by Farukh Sarkulov ’20
The Lambda chapter of Phi Gamma Delta has experienced a busy yet fun fall semester at DePauw University. The year began on a high note with the BCA housing retreat, which helped provide some structure and lay out a plan for rush and dealing with house matters. Chapter meetings have become more efficient and the overall warmth that brothers radiate toward each other has been evident in all facets of living together. When any brother needs a helping hand there is always someone there to provide that hand—whether it be just a listening ear or a small favor, brothers are willing to help one another. The warmth that brothers radiate has been extended toward many freshmen who have become comfortable in the environment cultivated in the house. What makes FIJI different amongst all the other fraternities is our willingness to get to know new faces and try and support them in their endeavors. Freshman year is a strange and exciting time where first years can be pulled in many different directions, but here at FIJI we try to provide a space for people where they can be themselves and not put on an act to fit in.

Greek life at DePauw has been changing and less freshmen are willing to be sold on the idea of fraternity life. The negative image of drinking and recklessness that is associated with Greek life has made it harder, and in some ways easier, for freshmen to figure out where they belong. Much of the fraternity scene at DePauw revolves around drinking and partying heavily, but with the changing times there are more freshmen who are simply searching for a comfortable place with close friends and confidantes.

The changing image of fraternities has played well into rush at FIJI since we are considered the counterculture house on campus. We have a diverse house, full of people from all over the United States and the entire world. In any space at FIJI you will be exposed to various languages, differing cultural backgrounds, and a wide range of perspectives on life. FIJI does not emulate a cookie cutter mold that other houses place their strength in. The men at FIJI are individuals living under the same roof trying to work together for the betterment of themselves and those around them. The strong individual nature and diverse persona the house puts forth keeps things interesting and makes FIJI a wholly different space than most social spaces on campus.

As the recruitment chair for this school year, I am forced to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of Lambda FIJI. But throughout the process I optimistically await to see the next class of men who choose to be immersed in something greater than the stereotypical notion of what a fraternity is. What keeps me motivated during this recruitment process is the fact that FIJI is made of all types of people and as a house we are clear on the fact that we are all individuals who care for each other, not boys fitting into the crowd. Although it may be tough sometimes, I think what FIJI offers is far better than what other houses provide, and in the long run make strong men out of fully capable young adults.