Theta Chi wins sixth award for chapter excellence
The University of Idaho Theta Chi chapter, Epsilon Kappa, was chosen as one of 11 chapters within the national organization to receive the Howard R. Alter Jr. Award for chapter excellence.
“It’s a pretty big deal in the Theta Chi world,” said Matthew Kologi, chapter president. “They only give away a handful every year, and this is our sixth one. It just kind of shows we’ve reached a level that we’ve become really good, and it shows consistency.”
To earn the award, the chapter has to apply for it, demonstrating their stellar records for the year in G.P.A., recruitment, philanthropy and campus involvement, financial management, brotherhood, and risk management practices.
“And a lot of credit goes to our awards chairman, Keith Leitner—it’s like a 60-some page document he has to submit,” Kologi said.
A member of the selection committee also visits the chapters. Out of the 131 active chapters, the award recipient numbers have varied each year between as many as 13 and as few as zero, according to Bart Zino, Theta Chi Fraternity director of communication.
“It’s our way of recognizing the chapters that perform above and beyond,” Zino said. “I’m hesitant to say this is handed out to the best chapters, but it’s our way of recognizing chapters that perform well across all levels. This particular chapter at the University of Idaho is consistently one of our best chapters. I’ve personally been out there twice, and I was very impressed.”
Along with winning the award, Theta Chi earned the highest average fraternity G.P.A. for the spring 2012 semester.
Matthew Kurz, UI Greek Advisor, wrote a letter of recommendation for the chapter. He said Theta Chi is a chapter they can always count on for involvement and leadership.
“They are a well rounded exemplary fraternity on campus,” Kurz said. “We are really proud of them for winning the award.”
Kologi said the house’s dry policy is one thing that helped them win multiple times.
“Being a dry house—remaining a dry house, and seeking that atmosphere, really lays the groundwork for the grades and the philanthropy,” Kologi said. “It certainly makes it a heck of a lot easer.”
Each year, the national fraternity makes the award requirements harder to push the men to go further. Kologi said they will certainly push to win again and guard against the apathy six awards can bring.
“It’s one of our goals every year,” Kologi said. “It’s tangible, and it does a lot for our internal motivation.”
Each one of the men in the house deserves credit for wining the award, he said.
“They are the ones who make it possible,” Kologi said. “One person could mess it up.”
Joanna Wilson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org