation for the office part of the building. Others put together shelves and put away building materials in the warehouse part. Still others dug a ditch, in which a new wheelchair accessible ramp would go.
Ad-hoc Bylaws Committee
At the last meeting of the semester, new Parliamentarian Matt Griffiths brought to the table a semester’s worth of work, a slew of amendments to the bylaws. Every section had changes, produced by the ad-hoc Bylaws committee, formed solely to amend the bylaws so that they would not have to be amended again. Meeting every week for a month and then holding a marathon meeting on Friday April 16, 2004, the committee made it through the entire Chapter Bylaws.
The Chapter Bylaws and Operating policy were originally written by Stella Maher the summer after the creation of the Delta Chi Chapter of Phi Sigma Pi at Lehigh University based on other chapter’s bylaws. As a result, they needed changing in order to comply with the nuances of the Delta Chi Chapter.
In order to bring it to the chapter so as not to waste hours upon hours of precious time, Matt Griffiths proposed to submit all of the amendments as a whole, and then start a discussion board regarding it. All of the amendments that were addressed on the discussion board would be voted on separately.
Surprisingly the method worked. All of the amendments passed as a whole, with the exception of the two amendments discussed, the paying of local dues by locally inactive brothers, and the time span for nominations and voting for new officers.
As a result of much debate and in addition to many friendly amendments, the chapter decided that locally inactive brothers would not have to pay local dues, and that nominations for a position would be held one week before elections, unless it is deemed an emergency by an unanimous vote by E-board, in which case the nominations and elections could be held in one night.
This chapter meeting proved impressive, as many Brothers spoke their beliefs and all using Robert’s rules, perhaps it was the food provided by the chapter for the meeting. With the changes to the bylaws, many actions of the chapter would now by covered in the bylaws, and meetings in general could run more smoothly with an easy reference for the rules. Next semester, the chapter has aspirations to amend the Operating Policy into a useful document.
Delta Chi Learns a lot at Grand Chapter
The 2004 Grand Chapter Conference in Richmond Virginia was a paradigm shift in the way the Delta Chi Chapter operated. Before GC '04 none of the current executive board members had experienced the fraternity on either a national or even regional level (only Stella and Jeff had attended). The result was (in retrospect) that the chapter acted in a fairly isolationist way. And while the chapter brotherhood was more unified than ever, it lacked the frame of reference which gives Phi Sigma Pi its full dimension.
The 2004 Grand Chapter Conference changed all of that. With nonstop camaraderie and the feeling of unconditional brotherhood, the members of Delta Chi attending found themselves in a hotel full of brothers with their honest best intentions for the national fraternity, their regions, and their chapters in mind. As President of Delta Chi, Angela Rizzo was elected the chapter’s Grand Chapter Delegate, and Brian Dunst (chapter VP) the Grand Chapter Alternate Delegate. Before attending Grand Chapter Conference, Delta Chi reviewed, pro/conned and voted upon each proposed amendment to the Constitution and National Operating Policy. The results of the vote and minutes for pro/con were kept, and used as a reference during actual Grand Chapter Business. Stella Maher, Jeff Samuels, and A.J. Miceli also attended the 2004 Grand Chapter Conference.
As an auxiliary social project, the national staff organized a game of “Gotcha” as a sort of unifying ice-breaker promoting getting to know Brothers of the national fraternity. Every Brother registered had another Brother as a target, and a plastic spoon. The game objectives were simple: every brother uses his/her spoon to ‘stab’ each other in the back, once ‘stabbed’ that person is ‘dead’ and out of the game and his/her target given to the attacker. In the end, there should be only one left alive. Through much paranoia and shadiness, Brian Dunst ended up being the ultimate winner. However, he had to stab A.J. Miceli his own Delta Chi Brother in the back with A.J.’s own spoon in order to accomplish the task.
Returning from 2004 Grand Chapter Conference with a newfound feeling of brotherhood, Angela, Brian, and A.J. Miceli, (joined by Stella Maher, and Jeff Samuels) had many new and exciting ideas for Delta Chi. One of the major goals for the upcoming semesters was to increase inter-chapter relations with the East Region. In the end, the 2004 Grand Chapter Conference served as a revitalizing experience, giving a new vision and direction to the leaders of Delta Chi.
Brothers Add Some Fun to Chapter Meetings
On September 13, 2004 Nick Moukhine motioned to acquire a PSP hat that would be worn by the Parliamentarian at all chapter meetings. This hat would also be used by the Parliamentarian to collect the slips of paper after voting. Nick also included that the hat would be singed by each Parliamentarian and passed down to each successive Parliamentarian. The Parliamentarian's hat would also be the only hat allowed to be worn during chapter meetings. Nick left the kind of hat and it’s name up to the chapter. The chapter passed the motion at this meeting.
