Wittenberg, like many other colleges across the country, has a variety of Greek organizations on campus. Currently, we have 12 total; six fraternities and six sororities. These organizations have a great influence on campus life and many students at Witt belong to a fraternity or sorority. That being said, fraternities and sororities are generally blasted by the media and portrayed in a bad light. Why is this? These organizations are not the party-crazed machines they are made out to be.
So, to reverse this notion, this article begins a series of previews into each fraternity and sorority on campus. This preview is also to be of help to students looking for the right fit for them in terms of a Greek organization. The previews will look into beginnings of the national organization, the beginnings at Wittenberg, the executive members, the philanthropy the organization is connected with, annual events that the organization holds for all of campus and finally annual rush events. The first organization being previewed is Beta Theta Pi.
Beta Theta Pi was first founded an hour and a half southeast of Witt at Miami University in 1839. Some famous members of the fraternity include: John Wooden, Sam Walton, Bill Bowerman, Howard Fineman and Richard Karn. After 28 years, in 1867, the Alpha Gamma chapter of Beta was chartered at Witt. So, recently Beta Theta Pi celebrated its 150 years on campus. As Wittenberg’s website notes, the symbols for the fraternity are the dragon, star and diamond and their colors are, “delicate shades of pink and blue.”
Today, Beta proudly has 33 members, including 11 executive members. Carter Schmidt (‘19) is the current president with Nathan Mathews (‘19) reigning as the vice president. Rounding out the rest of the executive board are Garrin Bachinski (‘20), Luke Ballard’(‘20) Evan Fetter (‘20), James Haegerman (‘20), Kai Hannum (‘19), Sutton Jacobs (‘19), J.D. McConnaghey (‘20), Noah Wissel (‘20) and Greyden Yoder (‘20).
“Beta is the first organization that I’ve been apart where my commitments felt greater than myself. The group means more for me, because it stands for more than just me,” Ballard said of Beta.
While Beta Theta Pi does not have an accepted national philanthropy they support, they have one recurring charity they support. On Friday, Beta hosted Animal House, which brought animals from the Columbus Zoo. This campus wide event is an annual event for the fraternity and it supports the World Wildlife Fund. According to the World Wildlife Fund’s website their mission is to, “Conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on earth.” They specifically list six areas of focus: food, climate, fresh water, wildlife, forests and oceans.
“I really like Beta’s philanthropy projects because we just try to have as much fun with it as possible. We’ve developed relationships within the Springfield community that are meaningful and deep, which has meant a lot to Beta,.” stated Fetter the philanthropy chair.
Beta supports animal awareness in multiple ways. Last year, Beta joined Kappa Delta to host Paws for a Cause. This event hosted local shelters that brought in dogs that needed rescued.
This year for the fall recruitment, Beta is hosting four total recruitment events. At Witt, fall recruitment is for returning students only and the formal rush period in the spring is the first time that freshmen can rush.
Beta hosted a Frisbee Golf Tournament on Tuesday, September 4. Then this Thursday they are hosting Kickball and Canes, which begins at 5 p.m. and the meeting spot is at Beta. They follow a busy first week with an outing to Young’s Jersey Dairy for ice cream and mini-golf, to go you should meet at the Beta house by 4:30 on Tuesday, September 11. Finally, Beta finishes out with a preference dinner that is hosted on September 13, this event is invite only. If you would like more information on these things Kai Hannum is the contact and you can find his number plastered across fliers on campus.
For the spring, two annual recruitment events they do are bowling and a preference dinner. They also usually host another campus wide event in the spring, they just do not have an annual event for the spring yet.
Beta Theta Pi is a well-recognized fraternity nationally and holds many phenomenal members. If you are interested in joining make sure to go to the recruitment events held throughout the year and spend time with the guys to see if it is the right fit for you.