When I think of an utopian society as we learned in our high school English classes, I often wonder what it would be like and the feeling you would have while there. Would others see things as you do? Would it really be the best place on earth? Maybe it’s a catalyst for change in the real world? I have never believed there is such thing as a utopian state of mind or even a group of people who could reach utopia…until I attended UIFI.
The Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute held each year during the summer months in Indianapolis, Indiana is a premiere leadership institute strictly for fraternity and sorority members. During this five-day leadership experience you immerse yourself into an experience with fraternity and sorority members from all around the country. As the week progresses you create lifelong friendships and connections with your “chapter” members and facilitators as well as other participants. You hear the good and bad of Greek life along with the brutal stereotypes that brings our organizations down. But the one thing that makes this experience so great is the passion. The passion that each and every one of the individuals at the institute from the facilitators to the participants has for not only their own organization but the well being of fraternity and sorority life as a whole. The passion to stand above the stereotypes and challenge the process to model the way for change and a shared vision of success in our communities and organizations.
You may wonder why I describe the experience as a utopia? Because nowhere, before or after attending UIFI, have I ever been surrounded by so many people who were as passionate if not more about the same thing as myself. People who genuinely cared for the future existence of fraternities and sororities and saw the experience as more than joining for the party’s or the frat boys and sororities girls. But people who were passionate about philanthropy and doing more for others than they would do for themselves. Nowhere have I felt the same feeling I felt at UIFI that everything was perfect and I never wanted to leave. I kept asking myself, what would my FAU fraternity and sorority community be like if we all saw things this way? What if we were all as passionate about philanthropy and Ritual as all 60 attendees of my session? Our community would be blowing the roof off other communities and being the change we wish to see.
Attending UIFI in the summer of 2011 was the best life changing experience I could have been afforded in my time here at FAU. My outlook on not only my organization but also the community as a whole would not be what it is without the individuals and things I learned while at UIFI. I believe in the college student and their ability to not only do the right thing but the right thing for other people, their organization, and themselves. By banding together and living our Ritual there is nothing we can’t do or achieve. There is no reason we should be known or remembered for stereotypes that are slapped across our chest because of the letters we wear. We should be remembered for the lives we have changed for the better, the philanthropy and service work we do for the community, and the ability to help others realize their potential and become the very best versions of themselves.
If this all sounds like thoughts or dreams you have had than go to http://www.nicindy.org/programs/uifi/P1/ right now and apply to attend a session THIS summer. Don’t say you will do it next year, you cant afford to go, or you’re too young or too old. It’s NEVER too late and money should never stop you from attending this program. It will most likely be the best five days you will spend with members of the sorority and fraternity community and is worth EVERY penny. Believe me when I say I would drop everything to go to another session and be in the same environment as I was in last summer. DO MORE, BE MORE.
Xi Love and All Mine,
Alpha Xi Delta
UIFI APPLICATION: CPA UIFI Scholarship Application 12