By Robert Bember
I headed to LSU the Monday after the supposed “Game of the Century” or whatever, in which Alabama and LSU bludgeoned each other for four boring, sloppy quarters and a lackluster overtime. Sorry. Not impressed. But they’re supposedly the two best teams in the nation right now, (unless of course you’re into stats and, I don’t know, facts, and you compare the number of ranked opponents Oklahoma State has beaten to the number Bama has thus far), so this broken system has given us a rematch. I won’t get on that soap box though.
I was happy that the men of the Psi Chapter got to celebrate such a huge win, even if their quarterback likes to play kicker when he goes to the bars. But I digress. I was halfway expecting classes to be cancelled and Mardi Gras-sized parties to be going on on campus after the huge win. There was a ton of excitement, so it was a good time to be on the campus of LSU.
I began working with the Psi Chapter last fall when I came on staff. Their second officer corps was finishing up their term, so it was an interesting time in the life of the chapter. They were still very much a young chapter, but they didn’t necessarily act like it. They thought like a well-established chapter with ambitious ideas and sound leadership. Over the past year and some change, I’ve seen the men continue to build and refine those ideas, as well as continue to set the bar higher. It’s exciting to see the vision and ambition in the Psi Chapter.
With the early semesters as a measuring stick, it’s been fun to see where the chapter is now compared to then. The men are learning how to standardize things from semester to semester. Pledge Captain Daniel Manas talked with me about how he has collected all his information for the next pledge captain, Sam Alexander. We had a great talk about what he has learned in office and why his job is so important. It’s clear to me that the chapter’s understanding of the vision of BYX has grown, and they are carrying out the day-to-day operations of BYX much more smoothly.
After meeting with Daniel and Vice President Conner Jenkins, we got down to the serious business: Super Smash Bros. on Nintendo 64. It had been a while since I picked up the sticks on N64, but Pikachu and I quickly renewed our relationship as we lightning bolted our team to victory.
The visits at the back end of the fall semester are exciting and exhausting at the same time. Exciting because I get to meet with both the new and old officers, and exhausting because I get to meet with both the new and old officers.
I had met with a few of the 2011 officers prior to meeting with the new guys. They helped me to gain an understanding of the 2012 officers before my meetings. On top of that, it was evident that the outgoing officers want to remain involved. Conner told me he wants to hold every chair position, including his newly created chair chair, who is responsible for setting up chairs at chapter meeting. They hope to be available to counsel the new officers in their position. They know that the progress made during their term means nothing if the next guys come in and botch everything.
If I learned anything from the time I spent with the new officers, it’s that they are hungry. Greg Flitter, the 2012 vice president, flipped through page after page of his notebook as he, Sam, new Chaplain Joey Kieffer and I had lunch on campus. It was clear the men had put a lot of thought into the next semester already, and they did a great job of building up and refining the ideas they already had. They were receptive of each other’s ideas. I got to watch these officers develop their chemistry and bond as brothers right in front of me.
The LSU Chapter keeps moving forward. I’m continually impressed with the vision of the leaders. They still have plenty of work to do to keep moving the chapter forward. I’m confident that between the leadership of the current officers and the young men that are stepping into office, we’re going to look up a year from now and see a far better version of the Psi Chapter.