E TERM ISSUE August 2020
Greetings Brothers and Friends of Beta, I hope you are all having an enjoyable summer and I once again hope that this finds you and your loved ones in good health. As you may have heard, WPI has announced that students will be welcome backed to campus this fall and we are excited to return to campus. However, this fall will look different from most with increased restrictions and regulations to ensure that everyone remains healthy. To that end, the exec board has been working diligently throughout the summer to ensure that the Beta experience this fall is both safe and meaningful. We are thoroughly analyzing and modifying our practices to ensure all members and events are safe. This includes discussions about how to best open and utilize our new beta house at 52B Fruit street. While we plan for the fall, undergrads and alumni are making the most of the virtual world we are living in. From a new Beta Minecraft server to squading up in Deep Rock Galactic and Destiny 2, Brothers are remaining connected in these tumultuous times. Lastly, I would like to welcome Andy Iovanna, WPI roll #22, as the Eta Tau Chapterâ€™s new chapter counselor. The chapter truly appreciates his willingness to volunteer his time and I look forward to working with him throughout the year. Therefore, the State of the Chapter is optimistic and enthusiastic.
Yours in _kai_, Matthew Karns #117
by Hoang “John” Do, Saad Riaz, and Eric Solorzano
We have all heard of a college party gone wild or a few too many rules broken from movies and TV shows. After all, college is about self-discovery and gaining independence so why wouldnâ€™t the boundaries be pushed? In some films Greek life is the good guy, yet, in most it is the bad guy, consistently breaking the rules and getting people hurt. Students come to college with preconceptions about Greek life, many may be untrue, yet many are ones that get reinforced by fraternities and sororities on their respective campus. Greek life has faced many issues, including hazing. Hazing often gets the reputation of being the most powerful bond-making activity an organization can offer. Some Greek alumni relive their hazing period as a funny story or happy memory, while many still carry lingering scars and trauma, speaking about it exclusively in hushed tones. However, young people now understand the negative consequences and trauma outweigh the possible gains of hazing. While the media still represents the fraternal thought of the last decade, Greek life is evolving into bands of brotherhood that uplift and encourage the youth of tomorrow. Fraternities have a list of values they adhere to, secrets they hold dear, and a list of items every member proclaims to accept and embrace. While traditionally, fraternities stand out as organizations that recruit students according to these standards, there has been a massive cultural shift within colleges over the past few years. Now, fraternities do not choose people who already fit into these
standards best, instead, fraternities recruit people who the feel can grow into a person who lives these values. These values are developed through education programs and over years of hard work and experience. Fraternities give members opportunities to grow and network, and they help members be their best self, and they help the understand how to operate ethically and cohesively in an ever divisive and individualistic world. As a fraternal organization, we offer new college students the additional elements for success beyond college or even career, but a success that lasts throughout life. Fraternities and sororities are the pixie dust to the dull collage, they are the final touches to the educational growth, and the epilogue to the college graduation.
While Greek life has its fair share of stereotypes and commonalities across different fraternities, what defines Beta is hardly its rules and regulations, but its members. Beta Theta Pi is where people matter: members uplift the fraternity standards by continuously growing and understanding who they are, they create the fraternity culture, they evolve with time and learn from their past, and Continued next page ...
and they learn to understand the love and respect it takes to call someone a ‘brother’. People are what make up the entirety of the Beta Theta Pi experience. Members will learn the values we live by and the morals we adhere to, because Beta offers a united front to not only learning and growing, but also maintaining that growth throughout college and beyond. Fraternal culture talks about life during college, but Beta is a journey through life, one that only begins in college. When one chapter ends, another begins, and Beta can open a world of vision, opportunity, and vigor. Being a Beta brother is not a commitment but an understanding, it is not a stringent rule book but an amalgamation of ideas and agreements that use the core of ethical characters to build new and enlightening paths for brothers to follow. We listen to our history, we learn, we grow. Beta Theta Pi began in 1839 but we have evolved into an organization that encourages self-love, understands the moral high ground, believes in its members, and that develops a perspective of surviving the world with the support and love of an extended family of brothers. Beta Theta Pi can be your vault of secrecy, your trusted companion, your energy, your book of ethics, or your family; it can be what you want it to be.
