By: Communication Intern Kyle Rutledge, Oklahoma State ’12

This fall will be my last as a Phi Kappa Tau undergraduate at Oklahoma State. Fortunately, I’ve made the most of it and been to nearly every national event during my undergrad tenure.

Go Forth and ConnectAt 1203 W. 3rd Ave., in Stillwater, Okla., my passion for Phi Kappa Tau began. My love for the Beta Kappa chapter is great and something I’ll always cherish. However, until I started experiencing Phi Kappa Tau at national events, helping charter a chapter and meeting brothers from across the country, I didn’t fully understand what this great Fraternity is all about. Its impact is much larger than we realize.

At each event I have noticed a regular question that is asked by facilitators, Executive Offices staff and fellow undergraduate brothers. How can we be better?

How can Phi Kappa Tau become the strongest and most-effective Fraternity in the nation?

Throughout my experiences, the common thread of success or failure is simply by being connected to those around you. The simple fact is that we can’t stand alone and expect to make this Fraternity experience excellent. It takes all of our chapters and colonies working together and being connected to accomplish that feat.

In the fall 2012, myself and a few chapter brothers took a trip down to Austin, Texas, to help Beta Alpha chapter re-charter. It was the first experience in which I witnessed the great potential that connections between chapters and colonies could have on our Fraternity.

Unfortunately it seems as though some chapters and colonies have created an island throughout each year and haven’t been in contact with other Phi Taus in their area.

Now let’s be clear, I’m not speaking about contacting your chapter alumni or your fellow chapter brothers (which is still something you should do). Let’s go bigger picture with this. I am talking about connecting to the chapters and colonies that are nearest to you for help, collaboration and success.

The greatest success for large organizations stems from being connected to all facets of that organization and how they work cohesively. Think about it. Who is most likely to understand the situations that your chapter faces throughout the year? The answer is other undergrad chapter and colony members.

Being connected to chapters and colonies around you as a support system opens a variety of options to better your chapter, ease the common burdens you share and strengthen our Fraternity as a whole.

So that’s the challenge that faces our Fraternity moving forward throughout the school year. Can we connect and almost as important, remain connected with the Phi Taus around us?

I believe we can. I believe that we can succeed together. And above all else, I believe this is the key to continuing the excellence, which is Phi Kappa Tau, for the next 100 years of our history.

Don’t go forth and conquer. Go forth and CONNECT.