Greetings Gamma Pi Alumni! Welcome to the first dart of the spring semester. This dart is lengthy, but reflects everything our active brothers have done thus far including the new executive board, Day of Service, First Degree, and a special road trip to Atlanta, Georgia for the annual Honda Battle of the Bands!
Spring Semester Executive Board and Committee & Special Chairs:
A new semester means new brothers joining leadership positions! Elections for this Spring Semester decided upon a leadership board consisting of:
President: Christopher Ioerger
Vice President: Jacob Boesch
Vice President of Membership: Emily Damone
Treasurer: Nick Iavagnilio
Secretary: Laura Long
Historian: Stuart McCrorie
Alumni Secretary: Olivia Glowacki
Community Chair: Joshua Woods
Co-Growth Chairs: Emily Davelis and Emily Pawluk
Co-Initiative Chairs: Emily Dawley and Adam Mills
Integrity Chair: Andee Reynolds
Passion Chair: Kyle Manion
Finances Head: Kristin Darling
Computer Guru: Jacob Dunbar
Publicity Chair: Russell House
Congratulations to all the brothers who ran for these positions and to all brothers who were elected!
Day of Service
The Spring Semester got off to a busy start with the Day of Service occurring on the first weekend back from break! On an early, icy Saturday morning, around 60+ Brothers of Kappa Kappa Psi and Sisters of Tau Beta Sigma worked together on numerous projects. We broke up into groups which either cleaned Elliott, wrote cards to alumni, or the most daunting task of clearing the Purdue Band and Orchestra’s storage space in the hangar. The purpose of the clearing was to go through old instruments and decide which ones were salvageable to keep, and which ones to toss because of their withered condition. The largest portion of clearing the hangar was gathering everything to move to storage units on campus. During the move, huge shelving units had to be disassembled as well as all the instruments, boxes of uniforms and music, and other various band items that took up enormous amounts of space. All shelving units, salvageable instruments, uniforms and music were moved in two giant loads to the storage unit where brothers and sisters formed assembly lines of moving items out of the truck. From there, we put together the shelving units and filled them with the items from the hangar. After hours of work, the band has an updated inventory of instruments and a cleaner, neater space where everything has a place! In addition to all the brothers and sisters who came, prospective members interested in interviewing for Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma came to help out too!
Membership Candidate Interviews
Spring semester is our busy time for recruitment! All brothers met and divided up into groups based on Kappa Kappa Psi values- brotherhood, leadership, musicianship, and service. A fifth “fun” group was added to ease any interview stress and answer any questions prospective members had. For those unfamiliar with the interview process, each values group comes up with a few questions in which prospective members answer by walking around each group for a total of 5 minutes per group. After two days of interviews and around 23 prospective members total, our chapter is excited to extend bids and induct a new class in the following months!
Several of our brothers had the opportunity to travel to Indiana State University for Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma’s Leadership Conference. The two organizations split off and completed ice-breakers, sat in on valuable work-shops, and had the opportunity to talk with and meet other chapter representatives.
On Sunday January 29, 2017 membership candidates and active brothers met at Slayter Hill for the first ritual in our membership process. With two more rituals to go, more events to attend, and more lessons to learn, the prospective members have so much still ahead of them! We are all excited to see their progress and excitement in our membership process, and next month short bios and pictures will be up of all of our new membership candidates!
Honda Battle of the Bands
Joshua Woods (Community Chair) and Kyle Manion (Passion Chair) led a trip to Atlanta, Georgia for the annual Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB), a marching band exhibition of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Since 2003, Honda Battle of the Bands has been a way to showcase Black excellence in music through marching band performances. This year, for the 15th annual HBOB, Gamma Pi showed up!
Friday January 27th, three car loads of brothers road tripped nearly 11 hours to Atlanta, Georgia for the event on Saturday. After numerous stops to pick up 2 brothers on co-op this semester, and a dinner stop to Waffle House in Kentucky, we safely arrived in Atlanta, Georgia!
Nick Iavagnilio’s car of brothers including Emily Davelis, Katie Boyer, and myself stopped at Emily’s aunt’s house who provided us with the utmost southern hospitality by giving us with pizza and wonderful accommodations to spend the night. Joshua Woods’ car of Kyle Manion, Natalie Lamport, and Emily Pawluk slept at graduated Gamma Pi brother, Rachel Schmidtt’s apartment. A following car of brothers (who got in around 4am) including Kristin Darling, Garrett Bruns, Russell House, and Brendan Schultz also resided at Brother Schmidtt’s apartment. A HUGE thank you to Emily’s Aunt and Rachel Schmidtt who helped us on our adventure to Atlanta. Thank you for your kind hospitality! We couldn’t have done it without you!
