Brothers, Alumni, Volunteers, Family, and Friends,
I hope that you are reading this in the comfort of your homes as you practice social distancing and staying healthy amid the COVID-19 outbreak that is sweeping the country and the world. We are living in a crazy time and are truly experiencing yet another piece of history unfold before our eyes.
I wanted to write this letter to assure you that our chapter is doing everything we can to keep brothers healthy while still maintaining the close brotherhood relationship, even when we are separate from one another.
Since the first reports of the Coronavirus outbreak in the United States, there have been many emails from SigEp Nationals and from Valparaiso University going to all brothers about best practices, staying educated on the issue, and how to avoid and prevent the spread coming into our chapter.
Following the university’s decision to move to online instruction until April 12, the executive board had a phone conference along with Chapter Counselor Ryan Bye and AVC President Josh Lee to talk about our steps going forward and how to handle the situation. Following university guidelines and suggestions, we cancelled all activities that were scheduled during the isolation period and placed strict restrictions on the chapter facility, only allowing lease-holding brothers to enter the house and to stay if needed. Public areas have already been wiped down thoroughly and we are cleaning more than ever to keep a healthy living space for our brothers who choose to live there.
Now that Valparaiso University has moved to online instruction for the rest of the semester, the executive board has been in constant contact with each other, the AVC, and the university. Of course, all chapter activities have been cancelled, but we are not letting that stop us! We are continuing with our chapter development and our challenge coordinators are working hard to make sure that everyone is continuing to work on their Balanced Man Program. We are also making sure that brothers still feel connected to each other and to the chapter through video calls for challenges and chapter meetings and communication both individually and through SLACK, our chapter business communication tool. All brothers are working together to think of fun, new ideas we can do as a chapter while spread across the country.
Friends, it is important now more than ever that we remember our third Cardinal Principle: Brotherly Love. In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul told them “Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more.” (1 Thess 4:9-10). We all know what it means to be a brother, and it is now urgent that we do more and more to exhibit this Brotherly Love when, for some, it may be a time that seems that there is none.
I want to remind you all, brothers and non-members, that Brotherly Love is an idea that goes outward and begins within yourself, then into the brotherhood, then into the world. In his song “Treat People with Kindness”, Harry Styles says
“Maybe we can find a place to feel good
And we can treat people with kindness”
We should take Styles’ hope for a kinder world and promote it through our actions as we go on through this difficult time of pandemic and isolation.
I hope for my brothers that we all remember our Oath and uphold our Cardinal Principles, especially Brotherly Love, during this time. And for all people reading this, brothers, friends, and family, I hope we can all remember the words of the Apostle Paul and Harry Styles and do our part to make the best of this situation that we are in. Stay healthy out there!
With Virtue, Diligence, and Brotherly Love,
Charlie Presar, ‘21
Chapter President of Indiana Zeta SLC
P.S. Wash your hands!