Petition

FIJI Crest

A Petition to

The Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta

A Request for a Chapter Charter from

the Delta Colony at Western Kentucky University

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Contents

Letter from the Colony President

Membership Development

Recruitment
Pledge Education
Leadership Development

Finance

Dues and Budgeting
Fundraising

Scholarship

Philanthropy

Community Service
Campus Involvement
Rivalry Run
Fijis Across America

Campus Involvement

Letters of Recommendation

An Introduction to the Colony

Welcome to the Delta Colony of Phi Gamma Delta at Western Kentucky University!  We hope that you are encouraged as you read our petition.

The Colony’s first moments were incredible, pledging 40 of the highest quality men on October 23, 2008.  Through many trials and successes, the appearance of Phi Gamma Delta on our campus has renewed an appreciation for the Greek man and raised the bar for excellence even higher.

It is our goal that you may be inspired by our dedication to this great Fraternity.

To the Archons and Chapters of Phi Gamma Delta:

Chaz Vittitow
Chaz Vittitow, Colony President

On behalf of our Colony, I proudly submit to you this petition—an honest, full account of the challenges and accomplishments of our group.  Thank you for taking your time to examine it.  Furthermore, thank you for trusting us with the name of Phi Gamma Delta.

The Delta Colony at Western Kentucky University was formed after a search committee from WKU’s Interfraternity Council selected Phi Gamma Delta as the most worthy candidate to expand the campus Greek system.

Over the past 18 months, we have labored to espouse the values and the vision of the Fraternity.  Our association with Phi Gamma Delta has provided us the opportunity to build one of the most respected organizations on our campus.

We have diligently worked to accomplish more than was expected of us, and I believe it confirms that we are now suitable to join you as fully initiated brothers.

We are honored to have experienced this brotherhood.  Second only to faith and family, our affiliation with Phi Gamma Delta has been the most influential and rewarding experience of our lives.  With the fullest commitment to the prestige of our International Fraternity, we will labor to embody forever the values of this great Fraternity.

Through this petition, we wish to convey the love and appreciation our Colony has for this Fraternity.  We request you affirm the petition to charter into Phi Gamma Delta.

Respectfully submitted,

Chaz Vittitow

Colony President

Membership Development

Recruitment

The Delta Colony recruits men who strive to embody the five values of the Fraternity: Friendship, Knowledge, Service, Morality, and Excellence.  In evaluating if a potential member may receive a bid, the colony brothers place the highest importance on character and values.  This is closely followed by scholarship, personal compatibility of the man, extracurricular activities, and leadership.

Our Alpha Class was initiated the first week of the spring 2009 semester, and we began our first formal recruitment the next week.   For this recruitment, we followed similar methods by which our Alpha Class was recruited.

We had 100% bid acceptance, and pledged five men after another week of informal recruitment.  It is important to note that the spring is a consistently difficult time to recruit new fraternity men at WKU.  The average pledge class of all fraternities for that spring was six men.

In Fall 2009, we redoubled our efforts and recruited 17 quality men.  Thirteen of these men participated in formal recruitment; four signed bids the next week.  We extended 20 bids for an acceptance rate of 85%.  The average fraternity pledge class size for the fall semester was 14 men.  In terms of rank, we recruited more new members than seven other fraternities, placing our pledge class at sixth in size overall.

Pledge Class # Pledged # Initiated Current Brothers
Alpha     –  Fall ‘08 40 28 22
Beta   –  Spring ‘09 5 4 4
Gamma  –  Fall ‘09 17 14 14
Delta  –  Spring ‘10 10 April 16

The Delta Colony at WKU attracts and pledges the highest quality men available on campus.  We have very high standards for pledge status, especially academic achievement.  Our academic requirements (GPA) to be pledged are 2.8 for those with prior college work and 3.0 for those directly out of high school.  Additionally, all pledges are required to show proof that they are on track to achieve a 2.75 or higher during their pledge semester in order to be considered for initiation.  These initial requirements are much higher than the WKU Greek Affairs requirement of 2.25 for pledges and initiates.

In addition to our academic standards, we pledge and initiate men who are leaders, athletes, and gentlemen.  We expect all members to be involved in at least one other campus or community organization in addition to Phi Gamma Delta.  We also expect high participation in Fiji events and other Greek events.  From a community service standpoint, all pledges and brothers are required to complete at least ten hours of community service per semester.

