By: Steven Lorenz, Purdue ’18 (with assistance from Michael Hohn, Purdue ’18)
Have a plan:
This starts with a few guys having the idea. I’ll be honest, we didn’t even have a plan at first; rather we saw the idea of becoming an Iron Phi Chapter as “hey, it’d be great if we did this” sort of thing. The idea blossomed from Michael’s and my completion of our personal Iron Phis. With the idea and goal in mind, it is key to find a brother everyone respects and who is persistent or committed. This leader helps take the daunting task of raising $10,000 and set more realistic checkpoints to meet throughout the academic year.
Be humble and be ready to fail:
This won’t happen overnight; this is a multiyear process, thus if you’re the one trying to enact change be ready to fail, but don’t give up! Be resilient, be humble, be ready to accept that you may not see the process completed. This is okay! Find your underclassman who can pick up your torch and continue your work.
Find your blue-chip brothers and get them to buy in:
Find the brothers who you trust and are willing to follow you on this journey. The most important quality to look for in these “blue-chip” brothers is their potential impact or influence on the chapter. Find the guys, regardless of the title or office they hold, who the younger guys will listen to. People are going to get tired of hearing your voice, so you’ll want your message coming from others. Another source of blue-chip brothers are your alumni. Get them to buy in to the idea of joining a cause greater than the Fraternity and join a healthy competition to see who can raise more money!
Make sure the chapter is READY:
If the chapter isn’t ready to become an Iron Phi Chapter, they will resist your attempt for change. Of course you can hype up the idea, but to get the chapter ready, refer to point #3; you can’t do this alone, and having the support of well-respected brothers will garner the youth’s desire to participate and accelerate your goal!
If you would have told Michael and I that we’d be an Iron Phi Chapter this year, we would have laughed. Honestly, we’re a year or two ahead of schedule. So how did it happen to us? We won a wild card position in the Iron Phikeia Challenge in October. There we raised around $5,000. While we had intentions of raising money in the fall, we didn’t expect to raise that much. Then an alumnus, John Giese, ’53, completed his Iron Phi at the age of 86! At this point we had raised over $6,000. We knew that we had caught a break that accelerated our chances to become an Iron Phi Chapter. From there we went all out, took advantage of the incredible opportunity, stressed points three and four, and before we knew it, we became an Iron Phi Chapter!