The following morning, all 13 of us went to the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site including Ebenezer Baptist Church, where MLK Jr. first began preaching as a reverend. We sat in the same pews hundreds of activists and leaders sat in decades before, and heard audio recordings of sermons by Martin Luther King Jr. At one point, I heard fellow brother, Natalie Lamport, whisper, “You can feel the history here.”
Across the street, there is a small museum dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement with photos and videos of Americans in the 1960’s along with replicas and antiques of items from that time. The museum housed the Ebenezer Baptist Church’s collection tin, MLK Jr.’s old baseball glove he played with as a child, and had actual photographs of Southern life in the 60’s. Among the hundreds of pictures, there was one old black and white photo of the very church pews we sat in just minutes ago. Every single seat was filled to hear Martin Luther King Jr. preach about equality, love, and kindness. That moment, put sitting in the church in perspective and allowed us to have a connection between Martin Luther King Jr.’s messages and ideals and how they still ring true today.
Outside of the museum, the coffins of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King rest upon a shallow pool of water similar to the reflecting pool in Washington D.C. where King led his March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and also gave his famous, “I Have a Dream Speech.” An eternal flame was adjacent to the pool of water representing the everlasting truth of Dr. King’s ideals.
Our Atlanta trip wouldn’t have been done right if we didn’t have a traditional Southern brunch! After the MLK Jr. Historical Site, we got brunch at The Republic Social House and indulged in biscuits and gravy, chicken, grits, shrimp, and “The Georgia Peach,” which is french toast with vanilla cream cheese and Georgian peaches! Once again, we’d like to thank Brother Schmidtt for treating us to brunch and showing us around Atlanta!
The main event, Honda Battle of Bands started promptly at 3:00 and showcased the talent of eight Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCU) marching bands from all around the South like Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina. 12 of the 13 brothers who went to Atlanta are or were a part of the All-American Marching Band at one point, and every one of us was impressed and amazed at the talent of the marching bands. Ne-Yo performed as well, after the first four of the bands went on. Joshua Woods comically remarked, “Ne-Yo was a halftime show for a halftime show.”
The performance ended at 6, and after our long day in Atlanta, we ate some dinner, called it a night, and drove back to Purdue the next morning.
Each of us had our own favorites about the trip. For some it was the quintessential “college road trip” they’ve heard about and always wanted to do. Some loved seeing the historic sights of the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement and the monuments to Dr. King. Georgian cuisine (although not very healthy for us!) was a favorite along with connecting closer to our fellow brothers over music. Of course another favorite was HBOB itself and seeing HBCU marching bands, which many of us don’t usually see. In this last, final section of this very long post, I will share with you the favorite memories from some of the brothers who went to Atlanta, Georgia in their own words!
Joshua Woods: “The time we were walking around and that car yelled KK, and we responded Psi-yyyy was one of my highlights.”
Kyle Manion: “I just want it to be noted that this started as a crazy idea between two brothers, and it became something so much more. Also, favorite moment was the shoutout to all the Asians in the Georgia Dome.” [Disclaimer: the DJ who self-identified as Asian, said his favorite thing about HBOB was the fact he was the only Asian in the Georgia Dome to which Kyle jumped to his feet proudly announcing the DJ was not alone]
Katie Boyer: “One of my favorite moments was when we first saw the Atlanta skyline at night once we finally made it. The four of us in the car got excited and pumped up, and it was a really great moment to share with my brothers. It’s like that beautiful sight in front of us was as sign that this was going to be a great weekend, and it was!”
Emily Pawluk: “My favorite moment was when I woke up to see that 5 other brothers had arrived. Especially since I had not seen two of them for lik
e two months it was so special to be reconnected. Also everyone else’s face when the honey baes came on- they are my spirit animal.” [Disclaimer: The “ ASU Honeybeez” or as Emily refers to them as the “Honey Baes” are one of the amazing dance teams we saw at HBOB]
Brendan Schultz: “The Honeybeez, dancing with Emily [Pawluk], and making it on the
big screen like 5 times! Also the fact we met two people that knew Joe [Pacheco].” [Disclaimer: Joe is an active brother of Gamma Pi who knew a lot of people who went to HBOB]
Russell House: “The Honeybeez, taking a picture of sleeping Josh, the Honda Battle of the Bands, meeting Vanderbilt TBS peeps, meeting other bros and sisters, visiting the brothers I haven’t seen in awhile, that one sleeping kid, french toast.” [Disclaimer: there was a sleeping kid who was caught on the big screen and the host ridiculed him until the kid gave him side eyes. It was quite humorous]
Brother of the Week
Joshua Woods was handed off the Brother of the Week paddle to Olivia Glowacki for her success as Alumni Secretary thus far. He commended her on her ability to inform chapter and the alumni at large through monthly darts. Olivia is a sophomore studying Human Services and a fun fact about her is she dearly misses her cat, Ozzy from home. He’s fat and cuddly and I personally think if he went to HBOB he would have thought the ASU Honeybeez were the best, too.