Currently, the Delta Colony stands sixth of 13 Interfraternity Council groups on campus in terms of membership size.  Only losing two men to graduation should move us to fourth by the Fall 2010 semester.

Pledge Education

Despite utilizing the Fraternity’s pledge program and having graduate brothers as pledge educators, the retention rate for our Alpha Pledge Class was 55%.  We lacked a complementary big brother program, making it difficult to develop the type of relationships that bind men to each other and to the Fraternity.  Therefore, at the conclusion of our first semester, the Alpha Class worked hard to correct this issue for future pledge classes.

Facing challenges of program unfamiliarity, novice brotherhood, and poor retention during our first pledge semester, the remaining members of the Alpha Class were determined to advance the Colony toward a more successful pledge experience.  In pledging and instructing five members of the Beta Class firsthand, retention increased to 80%.

Our recruitment process for the Gamma Class improved, and there was a natural progression in meeting the expectations of men we pledged.  As an extension, the pledge education process itself became a more fluid, successful endeavor when we improved our big brother program.  For the spring 2010 term, a new Pledge Educator is in place.  He has continued to mature many aspects of the program itself (most importantly the big brother program), and we anticipate higher retention as well as improved involvement, brotherhood, and scholarship results for the spring.

Pledge Education encompasses all guidance that may be needed to ensure a smooth transition from pledge to brother in the colony.  The colony uses the International Fraternity’s standard eight-week pledge program to assimilate new members into Phi Gamma Delta.  Through the guidance of big brothers, the elements of our pledge education program ensure that new members are participating in fraternity activities and striving for academic success before other distractions of college life.  The program demands that the big brothers invest proper time to the program and commit to a dynamic relationship with their little brothers.  Additionally, this model allows for pledges to experience the regular functions of a fraternity:  meeting style and committee work, for example.  We have worked diligently to create a transparent relationship with our new members.

The Delta Colony at WKU is not a re-colonization and therefore does not have a graduate base of its own.  Moreover, a very limited number of graduate brothers exist in the Bowling Green area.  We quickly identified the need to build local graduate support and advisement.  Therefore, we committed ourselves to recruit men from the community who did not have prior Greek affiliation.  In this regard, we have succeeded—we now have four outstanding graduate initiates in our colony.  These men provide advice in graduate relations, membership development, recruitment, and pledge education programs.

Leadership Development

After two months as a Colony, just after the January 2009 Fiji Academy, our first cabinet realized that much work was needed to develop a strong infrastructure.  We realized that a strategic internal organization was key to providing a firm foundation year after year for our colony.  That realization was the impetus for crafting a dynamic leadership program built on core elements introduced to us by the International Fraternity.

However, our program expands upon this structure and implements a year-round cycle of activities to develop a broader leadership model.  We believe that strategically timing these events will allow us to plan for success year after year.  The activities below are organized by the order in which they fall during the academic calendar, beginning with the fall.

Fall – three leadership events

Officer Candidate Orientation *

September – This mandatory session for officer candidates outlined the minimum expectations for officers, including time commitments for positions of leadership, Fiji Academy, Ekklesia, weekly Colony meetings, Cabinet meetings, BCA communications and University relations.

Elections

November – The leadership development cycle begins with our annual fall elections.  Men wishing to stand for office are required to have attended the Officer Candidate Orientation.

Officer Transition Retreat

November – This follows the standard elements of retiring officers transferring materials and records to the incoming officers.  Officer responsibilities are discussed in greater depth than covered in the Officer Candidate Orientation.  The calendar of key events through the end of the spring semester is reviewed.  The general financial condition of the colony is reviewed.  Members of the BCA have an opportunity to introduce themselves to new officers and reach agreement on the nature of these important relationships.  This retreat lasts five to seven hours and is meant to be a general orientation for new officers.