As the former Leadership Consultant to the North Eastern Region, Cody Golden is a Beta brother who has developed a special bond with the fraternity. He joined the Delta Rho chapter in 2015 as an undergraduate member, interned for the General Fraternity in 2017, and became a Beta staff member soon after. To Cody, his Beta experience was “awesome”, and filled with “once in a
lifetime opportunities”. The concept of fraternities was familiar to Cody when he started college in 2011, through his family members’ involvement in Greek life. However, he did not decide to join a fraternity till a few years later. During the earlier years, he struggled to adapt to the college environment. “I did not care very much then. I was not very passionate about my major, my academic works showed, and I changed my major a few times. I was also not very active on campus.”, shared Cody. But it was also during this period that he met some brothers, through a score guessing event leading up to the Super Bowl. He got to know them, and they became friends. “They helped me find my passion to do something I really like. I finally switched to sociology.” But Cody did not join Greek life right away. He knew it would not be a good idea to join before he could get back on track. Eventually, in February 2015, Cody accepted a bid, and subsequently, was initiated in May 2015. Reflecting on his journey with Beta, Cody could not imagine how his college experience would have turned out without the brothers having reached out to him earlier to offer help. The reasons Cody joined Greek life, and Beta specifically, was that he felt he was a brother even before joining, that he was treated with respect and dignity. Throughout his time as an undergraduate, Cody had the opportunity to attend the Wooden Institute, Keystone Conference, and General Convention, where he made some connections with the staff members of the General Fraternity. Ultimately, he had the chance to work as the Leadership and Education Intern during the Summer of 2017. Eventually, Cody became a staff member at the Administrative Office in Ohio, working in a culture that he loved.
In his words, “Because Beta has given me so much, joining staff was an opportunity for me to continue to give back to the fraternity.”
Being a part of the fraternity, especially as a staff member, Cody expressed his appreciation toward the awesome experiences he had. During the General Convention in Norfolk, VA, Cody was thrilled to serve as the on-site host for the late Senator Richard Lugar (Denison ‘54). Cody had the “once in a lifetime” chance to converse with and listen to the speeches delivered by the senator, and to help him with his convention schedule. Moreover, having the opportunity to travel for work, he has observed how the fraternity has grown tremendously over the past few years. “The amount of integrity (Beta has) is impressive. When an incident happens, Beta is more than determined to work toward a solution. And the fraternity is becoming more comfortable with hard topics. The Men of Principle Initiative is one example of how Beta wants to change fraternity culture for the better.” During his time working for the fraternity, he was occasionally questioned about the dark sides
of Greek life. To those, he replied “It’s a fact that hazing is not tolerated. It has been used as an easy way out to create a sense of brotherhood. However, it is not a healthy or effective way to create a sense of brotherhood and it is unfortunate that hazing still occurs within Greek Life. However, there are a lot of good people working against hazing, both at colleges and within Greek organizations. Similarly, there are still incidents of sexual assault that occur on college campuses, and unfortunately Greek Life is not immune to it. Universities provide resources for victims that need to be more widely communicated. Greek chapters need to make sure that their members know what resources are available on campus. I think Beta has done well in terms of informing chapters of resources that they can use when faced with these incidents. When talking about diversity and inclusion, Beta continues to have conversations about it at conventions, and the new commission on diversity, inclusion, and racial equity shows that the fraternity is moving in the right direction.” Before concluding the interview, Cody has some pieces of advice to give: “For those who are in Greek life, continue to hold each other accountable, and make Greek life better for future generations. Talk to the Greek professionals and leaders on campus, sit down with them and learn about things that go on behind the scene. For those who are considering joining Greek life, I can say that Greek life is something worth exploring. If you feel uncomfortable, then do not feel urged to join. However, if you have found a group that makes you want to be a better person, where you can improve yourself, then by all means, pursue it.”
by Benjamin Dorr and Taylor Cox
Hello Brothers and Friends of Beta!
