State of the Chapter: January 2016

2016-01-07 15.14.59
Outgoing E.A. Zach Karlan, Second From Left; Incoming E.A. Peter Baricev, Second From Right

Over the course of the past 12 months, I have been honored to serve as Eminent Archon of the Tennessee Zeta SAE Chapter. Over those months, I have witnessed the true potential of this chapter. Here is my outgoing report.

When I began my term as EA in January 2015, I knew that our chapter, when equipped with the right leadership team and focus, could do great things and reach new heights. At the time, our chapter had already overcome tremendous amounts of adversity from 2014. The EC and I had a mission going into our first semester together, which was to take advantage of the fresh start that our chapter had been given and harness the capabilities of each of our members. We each felt a purpose and had clear goals in mind. We wanted to win awards from nationals, increase our GPA, improve our relationship with the school and other Greek organizations, lower dues, win the intramural championship, work with the alumni commission and housing corporation, and continue our tradition of consistently recruiting the top rush class. Our goals were tangible and were meant to challenge us.

When the 2015 spring semester began, our chapter received the “Most Improved Chapter Award” from SAE Province Theta. This award validated all the hard work we had put in the previous semester. After I accepted this award at the Province Theta convention, I communicated to the EC and alumni commission that although this award was something to proud of, we should be motivated by the fact that we still have so much more work to do.

When the spring semester ended, our chapter had the highest GPA on record in the past 4 years. This is a testament to our chapter’s commitment to academics and our ability to recruit members who take their studies seriously. Our chapter also had completed the highest amount of community service hours in the history of our chapter. Under the True Gentleman Experience (“TGE”), each member must complete 20 hours of community service or suffer probation. What makes the GPA and community service statistics even more remarkable is the fact that our chapter is made up of the highest percentage of varsity athletes than any Greek organization on campus. Our chapter is able to beat other chapters on GPA and community service even though the majority of our chapter members have limited free time due to their athletic commitments.

When the fall semester kicked off, the Rhodes Intra-Fraternity Council (“IFC”) set out to change the culture of Welcome Week. During 2014, the college had an alarming number of freshmen receive disciplinary citations involving alcohol. IFC wanted to create a safer environment for freshman. SAE led the way by hosting our rushing events on campus. The school was very thankful that we decided to do this because it lessened the amount of people traveling off campus.

Fall Rush 2015

2016-01-07 15.14.44This semester we took 14 new freshmen during rush. Our rush chairmen, Owen Koorbusch and Tim Soper, helped tremendously in the recruitment process. They include: Cam Link – Bethesda, MD, Cam Newton – San Antonio, TX, Hudson Waters – Baltimore, MD, Jordan Daniels – Birmingham, AL, Trey Sledge – Dallas, TX, Nick Bosma – Overland Park, KS, Tyler Milwitt -Gaithersburg, MD, Lang McNeely – Charlottesville, VA, Clint Favre – Towson, MD, Andrew Fox – Little Rock, AR, Tripp James – Little Rock, AR, John Tooher – Greenwich, CT, Hunter Bremer – Atlanta, GA, and Aiden Jebson – Tampa, FL. Here is what a few of our new brothers have to say about their experience with SAE thus far:

“As an active member of SAE, I’ve been able to do things I wouldn’t be able to do as a independent. I’ve broadened my friendships between multiple grades and learned how to manage my time between schoolwork, intramurals, and fraternal duties.” – Cam Newton

“The brothers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon have made me feel welcome since the day I walked on campus. Ever since that day, I have had many fantastic experiences that have helped me grow as a student, leader, and better friend.” – Tripp James

“SAE has taught me loyalty and trust. Everyone is very welcoming and I have created a diverse friend group. All around, SAE has made me a better student and a better friend.” – Hudson Waters

Bunting Brothers Lodge Renovation

2016-01-07 11.47.51Perhaps the most significant change over the course of my term as EA and as a senior that I have witnessed is the renovations to the lodge. If you were not able to make it to homecoming this past October, I highly recommend that you stop by the lodge to see it in all its glory. Some of the highlights include: the floor has been redone, ceilings painted, new furniture, new TV, and a new pool table.

The most significant contribution, however, is the revival of the Bunting Brothers Portrait. My brother, Graham Karlan, was EA when the painting was torn down by members of a lesser Greek organization. Now a new portrait is hung above the fireplace for all to see thanks to an anonymous donation from an alum. Graham was able to come to homecoming this year to see it revealed. It was a very special moment for the chapter. None of this could have been done without the efforts of our alumni commission. They have given much of their time to make the house look the way it does and it would look nothing like it does today without their efforts.

2016-01-07 11.47.482016-01-07 11.47.452016-01-07 15.15.02

Looking Ahead

Peter Baricev will be the new EA this year. I have full faith in his abilities to lead the chapter and am looking forward to my last semester at Rhodes knowing he will be in charge. Ben Bentley, class of 2017, has been elected by his peers from other fraternities to be the next IFC president. This is a huge responsibility and opportunity for himself and the chapter. The chapter’s brightest days are still to come and our chapter is more motivated than ever to lead the campus and show what it means to be Greek at Rhodes.

Phi Alpha, Zach Karlan
Eminent Archon, Spring 2015- Fall 2015