Most college freshmen don’t step forward with the abilities to guide a student organization, let alone attempt to transform their campus culture. Two young members of Beta Omicron Chapter at NSU are answering the challenge to lead by example. Rising freshmen Will Poole and Sean Austin were among only 100 of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity’s 10,000 undergraduate members selected for Pi Kapp College, an intensive, six-day emerging leaders institute. Held June 4-9, 2012 at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina, the program is designed to challenge and empower participants to become better leaders and better men.
Outside of the group setting, Poole and Austin participated in small groups of 10 other members led by 2 faculty, including one non-member and one alumnus. The week included small group discussion, large group education sessions, a challenge course, unique subordinate rituals, and an insider look at Pi Kappa Phi’s history on College of Charleston’s campus. The Fraternity was founded there in 1904, making the physical setting an important element of the program.
One of the most powerful experiences for Poole was a panel discussion with Pi Kappa Phi Executive Director Emeritus and honorary fourth founder Durward Owen. “He told us that one of his teammates on the baseball team had paid for his initiation fee. It was fifty dollars and he said that he is still paying his debt back to the fraternity for what Pi Kappa Phi has done for him.”
For Austin, a week of inner-reflection and team-building activities changed his outlook on leadership and life. “The greatest opportunities are just 1 3/8 inches away, which is the thickness of a door. Everything that God has for you is just a closed door waiting to be opened.”
Beta Omicron Chapter re-founding archon Wes Breeden served as a facilitator, drawing from his undergraduate and professional experience to motivate and challenge the students. “The best advice he gave me is do whatever takes to make our chapter succeed,” Poole said. “It was great to hear how Beta Omicron was re-chartered and see how far it has come.” Chapter alumnus Nick Breaux, a Push America staff member, also helped participants understand leadership opportunities through serving people with disabilities.
Attending Pi Kapp College is an honor in itself. Students are selected through a rigorous application process, involving interviews and essays. Graduates leave with an increased commitment to acting consistently with their core personal values and values of Pi Kappa Phi, enhanced abilities to develop and enrich relationships as well as a strengthened commitment to respecting the dignity of all people, and embraced belief in aspiring toward the “ideal chapter”, and developing the capability to move a plan into action.
To learn more about Pi Kapp College or to apply, click this link: http://www.pikapp.org/content.aspx?id=773