Currently, with everything going on, we have been working on some new rules that will put restrictions on how we will be using the house, such as limiting the number of brothers allowed in the house this upcoming semester. A detailed plan is available on our website, at wpi.beta.org/covid19. The house is not fully furnished, however, it still looks great with the purchases we have already made. Three brothers have moved in, and they are adding their personal flairs to the rooms. We will hopefully be in the position to showcase the house through a virtual tour soon. As mentioned in the previous newsletter, we have a new Housing Corporation (HC). Brother Griffin Bishop (#92) is serving as the President, and brothers Luke Ludington (#103), Mark Panetta (#85), and Timothy Winters (#108) are serving as the Treasurer, Clerk, and Director, respectively. For the next academic year, the HC will work on a plan to lease both halves of the house. We are now searching for brothers who would be willing to live in the house next year. If you have any questions regarding housing, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Continued next page ...
by Hoang “John” Do
When one visits the Beta Administrative Office, they are greeted by the impressive and carefully crafted architecture of the grounds and building, such as the Campanile Walkway bridge. This small bridge is located in the middle of a brick walkway in the direction of the Campanile, also known as the Beta Bell Tower. At first sight, this bridge may seem insignificant to many, but for Beta brothers it symbolizes a principle of great importance to our heritage.
Initially, many of us tend to analyze the poem from the viewpoint of the old man. His nobility and selflessness shine through in his choice to build the bridge; although his life and health were fading away, he was dedicated to serving the youth that would follow his path. As remarked by Seth R. Brooks (St. Lawrence ’22), in The Beta Theta Pi magazine, April 1977, “The old man is the very symbol of the story of age unselfishly bestowing what it has earned upon youth on life’s threshold.” However, in the same issue, Seth mentions the need to consider the other perspective that of the young man. “Why don’t we think about the youth for whom the old man built the bridge? What did the youth do on the other side of the chasm, having escaped the pitfall? Was the youth thankful for the bridge? Did he appreciate a path made ready for him? Did he remember throughout his life what the old man did for him? Did he say, ‘Because I’ve known such kindness, I will be kind?’ Did he realize that in his heritage he was an object of affection, sacrifice? How did he decide to spend his life, having been the recipient of a safe passage over such danger as he might have faced?”
An old man going a lone highway, Came in the evening, cold and gray, To a chasm vast, both deep and wide, Through which was flowing a sullen tide. The old man crossed in the twilight dim; The swollen stream was at naught to him; But he stopped when safe on the farther side, And built a bridge to span the tide.
In reality, both viewpoints coexist in Beta. The roles of the alumni and the undergraduate members intertwine with each other in the operations of the Fraternity. Beta alumni continue to pave the path forward for newer members long after they graduate. Many alumni decide to volunteer to maintain close contact with the chapter and guide the undergraduate members as counselors, advisors, or housing corporation board members. Others choose to come back to the chapter to visit and pass on their knowledge to the
The builder lifted his old gray head, “Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said, “There followeth after me today A youth whose feet must pass this way. This chasm which has been naught to me, To that young man may a pitfall be. He, too, must cross in the twilight dim. Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.”
“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near, “You are wasting your strength in labor here; Your journey will end with the closing day, You never again will pass this way. You’ve crossed the chasm deep and wide; Why build you this bridge at eventide?”
— From “Building the Bridge” 1924 by Miss Will Allen Dromgoole
younger brothers preparing for post-graduation life. Some choose to contribute financially through the General Fraternity or other fundraising activities. Regardless of how an alumnus chooses to give back, their contributions are appreciated and vital to both the well-being of the chapter and maintaining a continued commitment to lifelong brotherhood. However, the bridge building process begins when one joins the Fraternity. As one progresses into membership as a brother of the Fraternity, they start their journey on a path that many have walked before them, and many more will walk after them. It is a never-ending story. As Peter J. Florani, Lehigh ’77 said, “The story is continued by each new Beta, who, having crossed the bridge, learns the builders’ secrets of beauty, integrity, and strength”. As an undergraduate member, one may come across several unprecedented situations they were not prepared to handle. One may stumble and struggle, one may misstep, but they will eventually learn valuable lessons from these roadblocks. It is the act of passing on institutional knowledge and personal wisdom that keeps Beta moving forward and helps younger generations avoid the mistakes of their forefathers.
