By: Volunteer Development Consultant Marty Dunning, Kentucky ’07

Phi Kappa Tau RitualI’m sure you’ve seen this … if not I’ll catch you up really quick.

Rush Limbaugh recently talked on his show about a law student, Sandra Fluke, who testified before Congress about insurance coverage of contraception. He got carried away and called the woman a few choice slurs that don’t have a place in our blog. Limbaugh has since apologized to Fluke both on his website and on his show.

Even though this is an appealing topic and has probably caught your attention (if not, stick with me), it gets even better.

As of 6:11 p.m. on March 6, 22 companies have pulled their ads from Limbaugh’s show. 22! The list includes companies such as Geico, Netflix, Goodwill, Bonobos clothing company, AOL, Quicken Loans, Sleep Number, Vitacost vitamin supplier and many more!

Here’s what Vitacost had to say of the situation in a recent Facebook post: “To put it frankly, Mr. Limbaugh’s recent comments have been unsettling, and many of our fans have voiced concern that Vitacost endorses these views. These comments are definitely not in line with our brand values, and in listening to our fans we’ve decided to remove our advertising from the program.”

In a world driven by values and public opinion, these companies have answered the call to stick to their beliefs.

How does this relate to you?

Fraternity men and Sorority women are a part of are a part of premiere values-based organizations for not only their time as undergraduates, but for life.

Sure it’s easy to get concerned about planning the date party or putting on a big event, but where do you stand as a Phi Tau man? How about your brothers? Are you men of value?

In 2011, Mark Koepsell, Associtation of Fraternal Leadership & Values (AFLV) Executive Director received the Jack L. Anson award (named after a man who did live Phi Kappa Tau every day of his life). Below are five of the comments Mark made in his acceptance speech. He made his comments in a Tweetable format to start a trend. Visit AFLV’s website (http://aflv.blogspot.com/2011/12/in-land-of-what-if.html) to see more.

•#WHATIF we spent our undergraduate years preparing for a lifetime of membership in the org & didn’t get initiated until we graduated?
•#WHATIF we didn’t need an org like the @FraternalValuesSociety in our communities because 100% values alignment was already achieved?
•#WHATIF every chapter had the conviction, motivation, talent, and drive that we find in most colonies?
•#WHATIF new member education truly prepared men & women for a life of values based action? @preventhazing
•#WHATIF all F/S members valued making a positive global impact as much as they do the fun of brotherhood and sisterhood? #ServiceImmersion

Do you see what I’m getting at here?

•#WHATIF you took the time to learn our Ritual?
•#WHATIF everyone knew our Ritual just because of your actions and beliefs?
•#WHATIF you inspired others to be a better person just because you are an amazing Phi Tau man?
•#WHATIF you were my brother based on who you are as a man, not by the letters on your shirt?
•#WHATIF discussions of our Ritual were more common in our chapters?
•#WHATIF Ritual was our daily ritual? Not just once a semester, but every day.

In case you were too busy watching the Rush Limbaugh story or preparing for Super Tuesday, this week is known to the Greek community as National Ritual Celebration Week.  It’s our chance to celebrate the words, values, oath, ceremonies and lifestyle that unite our entire national brotherhood as Phi Kappa Tau.

My challenge to you is to sit down with a Ritual book  and actively think about what being a Phi Tau means. If you don’t have one, buy one. It’s your right as an initiated member to have one. Call the Executive Offices at (513) 523-4193 and ask for one. Plan to pay around $10 + shipping. That’s like giving up a couple of trips to Subway to have a copy of the words that define our membership and lifelong commitment.

Challenge yourself to live our Ritual. Challenge your brothers. Be your brother’s keeper in this endeavor to live Phi, Kappa and Tau. Challenge your chapter to have a talk about the Ritual, whether that be a Ritual Retreat or a group discussion among yourselves.

•#WHATIF we each lived our Ritual?

Our world would be a better place. Let’s get out there and discharge the obligation to others which arises from the fact that we are Fraternity men!

Resources:
Ritual Retreat