by Kaitlin Lyle
In an organization of “leaders leading leaders,” the fraternity Phi Delta Theta at Central Connecticut stands prominently as a brotherhood of strength and integrity among their endeavors on and off campus.
While its original organization was created on Dec. 26, 1848, at Ohio’s Miami University, the fraternity at CCSU was founded by Jason Cartilage on Dec. 13, 2002. Derived from the beliefs of the fraternity’s founding fathers, known as The Immortal Six, Phi Delta Theta is organized around the three cardinal principles of strong learning, moral rectitude and friendship – all of which have been strongly taken to heart by its members.
With regards to the fraternity’s motto “One man is no man,” members of Phi Delta Theta look to their mantra as a representation of their brotherhood standing together as one and leaning on one another as part of a lifelong bond.
“We always feel like we have each others back and we know we’ll always have somebody to rely on,” said Tum Tum Souriyamath, who has been a member since the spring semester of 2014.
“At the end of the day, if you want someone to be there for you, you have to be there for them,” said member-at-large Matt Guilmette.
As is printed inside the CCSU Student Planner, the mission of Phi Delta Theta is to promote the greatest version possible of their members throughout their endeavors within the brotherhood. In the eyes of the Phi Delta Theta brotherhood, the mission is not only to help their members carry out the fraternity name, but to also give them the tools needed to succeed in life.
“Empowering others gives them the potential to grow and to show themselves that they are better than what they may think,” said CJ Wells, the current president of Phi Delta Theta as of December 2015. “A flower doesn’t prosper in the darkness; it doesn’t grow in darkness, it grows in light.”
When it comes to appealing to potential recruits, the fraternity’s closeness as well as their outgoing individuals is frequently demonstrated throughout the campus, whether it can be seen at the bi-annual club fairs or at their tables in the Student Center. From brotherhood outings to team-building exercises, Phi Delta Theta provides open opportunities for its members at CCSU to develop bonds with one another while promoting necessary skills like social etiquette and business procedures.
Along with a majority of brotherhood events, the fraternity is known for co-sponsoring with other organizations in order to get more involved on campus – including the Center for Victim Advocacy, the Student Veterans Organization and Greek Life. Amid their active social calendars, the fraternity members collaborate to generate activities on campus, such a Breakers Takeover and their annual paintball events. Off campus events include nature hikes near Quinnipiac University and planning a Six Flags trip during its Fright Fest season.
Above all, Phi Delta Theta goes beyond the call of righteousness in their community service events. Set for Saturday, April 16 on Vance Lawn, the second-annual ALS Walk has been a large bonding point among the members, particularly in their philanthropic goals for the ALS Association.
In addition to their determination towards the ALS Walk, Phi Delta Theta exhibited pride at their latest community service program. Created last semester by Souriyamath, the fraternity devotes every Sunday to working alongside children with autism with the location split between St. John’s University in West Hartford and the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain.
Among their future community service events, Phi Delta Theta plans to assist the American Red Cross with the upcoming blood drive as well as creating a car wash outside of Elmer’s Place on April 18. President Wells noted that the fraternity would like to generate a Sober Fest in order to promote better well-being on campus.
Meetings for Phi Delta Theta are held on Wednesday evenings at 9:00 p.m. in the Bellin A & B rooms of the Student Center. During that same time, Pledge, or “Phikeia,” Educator Souriyamath conducts his own separate meetings in order to provide new recruits with an education on the basic foundations of the fraternity’s history. In addition, chapter meetings for Phi Delta Theta are generally held at 6:00 p.m. in Bellin A & B. On Sunday evenings, member Guilmette hosts Office Board (“O-Board”) meetings at 6:00 p.m. in the Blue and White Room followed by the Phi Delta Theta E-Board meetings at 7:00 p.m.
In the organization’s entirety, Phi Delta Theta can be highly praised for its promotion of excellent values, dedicated efforts and the long-lasting strength of its brotherhood. When reflecting on his three years of experience, Wells encourages future members to take advantage of the opportunities presented during their time with Phi Delta Theta.
“I honestly just want them to get the most out of it – to truly understand what brotherhood means, to truly understand that one man is no man and to become the best they can possible can be in school, in life and as a man,” said Wells.