As announced in the previous newsletter issue, we are running the first ever Engineer Our Year fundraising campaign. Inspired by the Bridge Builder poem, we want to use this campaign as an opportunity for the alumni of the Eta Tau chapter to reconnect with the active members and stay involved with our operations. This campaign consists of both a financial aspect and some other actionable items that can allow alumni to engage with the chapter’s activities. For this year, the goal for the fundraising aspect is
set at $2500. To date, we have received $561 from alumni, friends of Beta, and our members. Thanks to your generous contributions, we will be able to purchase some cleaning supplies and a TV for the house. However, we only have until the end of August before this year’s campaign ends. Every little bit counts in these growing days of our Fraternity, and we need your help to make this year a fantastic one! Your donations will help enable every incoming member of the Fraternity to experience the same wonderful memories and experience you hopefully had as an undergraduate brother. If you are looking for other ways to get involved with the chapter, we have opportunities beyond this fundraising campaign! Career development is an essential tool for developing Men of Principle, and as such we are hoping to leverage the diverse array of professional opportunities and connections our alumni have to help the undergraduates. Throughout the year, we will organize some networking events, as well as career preparation workshops, in which we need support from and participation of the alumni. If you wish to share your advice, or if you have any career opportunity, please contact us at email@example.com. Additionally, we are still looking for some alumni to help in the role of advisors. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest. Let’s make this year the best one yet!
A member of the Gamma class, Weston was an Aerospace Engineering major who graduated in 2017. Weston remembers fondly his years at WPI, though they weren’t easy (especially with the graduate classes in his junior year). Despite those tough classes, he has fond memories of school, especially of Beta Theta Pi and the support group it provided, as well as the brothers who helped him stay motivated and achieve his goals. One of his fondest Beta memories was going to the cinema to see the movie Everest with some brothers, and afterwards conversing about the movie in the car. However, they were so invested in the conversation they did not realize they were just blindly following a truck in front of them, and ended up getting lost! Luckily, Weston and Co. found their way home, and lived to see other movies. Weston enjoyed hiking before moving down to Florida, and is currently looking for an alternative, taking up kayaking in the meantime. This is especially fun, as he goes kayaking in spots where there is bioluminescence at night, lighting up the water surrounding him. Lastly, Weston also enjoys tuning up and fixing cars in his free time. Weston now works as a launch engineer at SpaceX, more specifically working with the fluids team at the launch site and being responsible for the propellant loading of the Dragon and supporting launch equipment on the ground. He says it was really rewarding to see his work pay off, as it had been a long journey to that point, with him and his coworkers investing much time and effort into making the launch as smooth as possible. Although he had only worked at SpaceX for one
and a half years at that point, he knew many people who had worked on it for much longer, which added to the anticipation (he was shaking when the rocket took off). It was an “awesome experience”, and Weston cites this extreme satisfaction, as well as his diverse group of coworkers, as part of the reason he enjoys working at SpaceX so much. Everyone is focused on the mission at hand, and everyone knew they had a responsibility to carry. Thus, owning up to mistakes and staying humble were essential for a productive work environment. SpaceX is Weston’s second job out of school, with the first being at a startup focusing on launching rockets from the bottoms of jets. While he enjoyed his first job, he knew it was not his passion.
Since the job market was so competitive, he knew it would be hard to land his dream job straight out of school, and made sure to prepare so that his second job would be the one Weston did this through hard work, perseverance, and determination. His advice to all Betas is to “keep going, even if you don’t land your dream job straight away, even if you are the intern getting coffee’s for everyone, with persevere and some luck you will land the job of your dreams.” For seniors, he advises making sure you take advantage of the resources available to you. “Go to the CDC, look online for job boards, and even if nobody calls you back the first 10, 100 times, keep going.” In fact, he found and landed his first job the first week school was out, so it goes to show it’s never too late. In the future, Weston is excited to see where his career path takes him and hopes to stay involved with the Dragon missions.
