The Latest on Beta Rho

The Beta Rho chapter has been holding ourselves to the high standard that we set for ourselves 103 years ago. This chapter has continued to raise the bar by setting ambitious goals; seeing chapter-highs through measurable aspects like philanthropic donations and community service, as well as on non-quantitative fronts like the strength of our Brotherhood and morale. We were privileged to host this year’s Big Sky Province Conference in Bozeman. At the conference, the Beta Rho chapter was recognized as the 2020 Chapter of the Year and was the chapter of the Province Balfour Award winner, Brother Colton Schlag ’20.

Engaging the Community and University

One of the main goals that we had this year was to involve the community and campus with our endeavors as a Fraternity. We are confident in the work that we do as a chapter, the next step was to mirror that to our peers and have them be a part of our mission. Our chapter is responsible for hosting the second largest American Red Cross blood drive in the region, behind the MSU hosted drive. We now put these blood drives on semiannually in our chapter house. We have members from our chapter, other Sororities and Fraternities, MSU faculty, and community members come to our home to donate blood. Being able to talk to these individuals throughout the day is truly rewarding. They are so expressively thankful for the effort that we give our Blood Drive. For the first time in Chapter history, we had a Representative from the Huntsman Cancer Institute come to the Montana State University campus. The purpose was to introduce who the HCI is and what they have been doing to eradicate cancer from the face of the Earth. This was to show students, staff, and the community why we care about our Philanthropy, the HCI, and why our chapter made such an effort last year to donate over $20,000 to this worthwhile cause. This presentation was put on directly before our weeklong philanthropy event, Derby Days. During Derby Days, we went on to raise just under $10,000, rose awareness of cancer treatment, created chemotherapy care baskets for patients, and had a lot of fun doing so. By putting this presentation on, our chapter was also recognized in the Huntsman Cancer Institute Headlines for Hope newsletter that is sent to their donors and supporters. We successfully raised over $30,000 for the HCI this academic year. While also getting the community and University involved with our activities, we must also display that we are not the stigma that they believe our Fraternity/Sorority Life to be. Therefore, we were one of the first chapters to team up with Alpha Sigma Phi to bring the Gruver family to our campus to share their story of their son and hazing affected him. We stand with the Fraternities at MSU to prevent and raise awareness on hazing. Another way that we decided that would act as a mirror of all these endeavors is a monthly chapter update via email. We designed and created an emailing program that we send out the first Wednesday of every month updating our peers on the past month, looking forward to the next month, and featuring a brother on their accomplishments outside of our Fraternity. The recipients of this email are parents, alumni, friends, and other subscribers. For those that prefer not to receive emails, we also publish each one on our Chapter’s website. We are very proud of our actions and accomplishments day in and day out as students, friends, family members, and community members.

Member Development

Our chapter has dedicated ourselves to the development of our members, through sacrifice and service. This past year, we have requested a Sigma Chi International staff member to come to MSU to deliver a workshop each semester. Aligning each of our decisions through college and our lifetime, with the Sigma Chi values and ideals, will strengthen us on a personal and Fraternal level. Our Fraternity has done a tremendous job at providing us with these workshops, at our request. These workshops are supplemental to our annual Sigma Chi Transformational Leadership Workshop each summer. Since our chapter is a Bell Chapter, we are fortunate enough to take 10 members to this workshop each summer. This has proven to be a large contributor in our future leadership within our chapter by bringing a few young, newly initiated members to receive firsthand experience with leaders from around the nation. As a chapter we recently innovated our Risk Management Plan and our Scholarship Matrix. Our new Risk Management Plan includes floor plans of the entire chapter house with the locations of each Risk Management team member. In addition, there are position descriptions written for each position. Emergency contacts such as MSU Police Department, Sergeant Luhrsen, to ensure that it is well known who to contact in the case of an incident. There is even a course of action for our Risk Manager to take in preparation for any social event. This was created to be proactive to any future issue that may arise and ensure that we continue an exceptional tract record. The Chapter’s new Scholarship Matrix sets clear standards for the duties of the Scholarship Chairman, the requirements for each member and officers, tutoring policy, a scholastic grid, and incentives. The Scholastic Grid is a way to categorize how a member is performing academically. This will tell us if they should be subjected to chapter funded tutoring, the MSU 101 study skills workshop, or if they need to be having consistent grade checks throughout the semester. This matrix has been able to help us keep track of how each member is doing and what they need to help them succeed. Focusing in closer on our members themselves has proven to be beneficial. Having a strong brotherhood and standards within our chapter, allows us to provide for our University, community, and each other.

Brandon Olsen ‘21
Consul, 2019-2020