Re-Founding Class President’s Letter to Chi Psi Parents
Welcome! As the President of Chi Psi Fraternity, I just wanted to send out an email introducing myself to new member parents and to tell you a little about the organization your sons have chosen to join.
Alpha Epsilon of Chi Psi Fraternity (our “chapter”) was founded in 1845 at Michigan with the goal of bringing together like-minded gentlemen in intellectual, moral, and social life. The next 150+ years saw the cultivation of timeless memories and lifelong friendships. However, in 2016, Alpha Epsilon was forced into dormancy as a result of poor decisions by then active members, and our Lodge (chapter house) was shut down by our alumni to restart the correct way. Five years later, we are in the final stages of rebuilding a values-based Brotherhood that we hope will stand the test of time. As you might be wondering, what is Chi Psi now and how did we get here?
Before I pledged Chi Psi, I knew I wanted only one thing from my Michigan experience: to succeed academically and grow as a person while still having fun throughout my four years. While Greek life was admittedly not appealing to me as a freshman, I spent quite some time looking into Chi Psi’s mission only to find that it directly echoed my beliefs. While the majority of fraternities at Michigan seemed to be less holistic, 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. Chi Psi was different. Intrigued, I decided to take a leap of faith.
Over the course of the next month, I was introduced to other members of the “Re-Founding Class” through early Brotherhood events and chapter meetings. Whether it was formal dinners every Thursday night, stopping by the Lodge every day to geek out over March Madness, or playing games online, 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 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 want to be in the future, the leadership styles we want to embody, and the legacy we want 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.
Throughout the past year, we have recruited on the idea that we offer an experience unlike anything else you can find on campus; a fraternity that takes values seriously and places large importance on self-development. We still recruit on this same idea today, and I can attest to the fact that personal growth of our members is something we pride ourselves on. Joining Chi Psi is not always an easy decision, given the other choices that exist within our Greek (fraternity) system. However, I’d like to think that choosing to pledge Chi Psi was one of the best decisions I have ever made. We have come a long way from just 4 members in March 2021 to a strong group of over 20 members in March 2022.
The men of Chi Psi are leaders around campus. Among our members we have leadership and membership in many other organizations including professional fraternities (pre-med, pre-law, business, etc.), engineering project teams, the club volleyball team, IM basketball, and others. One of the ways we recruit is through the diverse range of interests of our members. Additionally, Chi Psi takes academics seriously, with our active brothers having one of the highest cumulative GPAs of all campus fraternities. We have been participating in several community service and philanthropy events for the past few months, most notably a local park cleanup event every other weekend and a planned bake sale at the end of the semester. We plan on hosting several engagement events in the fall, including a parents weekend which we would certainly hope to see you at (more details to come!).
Depending on your experience with Greek organizations, or what you see in the media, you may be concerned about hazing, alcohol abuse, or related stereotypical fraternity activity. We have not participated in any hazing, and don’t plan on starting to anytime soon. We’ve never seen it as necessary to disrespect individuals who we want to become one of our members, and have much better uses of our time. I’ve always found it hard to believe that fraternal organizations preach values, yet choose to haze new members. What “values”, exactly, is that organization hoping to portray? Drinking is not required for membership in our fraternity, and your sons will never be pressured to drink while at Chi Psi.
I’m sure many of you have questions regarding our fraternity, and I welcome responses to this email. My contact information is listed below; please never hesitate to send me an email or give me a call. Looking forward to meeting you this fall!