Hello alumni brothers! I hope you are all doing well and have been able to adjust effectively to these strange times. As you know, no external visitors will be allowed in the house or on campus. However, we would like to continue organizing alumni events this upcoming semester, and are determined to maintain close communication with you. I would also like to announce that we have a SharePoint for photo-sharing of chapter activities; a wiki page we use for general fraternity knowledge, advice, and documentation; and a Beta Alumni Map. Please feel free to contribute to any of these sources or look around and see what we're up to! If you need access to any of those platforms, please contact me at email@example.com. Finally, I would like to personally thank all of our donors for their generous donations! This is only an intermediate thank you, as we will have more official ones heading your way. Every bit helps so much for a small chapter like ours, especially going though rough times like these. I wish you and your families well, and wish you all the best. We are determined to make this year better than the last, despite the challenges we face. Yours in __kai__, Taylor Cox #132
by Jason Davis
It’s tomato season, and what could be a better way to celebrate the red fruit than with a cool summer BLT! This recipe will help you create a classic American sandwich loaf, for all sandwich purposes!
3 cups (361 g) Flour
1/2 cup (113 g) Milk (any percent)
1) For the dough: In a large bowl, mix the cold milk and hot water, then add the rest of the ingredients. Stir them all together until the dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough onto a lightly greased surface, oil your hands (using either canola or olive oil), and knead the dough until it becomes smooth and flexible (about 6 - 8 minutes).
1/2 to 2/3 cup (113 g to 152 g) Hot Water
4 tbsps. (57 g) Melted Butter
2 tbsps. (25 g) Granulated Sugar
1 1/4 tsps.. (7 g) Salt
2 tsps. Instant Yeast
2) Once thoroughly kneaded, transfer your dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for about 1 - 2 hours until it becomes puffy.
Butter or Cooking Spray for greasing
3) Gently deflate the dough by pushing it down with your fist. Transfer it to a lightly oiled surface, and shape the dough into an 8-inch log. 4) Place the dough log into a lightly greased loaf pan, loosely cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about one hour. Towards the end of this period, preheat your oven to 350° F. 5) In your preheated oven, bake the bread until it is a light golden brown (about 30 - 35 minutes). 6) Remove the bread from the oven, and give it time to cool down before slicing.
7) Slice and enjoy! Recipe adapted and picture from King Arthur Baking: www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/classic-sandwich-bread-recipe
by Jason Davis
Another day of sun, another threat of dehydration! Try this refreshing beverage, designed by the Beta Communications Committee!
8 oz (236 mL) Polar Blast Hawaiian Punch
4 oz (118 mL) Glacier Cherry Gatorade
2 oz (59 mL) White Grape Juice
Pour each of the liquids into your glass, add ice cubes to keep it cold, and give it some style with a few maraschino cherries!
Ben Dorr and Mattie, an 8 year-old labradoodle. She’s full of energy and is always looking for all the attention!
Mark Panetta and his recently adopted Siberian Husky puppy, Siku! Siku means “Ice” in Eskimo, and he is adjusting very well to his new home!
Jesus Barron hanging out on the quad with a friendly dog at Grill & Chill 2019.
Jason Davis and 2 year-old Rocky. Rocky is full of energy and loves chasing anything that moves faster than him!
Matt Iandoli and his sister’s dog, Ember. A 4 year-old Alaskan Klee Kai, Ember loves playing in the snow!
Join Betas everywhere commemorate the founding day of our fraternity. Looking for a way to celebrate the day? Post on your social media or send us a memorable experience you have had with the fraternity!
Join us celebrating the launch of our new Minecraft server and competing in the Hunger Games. More details will be provided in a separate post! Only for alumni and current members.
Our undergraduate and graduate brothers resume their academic studies and settle into the â€˜new normalâ€™. Join the chapter in wishing everyone a safe and great semester!
This event is organized by WPI Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils. More details will be provided in a separate post.
Our chapter will host a virtual career night where Beta alumni are invited to share their working experiences and advice for job search. More details will be provided in a separate post.
Contact Benjamin Pulver, (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more about Alumni Board involvement.
Contact Taylor Cox (email@example.com) about general alumni matters.
Contact Andy Iovanna (firstname.lastname@example.org), the Chapter Counselor, about becoming an advisor.
Contact Matthew Karns (email@example.com) about chapter operations.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for access to the Beta Wiki and Sharepoint.
• • • •
When was the Installation Date for the Eta Tau chapter? Who are living in the double room in the new Beta House? Where was the previous Beta House? Who is the author of the lavaliering ceremony?
Newsletter Editors: Taylor Cox, Jason Davis, Hoang “John” Do