By Sydney Pulliam
“The best thing about it is that it does not fit any of the other letters. It is Beta.”
Samford University’s newest fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, has had one of its best starts ever on Samford’s campus. Boasting 19 new members at the moment, Beta project manager Ryan Eilts claimed that this chapter took to Samford quickly and passionately and only shows signs of growth from here.
New Samford Beta member Calin Cox agreed.
“In terms of campus culture, I cannot think of a better campus off the top of my head for a Beta chapter than Samford University,” Cox said.
Beta’s new members here at Samford have been deemed the “Founding Fathers.” This is not just a nickname, though. Eilts put emphasis on the fact that new members have every opportunity to craft the exact experience they want in a fraternity here at Samford.
“There’s not an established: ‘This is what makes a Beta at Samford.’ There’s not a barrier between anyone,” Eilts said.
Cox noticed that, among his peers, the largest concern was the unknown. He described conversations he would have over the formal recruitment process that every other fraternity went through.
He recalled thinking, “You want a Beta Theta Pi experience, but you don’t know that yet.”
Beta men at Samford already have strong values that they cannot wait to live out as a chapter. When initially evaluating the values of this Beta chapter, the general consensus among the fraternity was that every man wants to be a friendly face around campus that anyone can talk to about anything, whether that be a huge life problem or just a casual conversation.
Cox acknowledged the strangeness of not having upperclassmen, or “older brothers,” to help guide the new members through this process. But he argued that this proved to be more of an advantage than a downside. The Beta brothers have been learning to build home together, creating a bond throughout this Beta pledge class that will last them a lifetime.
“[Bid-day] was electric,” said Cox. “Tanner and I took a step back at bowling, and we were all like, ‘It’s weird to see [the new members] all in the same place.’”
New member Niko Pillaro agreed.
“The environment in Beta is one that encourages brotherhood through helping each other in our struggles as the individual’s struggles are the group’s struggles,” Pillaro said.
Beta will be offering bids until Oct. 15.
In Eilts’s words, the requirements to join aren’t a “long laundry list of things.”
“It’s simply to have a good GPA and live our values,” he said. “And that you take to the men you find in the chapter… It’s not a hard thing to get into, but it’s a hard thing to ultimately create. Because we don’t find the men, most of the men find us.”
Those interested in joining Beta Theta Pi can contact project manager Ryan Eilts at (513) 315-3257 or firstname.lastname@example.org and follow Samford’s Beta chapter at @beta_samford on Instagram.