Winter – three leadership events

Strategic Planning Retreat *

December – This retreat occurs during the winter break.  It is an opportunity for the new officers and key committee chairmen to develop detailed plans for the next 11 months.  Beyond the five colony officers, we include chairmen for Recruitment, Pledge Education, Scholarship, Graduate Relations, and Fundraising.  For this year’s meeting, we also included the Chartering Chair.  We used an expanded version of the International Fraternity’s Cups & Awards questionnaire as our guideline to identify opportunities for programming basics and to determine benchmarks for measuring excellence.  Members of the BCA were invited to participate so we could keep the BCA abreast of initiatives we adopted.  This retreat lasts eight to nine hours.

Fiji Academy

January – Last year, 2009, we had four undergraduate delegates and one BCA member attend the Fiji Academy.  This year, 2010, we had six undergraduate delegates and three BCA members attend.

Planning Update *

January – The officers and key committee chairmen have about four weeks between the Strategic Planning Retreat and the Planning Update to fine tune and write initial documentation on the programs identified and adopted at the Strategic Planning Retreat.  The Planning Update is divided into two segments:  internal review and presentation to the entire colony.  Each Colony member serves on a committee and as such has been contacted during the four-week development period to provide input and identify his role in advancing the agenda.

Spring & Summer – two leadership events

Chapter Retreat

March – The Situational Self Leadership team (from the concepts by Dr. Ken Blanchard) will be the centerpiece of a retreat focused on brotherhood development.

Summer Leadership Retreat *

July – Our original notion was to provide leadership training for six to eight upcoming leaders over a six-hour period.  This expanded into a weekend-long retreat for 16 brothers (out of 28).  We used a custom Leadership Development Institute program developed by the Headquarters staff.

*Original concepts for leadership development established independently by the colony.

Finance

Dues and Budgeting

We collect our Colony dues on a monthly basis.  Receipts are primarily by check with a minimal amount of cash collections.  Late fees are assessed for the rare brother who is tardy in his dues payment.  A $10 penalty is standard for dues fines.

An electronic payment system will be offered during the spring 2010 semester, as part of a pilot project by a group of fraternities implementing Legacy Financial, based out of Lexington, Ky.  This opportunity will not cost the Colony anything.

As of December 31, 2009, funds balances equal $9,600 in checking account, $3,900 in chartering account, $1,410 in housing account and accounts receivable of only $250.  There are no outstanding accounts payable at year’s end.

Our budget for the spring 2010 term has been developed on the basis of 40 initiated colony brothers and a spring pledge class of 10 men.  The budget is divided into five basic categories:  Colony program dues, Chartering expenses, Pass-Thru expenses, Housing reserves and Fundraising income.  The initial budget projected no deficits at the end of our academic year in May.

Fundraising

Fundraising for our Colony has been under developed so far.  Three men have chaired this effort at different times during our first year.  We will continue to increase our attention to garner external monetary support for our colony programs and awareness of our community presence.

Ten brothers provided operational support for a photo shoot at the University of Kentucky sorority bid day, realizing a $500 donation.  For our spring formal, brothers purchased print photos from the photographer, who contributed a $200 surplus back to our Colony.  A small group of brothers donated time to a community service project that netted $200.

In addition we solicited graduate donations and received $3,000 in support for several targeted projects:  a $1,000 white star scholarship; $400 stipend for our summer leadership retreat; $900 for our Rivalry Run; $700 for Academy delegate fees.

We are currently developing a new round of fundraising that will both heighten community awareness of Phi Gamma Delta and bring in money to support the Colony’s programming.  Two ideas in development are a campus calendar displaying brothers’ humor and personality in daily activities and a fish fry during lent with our local Catholic parish.

Scholarship

Fall 08 Spring 09 Fall 09 Average
Phi Gamma Delta 3.290 3.317 3.255 3.287
Sigma Phi Epsilon 3.056 2.888 2.872 2.939
Sigma Chi 2.829 3.077 2.827 2.911
FarmHouse 2.954 2.823 2.773 2.850
Kappa Alpha 2.817 2.882 2.810 2.836
Sigma Alpha Epsilon 2.657 2.810 2.847 2.771
All Fraternity 2.707 2.823 2.734 2.755
Delta Tau Delta 2.471 2.925 2.721 2.706
Lambda Chi Alpha 2.542 2.715 2.769 2.675
Kappa Sigma 2.784 2.782 2.423 2.663
Pi Kappa Alpha 2.678 2.779 2.496 2.651
Sigma Nu 2.551 2.700 2.589 2.613
Phi Delta Theta 2.453 2.456 2.700 2.536
All Men’s 2.500 2.510 2.480 2.497
Alpha Gamma Rho 2.206 2.507 2.212 2.308

Within the Delta Colony, the pursuit of scholarship is first.  We have the highest GPA on campus by an average of more than .30.  Within our membership, nearly 40% of the brothers are in the WKU Honors College, more than triple any other fraternity.

