Despite the numerous obstacles we face on campus and as a society, the Delta Upsilon Syracuse Chapter has been steadfast on its path to maintaining success. Although not a "typical" semester, we are focused on our academic and Chapter goals and initiatives. This is a semester like no other with everyone wearing masks outside of their place of residence. Many brothers have hybrid class schedules, with some classes in-person and some conducted virtually. At 801 Walnut, we are tested every 10 days. Fortunately, our two rounds of testing thus far were 100% negative, and we continue to strive to achieve that result. We believe the University has put in adequate measures to make the campus feel as safe as possible.
The spring '20 Theta Associate Member Class was formally initiated Sunday August 30th. Prior to formal initiation, they were initiated virtually in April via Zoom call. This year has thrown a lot at the Thetas and it was a testament of their character that they were able to persevere through the adversity caused by the pandemic. We are proud to say they are now officially DU brothers.
This fall, IFC formal fraternity rush was canceled at Syracuse University for the first time since World War II. Despite this roadblock, we were able to hold an informal rush and added a new member class for which we are very proud to have join our fraternity. Our Rush Chair, Austin Kornbluth '22, did a phenomenal job making sure the cancellation of formal rush didn't hold us back and we handed out 6 bids to the prospective "Iota" class, each accepting the bid. The members of this class bring a unique dynamic to the Chapter that will help us continue the traditions and successes we've experienced since our recolonization in the fall of 2016.
With the restrictions on campus, there has been a strong effort to plan more brotherhood events than previous semesters. Brotherhood Chairs Aaron Swartz '22 and Jack Murray '22 have done a fantastic job planning, engaging and organizing events for the Chapter. We have had weekly poker nights and movie nights with Borat being a house favorite. Even though intramural sports were canceled, we have created a brotherhood sports league with 4 teams in the football league and 5 teams in the basketball league. Also, there are multiple fantasy football leagues within the Chapter, which together with our sports league should help give the brotherhood its sports fix.
Due to ongoing nationwide civic unrest, our Chapter decided to create a multicultural initiative. Led by John Fiszman '21, Jared Pohl '22, and Brian Bauer '22, we have created a new Multicultural Committee. We had a Zoom call with active brothers as well as some alumni who have all helped tremendously with starting this initiative - - special thanks to everyone who participated. The objective of the Multicultural Committee is to advance Delta Upsilon's involvement with other multicultural organizations on campus and among the Syracuse Community. We would like to be a model fraternity and plan to forge relationships with other multicultural organizations to have an even greater impact on campus and to support our recruiting. We want fellow Syracuse students to see Delta Upsilon brothers at important campus events including probates, philanthropies, protests as well as supporting fellow classmates. The Multicultural Committee will provide an update at each Chapter about activities and accomplishments.
Thanks to the generous donations and assistance from Mark "Minty" Linnan '85 and other alumni, we completely renovated the chapter room last spring. With updated seating, furniture, and WiFi, the chapter room is now an ideal place for Brothers to study as well as conduct remote learning sessions.
As you may know, the Chapter Excellence Plan (CEP) is a program mandated by the Delta Upsilon International Fraternity which measures the "success" of DU chapters. The CEP evaluation process consists of ~70 "criteria" in which chapters must submit "evidence" to achieve points. Criteria range from "updated by-laws" to "The Chapter conducts a guest speaker regarding Drug & Alcohol Abuse." The CEP scoring ranges are: Below Minimum, Minimum, Expectation, and Aspiration. I am pleased to report that over the past academic year (2019-2020), the Chapter achieved an "Expectation" score, the highest scores since our Chapter's reinstatement.
The Chapter also scored its highest level on another DU scoring assessment tool, the Men of Merit (MEM) evaluation. In 2018-2019, our Chapter had 3 categories reaching the level of "Achievement". This past academic year we hit Achievement in 6 categories. In the other 5 categories, our chapter either made improvements or maintained our level. Our performance on MEM is a reflection of the positive evolution our Chapter is experiencing. Our Chapter has already made, and will continue to make, significant strides as a premiere fraternity at Syracuse University and as a Delta Upsilon Chapter nationally. We take pride in being a leading and model fraternity.
Due to health safety restrictions on campus, we will be unable to participate in, or host, a philanthropy event this semester. However, we are contemplating alternative events, including an Instagram campaign to raise money for the Black Lives Matter movement. We aim to show our support for the ongoing struggles which people all around the United States are facing. Having already donated $400 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and we are eager to do more. Of course, we will continue to show that everyone is welcome and safe at our fraternity and their voice will be heard.
Overall, the Brotherhood has not faltered due to the health or social environment we have been dealt and we are determined to make the most of our time on campus. I believe that being in a fraternity at this moment is a positive and that we can and will use our fraternal bond to improve ourselves and our community. We have made great strides to accomplish our goals over the summer and in the first few weeks of the fall. We plan to maintain our success with our future endeavors and seek to become an even better fraternity. As unique as this semester has been, being a brother in the Delta Upsilon Syracuse Chapter has made being a student feel almost normal. Dikaia Upotheke!
Jared Pohl '22
Public Relations Chair
p.s. Over the summer, we appointed officers and chairmen for the Fall '20 semester. Check out the list of officers and chairmen on our completely redesigned website page: