A Letter from Re-Founding Class President Suyash Dixit
Brothers in Chi Psi:
On a cold winter evening in February, I was walking home from the Michigan Union when I got a text from a fraternity on campus that I’d never heard of: Chi Psi. I stopped in my tracks and raised an eyebrow thinking I’d seen this story unfold so many times before: an underclassman on campus rushes a frat, is turned off by their culture, and has second thoughts. As a freshman, I was admittedly heavily influenced by my friends’ crazy stories about Greek Life and was hesitant to pull back the curtain to take a closer look. This time, however, I told myself to keep an open mind and figure out what Chi Psi was about before I came to any conclusions. Little did I know that this decision would eventually alter the trajectory of my semester and college experience for the better.
I remember getting lunch with Aidin Montefisher, our extension specialist, for the first time. I explained how I wanted only one thing from my Michigan experience: a work hard, play hard mentality that would allow me to succeed academically and grow as a person while still having as much fun as possible throughout my four years. I spent quite some time looking into Chi Psi’s mission only to find that it directly echoed my beliefs. This fraternity was truly all about bringing out the best in individuals by encouraging academic excellence while instilling a set of values that would morph its members into gentlemen of class and virtue. Intrigued, I decided to take a leap of faith and accepted my bid to join the re-founding group.
Over the course of the next month, I was introduced to other founding members of our Alpha through early Brotherhood events and Alpha meetings. Whether it was getting dinners together every Thursday night, stopping by the Lodge every other day to geek out over March Madness, or playing games online with the other recruits, I was starting to get the sense that we were at the tip of the iceberg in terms of what Chi Psi could become. Later in April, at our Program for Self-Development retreat, I remember sitting around a bonfire with all the guys, sharing our life stories and struggles to understand each other beyond our surface-level friendship. I was struck by the fact that even though all of us came from wildly different backgrounds and grew up in different environments, there was one common thread between us. We all had the same vision for the kind of men we wanted to be in the future, the leadership styles we wanted to embody, and the legacy we wanted to leave behind at Michigan. It became clear to me that the foundation for a real Brotherhood was there. The countless inside jokes and rivalries at the poker table were slowly giving way to planning fun summer trips and a multifaceted effort to invest time in making more memories.
Recently, we had a few opportunities to meet several Michigan Chi Psi Alumni and to develop an understanding of what this idea of a real Brotherhood looked like as a fully functioning Alpha. Being the oldest fraternity on campus, the sheer amount of history in the Lodge’s halls made me realize that we’d stumbled on something so much greater than ourselves. The alumni talked a lot about the power of the Chi Psi network and the fact that Brothers always look out for each other, especially after their college years. This sentiment especially rang true for me after a chance encounter with a Michigan Chi Psi alum from my hometown only a month after I’d accepted my bid.
Watching everyone reminisce about their Chi Psi days and talk about stories from years ago as if they happened yesterday opened my eyes to what our group could eventually become through hard work and resilience. Given that our vision for Chi Psi sheds new light on the fraternity experience at Michigan, we’re truly looking forward to meeting and building bonds with like-minded people on campus who share our goals. We even hope to reach individuals of strong character who might not have otherwise considered Greek Life. While this process won’t be easy, I’m a firm believer in the fact that tremendous opportunity comes with tremendous responsibility. All things considered, we’re beyond excited to play a part in finally restoring Alpha Epsilon to what it once was.