Two members out of 28 achieved a perfect 4.0 the spring 2009 semester.  For the fall 2009 semester, four brothers achieved a 4.0.

In alignment with the priorities of the International Fraternity, the brothers of the WKU Delta Colony have strived to place scholarship at the top of the list since our inception in October 2008.  In all three completed academic terms since founding, the Delta Colony placed first among all fraternities at Western Kentucky University.  As a Colony, we have set a precedent of high academic achievement for Greek organizations on our campus and throughout all of Phi Gamma Delta, placing eleventh among all chapters and colonies of Phi Gamma Delta in our first year.

Term Colony GPA All Fraternity GPA All Men’s GPA All Greek GPA
Fall 2008 3.290 2.707 2.510 2.707
Spring 2009 3.317 2.823 2.510 2.993
Fall 2009 3.255 2.710 2.480

Our Delta Colony placed in all academic categories for which we were eligible at the WKU Greek Affairs academic banquet in March 2009.  We received two first place plaques for highest overall GPA and highest new member GPA.  One of the brothers received the award for highest overall GPA in the Fraternity Senior category.

We teach our new members to strive for academic excellence while balancing fraternity activities.

Percentage of Pledges Receiving the AAA Scholarship

Study hours are enforced upon those who achieve less than a 2.75 GPA during the previous semester by our scholarship chairman and faculty advisor.  Probationers are required to submit a log of their study hours to the Scholarship chairman weekly in addition to keeping regular contact with our faculty academic advisor, Dr. Ray Blankenship (Kentucky 1984).

Brothers who achieve a GPA higher than that of the Colony average are invited to a scholarship dinner held each semester.  This dinner is paid for with part of the budget of the scholarship committee.

Philanthropy

Community Service

In spring 2009, 26 brothers completed 309 hours of community service for an average of 11.9 hours.  In fall 2009, the 40 brothers of our colony contributed 653.75 hours of service for an average of 16.3 hours per brother.  We are proud that we have increased our average, and we hope to continue this path.

The Colony appointed a community service chairman within the Philanthropy Committee in order to address our goal of increasing community involvement.

Campus Involvement

In the spirit of unity, the Delta Colony sought to support each Greek organization’s philanthropy.  A chronological list has been provided.  Please note the successes of our Colony within many of these philanthropies.

Month Day Description Accomplishment $ Donated
Nov 14 Highway Cleanup with Sigma Kappa Newspaper Story
Feb 13 WKU Honors College – Quiz Bowl 20
Feb 23 Pi Kappa Alpha-Pike and Dales, Big Brothers/Big Sisters 2nd Place 75
Feb 24 Big Brothers/Big Sisters 150
Feb 25 Alpha Omicron Pi Rose Bowl 1st Place 100
Mar 6 Kappa Delta – Shamrock Shootout, team 1 60
Mar 6 Kappa Delta – Shamrock Shootout, team 2 60
Mar 6 Sigma Chi – Fight Night 75
Mar 29 Phi Mu Golf Scramble – Children’s Miracle Network 3rd Place 120
April 7 Alpha Delta Pi – Sink or Swim 100
Aug 17 Camp for Courageous Kids 120
Sep 16 WKU ROTC – Ten Miler 200
Sep 30 Kappa Delta – Shenanigans 2nd Place 45
Oct 18 Phi Mu Golf Scramble – Children’s Miracle Network 120
Dec 2 Alpha Gamma Delta, Mr. Greek God Pageant 1st Place

Additionally, the April 2009 Greek Week competition features service to the community.  During Greek Week, the Delta Colony supported a blood drive with 100% participation and the Center for Courageous Kids, which assists children with life-threatening illnesses.

