That is exactly what the Beta House was for us alumni. Our first home away from home. It is still home to us today, because our hearts are there. A place where we grew from boys to young adults in the company of our Brothers.
Beta Alums know that fraternities are crucibles of experience where lifetime bonds are built as young men struggle together in the challenges of life. This is real-time, real-life, real-stuff.
It is still amazing to me how this fraternity housing model works. Go figure. The Alumni own the Chapter House, and spend time, money, and worry on it. Then we turn it loose to a gaggle of undergraduates and hope for the best. A little guidance, a lot of encouragement, but really, it's "shake well and hope for the best."
How can this possibly work? Why? Exactly because it is the Beta House, and we are a chapter of a fraternity that believes in and operates on principles of "devotion to cultivation of the intellect," "mutual assistance," and "unsullied friendship and unfaltering fidelity." When these principles become the basis of action, it all works.
The undergraduates of our chapter believe in the same principles as we do, and in the end, we just plain trust them and the process.They are self-governing, meaning they run the house, pay rent and utilities, manage a kitchen, and conduct all the operations of the chapter such as member recruitment and philanthropy projects, all while still doing well in school!
It is a great experiment, it works, and I'm proud to be a part of it.
Our brothers, then, now, and in-between