At the following meeting the chapter narrowed hat selections down to a cowboy hat, beanie and sombrero with the cowboy hat winning the majority of the vote. The name of the hat was also voted on with "The Enforcer" being the favorite over "Bob," "The Hat," and "Mr. Hat." Since the chosen hat was a cowboy hat it was decided that Parliamentarian Brian Dunst also had to pass down his Sheriff badge to the next Parliamentarian. Brian Dunst asked the chapter if any Brother had a hat from the Wild Wild West Party, held earlier in the semester, that they would like to donate to the Parliamentarian. A.J. Miceli generously gave his cowboy hat to Brian.
After the chapter meeting on September 13th, the Executive Board planned a scholarship event for the brotherhood in the form of a local history skit. The skit told the story of the founding of the Delta Chi Chapter up until 2003 in an over exaggerated parody. Since many of the older brothers knew the "characters" in this skit they found it hysterical. For the members of recently inducted classes the skit was enjoyable and an eye opener into how far the chapter has come as a while. The skit included major events from the induction of the Alpha Class through the Delta Class. The "acting" done by the E-Board Members kept the brotherhood laughing throughout the skit. The E-Board actors made it clear that the skit was all in good humor and said they hoped that the future Executive Board would one day create a skit of the history of the chapter from 2003 to present and that their characters would be just as hilariously exaggerated.
At a chapter meeting on September 27th Nick Moukhine struck again, proposing another motion to liven up chapter meetings. Nick motioned that an E-Board member would have to tell a funny story at each chapter meeting. After being friendly amended to open up the story telling to the entire brotherhood, each person being chosen at random the meeting before, the brotherhood passed this motion and Reid Gronostajski was chosen to tell the first funny story at the next chapter meeting.
The Parliamentarian still wears "The Enforcer" during chapter meetings, and a Brother is always chosen for funny story at each chapter meeting.
Delta Chi Forges Inter-Chapter Relationships
One of the goals of President Angela Rizzo was to create a inter-chapter relationships, an aspect of fellowship that the Delta Chi Chapter was currently lacking. She got in touch with the President of Kutztown University’s chapter(Epsilon Alpha Chapter) which was located near Lehigh. A lunch was set up at the Olive Garden on a Saturday afternoon in October. The members of the Executive Board were very excited to meet members of the Epsilon Alpha Chapter. The brothers spoke about their respective chapters and learned that though similar in some respects the brothers that made up each chapter were extremely different. After an enjoyable lunch contact information was shared and the possibility of a joint event was discussed.
In another attempt by the Delta Chi Chapter to improve its inter-chapter relations, Spencer McCord, Brandon Fishman, Angela Rizzo, Rachel Mandeville, Alon Abramson, and Ryan Botzler drove down to Gamma Pi on Friday, October 17 2004 for their semi-formal. The group was split into pairs and each pair was hosted by a Gamma Pi brother.
That night, the Gamma Pi Chapter sponsored an off-campus toga party in which the Delta Chi brothers eagerly attended with their hosts. The next day, the Gamma Pi brothers took the Delta Chi gang on a tour of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The group had a bonding experience at lunch at the California Pizza Kitchen and then took a Water Taxi tour of the harbor. The highlight of the afternoon was the taking of a group picture by Jeep photographers around and on top of the Jeep used in a popular television commercial.
At, the semi-formal that night, Ryan stole the show through his smooth actions and dance techniques with three of Gamma Pi’s female brothers who, by the end of the night, were on the verge of fighting over him.
Due to the amazingly fun time the chapters had hanging out with one another the Delta Chi Chapter invited Gamma Pi to attend their semi-formal and many of the them excitedly agreed.
The Delta Chi Chapter gathered on December 3rd to celebrate the founding of the chapter three years ago. Not only was the chapter celebrating Founder’s Day, but also the end of classes and the end of another semester. Brothers formed into groups and each cooked its own dish for the potluck dinner. The dishes ranged from pasta and salad to macaroni and cheese to chicken pot pie. Everyone agreed that the food was delicious as they sat around Sayre Lodge enjoying the company of their brothers. After dinner was complete the brotherhood bundled up and moved outside for the officer transition ceremony.
To conclude the night the Awards and Scholarship Committee Chair Susie Whitten gave out end of the semester awards. Angela Rizzo won Most Dedicated and Most Valuable Brother, and Spencer McCord received Most Events Attended. The tripod based awards went to Laura Petrini for Service, Lauren Halgash for Fellowship and Brian Dunst for Scholarship. Nick Moukhine was named Frat Clown and was part of the Cutest Couple with Jackie Lanzon. And finally, Ryan Botlzer won the "Most Come out of Their Shell" Award complete with a picture of a turtle on the award.