Greek organizations at WKU have consistently relied on other Greek organizations to donate to their philanthropies.  We believed that expanding our target would boost support within the campus and the community.  Therefore, we remained in a brainstorming period.

Rivalry Run

In March 2009, the Colony adopted the Rivalry Run as our first philanthropy.  It was modeled after the “football runs” of other Fiji chapters, such as Ohio State-Michigan, Virginia-Virginia Tech and Georgia-Georgia Tech.  We planned to run the game football 100 miles to Middle Tennessee State University.

Rivalry Run
2009 Rivalry Run

The Run featured an online website: www.wkurivalryrun.com.  Facebook groups and event pages were made for the Run to encourage participation at the starting line.

Eventually, we also gained the support of Middle Tennessee’s Pi Kappa Phi chapter.  With their help, the brothers of the Delta Colony raised money to benefit the American Red Cross.  Our goal was to raise $5,000 through personal and corporate sponsorships as well as t-shirt sales.

Each brother of Phi Gamma Delta/Pi Kappa Phi was asked to raise $100 for the Run.  Sponsorships could be given through miles, t-shirt sales, or run sponsorships.  The Philanthropy Committee took sponsorship packets to local area businesses to gain support as well.

We raised $4,633.43 after covering $876.83 worth of expenses.  We donated 84% of what we raised, which we consider a success for our first attempt.  Just as important, though, the Rivalry Run had articles in eight publications across two cities distributed through Internet, television broadcast, and print media.  We believe this is an important step in establishing long-term relationships that will help promote Phi Gamma Delta at WKU.

Fijis Across America

Fijis Across America
Fijis Across America bike riders

Brother Tyler Jury (2012) founded Fijis Across America, a coast-to-coast bike ride to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.  He designed the philanthropic powerhouse as a memorial to his grandfather, who suffered from the disease for four years.  The 3,200-mile bike ride will take the eight cyclists six weeks to complete.  The fundraising goal is $75,000.  More than six months away, the Ride already has three corporate sponsors:  Clif Bar, RoadID, and the Wright Legacy Group, an investment firm.  The Web site itself is an impressive accomplishment:  www.fijisacrossamerica.com showcases the weekly accomplishments for Fijis Across America in a blog, provides biographies of the riders, maps the route, and allows for donations.

Campus and Community Involvement

Brother Year Number of Campus Organizations Number of Community Organizations Employment During School
Alpha Class
Kyle Allen Junior 3 2 yes
Brandon Bowman Senior 6 4
Thomas Cameron Junior 3 1
Dustin Clevidence Graduate 8 2
Matt Cooke Senior 4 2
Peter Drance Junior 2 3
Chris Drury Senior 3 4 yes
Luke Gilliam Sophomore 3 1
Wade Haga Sophomore 1 1
Tyler Jury Junior 7 2 yes
Malcolm Lunceford Sophomore 2 2
Blaine Routt Junior 5 2
Jake Ryle Sophomore 6 2
Zack Ryle Junior 5 1 yes
Ronnie Santana Senior 4 1 yes
Luke Simmons Junior 4 1 yes
Nick Serroque Senior 4 1
Michael Snyder Junior 4 1
Ryan Torres Junior 3 1
Chaz Vittitow Junior 7 7
Mitchell White Junior 6 1 yes
Chris Williams Junior 4 2
Josh Wiseman Sophomore 6 2
Beta Class
Jared Coomes Sophomore 1 1
John Hellams Junior 6 5
Tyler Russell Junior 1 1 yes
Will Stuart Senior 2 1 yes
Gamma Class
Josh Amos Freshman 3 1
Bo Armstrong Freshman 6 1
Drew Bennett Sophomore 3 1
Brian Campbell Freshman 2 0
Justin Cave Freshman 5 0
Zach Graupner Junior 0 1
Bryan Hartzell Freshman 3 1
Michael Hayden Sophomore 3 0
Craig Lonas Sophomore 2 1 yes
Jordan Minton Sophomore 1 0
Colby Osborne Sophomore 2 0
Erin Pennington Freshman 3 0
Austin Wenger Freshman 1 1 yes
John Whitaker Freshman 2 0
Delta Class
Freshman
Freshman
Freshman
Freshman
Freshman
Freshman
Freshman
Freshman
Freshman

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