Why Grand Chapter Congress Was One Of The Highlights Of My Undergraduate Experience
Grand Chapter Congress. My goodness. I could probably write a miniature novel about my experiences in Louisville. The 48th Grand Chapter Congress was my first ever Delta Sigma Pi national event. I had not yet become a LEAD regular. In addition, I went as the delegate for my chapter and brought no alternate. I jumped into the fire feet first with this one.
I could talk endlessly about all the various things that happened, but I think it will be better to focus on how GCC helped me develop each of the four core values of DSP; professional, service, scholarship and social.
Professionally, GCC was an absolutely incredible experience. I was able to attend several education sessions from amazing speakers who were more than happy to share their wisdom and experience with us. These sessions each left me with something I could take away, whether it was tips about networking or contacts I could use later in life for help. Along those same lines, GCC was an incredible way to network with people who are already out in the business world. I met several people in my field of study, and several professionals in the technological consulting industry, where I now work. I also had multiple opportunities to interact with dozens of alumni and collegians in a professional setting, which was great practice and even greater fun.
Service wise, GCC is one of the best ways for a brother to serve. We give up a week of our precious summer vacation time, time where we could easily be off laying around a pool or relaxing in our apartments, to go and selfessly serve the fraternity. For hours we debate and vote on matters that impact ourselves, our chapters and the fraternity as a whole. Going to GCC really gave me a great sense that this really is a national organization. Sometimes in, the chaos of the day to day operations of our home chapters, we forget that there are over 200 other chapters out there filled with brothers just like us. GCC shows us the incredible things we can accomplish when we work together as one united brotherhood.
In terms of scholarship, GCC is one of the biggest events for the fraternity. Thousands of dollars were raised for various chapter, regional, provincial, national and travel scholarships for the fraternity. Brothers of all ages, myself included, gave to the fraternity to help others achieve their goals.
Finally comes the social aspect. This is perhaps one of the most noticeable benefits of going to GCC, certainly one of the most entertaining. Before going, I knew very few brothers from my region, having only interacted with the other chapters briefly at a regional initiation in Austin. GCC gave me a chance to meet people from all over my region, and over the days we were there, we grew to become incredible friends. I was blown away by how amazing some of the other collegians and alumni were, and it was so much fun getting to know them. From the amazing members of Gulf Western to the great guys I met from the Chicago Alumni Chapter, GCC gave me a chance to meet brothers from all walks of life, brothers I keep in contact with today and look forward to seeing again at the 2013 GCC in Seattle.
In the end, trying to sum up Grand Chapter Congress in words is difficult. It is truly an experience unlike any other, one that needs to be experienced in person to be believed. Before going I spoke to several people in my chapter and they just told me one thing. “Get ready for it. It will be one of the coolest things you have ever done.” They weren’t lying. Grand Chapter Congress was one of the best experiences of my life, and certainly one of the highlights of my undergraduate career. I grew professionally, served the fraternity and met some amazing people along the way.
If you have never been, you had better be there in Seattle in 2013. I’ll be there smiling and catching up with brothers, so come up, say hi and make a connection that’ll last you a lifetime.