Acacia Leadership Academy

Darold W. Larson Acacia Leadership Academy Blog – Day Two

Thursday marked a day of learning at the Darold Larson Acacia Leadership Academy. The day started with the most delicious omelet bar you could imagine.  Then, we jumped right into learning about all OmegaFi offers our chapters, including Vault and myACACIA. In our breakout groups, we practiced the ritual that binds all of us brothers together no matter what state or chapter we may be associated with. A big focus for the day was that all brothers should continue to develop themselves as people and leaders even after pledge-ship is over. The Total Membership Development Plan that the International Headquarters designed will help our chapters do just that, grow as individuals and as a group. The Cornerstones App will connect brothers to alumni from all over the country with all sorts of backgrounds and careers.

The keynote speaker for the day was Mike Ayalon, founder of Greek University, who addressed important topics relevant to the Greek community. He discussed the heavy topic of preventing sexual assault and the steps we can take to create a “consent culture” on our campuses.  He also discussed how to motivate our chapters and how to better manage the daily operations of the chapter.  Overall the day was exciting and the ties of friendship were strengthened.

So Live.

 

Brother Ritter Krueger, Missouri '16

ALA Secretary

Darold W. Larson Acacia Leadership Academy Blog – Day One

Welcome from ALA! Sunshine and blue skies greeted our attendees at the start of ALA and energy was high as members began filtering in from all across the country. The ALA elected the following officers to serve on the executive team for the week:

 

Venerable Dean: Brandon P. Brodsky, Penn State '15

Senior Dean: Michael P. Foy, Wisconsin '14

Treasurer: Greg J. Schultz, Cornell '16

Secretary: Ritter M. Krueger, Missouri '16

Brotherhood Chair: Michael C. Bender, Missouri '16

Risk Manager: P. Kodjo Awadjie, Washington State '16

Senior Steward: Brandon D. Main, Wisconsin '16

Junior Steward: AJ Neu, Indiana '17

 

We will keep you updated each night on our progress, stay tuned for more details!

Are you invincible? Social awareness in the 21st Century

"Let’s see... today I have biology and econ. Then I’m going to lunch with my friend Steve and a couple other classes. I think I’ll let off some steam by having a couple drinks later. I then plan to die in a car accident because I’m driving under the influence and failed to stop at a red light."

The statement above is one you would rarely (if ever) hear someone say, but how many of us know someone that died or was affected by a DUI? In every one of those cases, someone made a decision to drive under the influence. In other words: to let intoxication lead the decision making process.

Adam Ritz (R) presents at Acacia Leadership Academy 2015

Adam Ritz (R) presents at Acacia Leadership Academy 2015

"Are you Invincible?" It is a simple question with a complicated answer. Plans are never made to include a horrible occurrence, but often, we act in a way that could have a life-changing impact. At the Acacia Leadership Academy held in Bloomington, Indiana, Adam Ritz asked the brothers of Acacia if they thought they were invincible. Sharing his own story, Adam Ritz put a face to the question: "What is the worst thing that could happen?" The answer being: losing everything. Adam Ritz was a notable radio personality in Indianapolis, Indiana when one decision brought his world crashing down. He now speaks to student-athletes, greeks, and anyone else seeking an inspirational message on social awareness and the clarity of hindsight.

Each day we make decisions that may potentially have reverberating and life-changing consequences. Many of these decisions are made while intoxicated. However, we are responsible for the decisions we make, regardless of the limbic system’s alcoholic handicap.

No normal person looks in the mirror and thinks, "Yeah, I want to be called a rapist. That would be great." However, one wrong decision at twenty years old can lead to being labeled for life. Adam Ritz closes his presentations with a simple line, "I am not invincible." Rape starts with a rapist making a decision, it does not start with low-cut clothing or with alcohol. It begins and ends with the perpetrator. You are not invincible.

Regardless of the incident, Mr. Ritz’s presentation boils down to a simple point: keep an eye on the red flags. When you know that you have had a couple drinks, think twice about what you are doing. Hindsight is 20/20 and an arrest record lasts forever. Sometimes we think things are funny, like a brother getting into a fight at the bar, or even with a wall. Consider this however: these antics are only funny because of how socially inappropriate they are. You are your brother’s keeper, so keep an eye on these red flags and you just might save someone’s life.

The report from ALA - Part 3

By Nick Loree, Ohio #668ALA 2013 Secretary

[Read part 1]  [Read part 2]

Today marks the end of a very special week for a lot of members of the Acacia Fraternity. As we look back on the week we recall many fond memories of brotherhood and fellowship. The experience we’ve shared through common bonds and experience have brought us closer together than we thought possible over a very short span of time. I personally count myself very lucky to have been given the opportunity to enjoy such a wonderful learning experience, an experience which has shed light on more than just running a chapter. In the next paragraph I will share with you the events of the final days of ALA 2013 and try to impart just part of its importance to the men lucky enough to take part in it.

Acacia Cup winners

The day started out beautifully for a man of my interests. Instead of the normal bread and butter of the IU Acacia fraternity house, we were served a delicious breakfast by the wonderful staff and members of the Monroe Masonic Lodge of Bloomington, Indiana. As soon as I entered the door I smelled biscuits and gravy, and I was sold. As much as I enjoyed the breakfast, the main purpose of the trip was to initiate Peter Corso of the Michigan Colony into the Acacia Fraternity. The initiation process went seamlessly, as we were happy to welcome a strong new member into our international ranks. The Michigan Colony is lucky to have such a motivated young man to help restore the colony to its former glory.

After the initiation it was right back to business with the Acacia Olympics, and Peter's initiation meant one more brother than the day before. Sadly my team was beaten for the first time and did not gain the Acacia Cup, that honor belongs to Brother Jeremy Davis' team, Boats-N-Bros. No worries, though, because we all had a steak dinner waiting for us at the ALA Final Banquet. Nothing takes my mind off a hard loss like a nice cut of steak and a side of mashed taters.

During dinner we were graced with the presence of the Acacia Fraternity Foundation Directors - some of Acacia’s finest alumni. Men who once walked the halls of the very fraternity houses we call our homes. Men once faced with the same challenges we now face as college students and young men. They imparted much wisdom and inspire us to strive for greatness and a lifetime of dedication to our fraternity and the search for Truth. As much as they seem like royalty to us, I’m sure a few will be making a splash at some local Bloomington establishments after the ceremony. Overall the tone of the day was very reflective and full of excitement about how much we can help our chapters and brothers become the best Acacians we can be.

Overall, I think that this year's Leadership Academy has created bonds and friendships which transcend the boundaries of geography, communication, and time. We are all good brothers, and if there was any doubt of that statement on a nationwide scale, none of that doubt exists anymore. Sure, I’m only 20 years old. I have a lot left to learn in my life. I’m not even old enough to enjoy a night out on the town with my fraternity brothers (active and alumni alike) to celebrate a job well done. So I sit in my room and write this blog. I write to try to put into words what this experience has meant to me and everyone else here. In this world, there are approximately 7,000 languages. Each have their own words, traditions, and expressions which convey sentiments both universal as well as unique and deeply personal. I could spend my life studying linguistics and familiarizing myself with the words, trying to find one to put this experience into words. However, I think that would be a waste of time -- there is only one group, and only one word capable of describing this experience. To me it was deeply, beautifully, and profoundly... Acacian.