William Remmes, Contributing Writer
It is well known that the prospective University of Dallas Chapter of Alpha Delta Gamma experienced a sound dismissal by many UD students and faculty last fall. The school’s decision was very discouraging for ADG hopefuls, and we were faced with the question of whether our efforts to be officially recognized by UD were worth further pursuit.
We considered it deeply last spring, but realized that a more fundamental question must be answered first: What role could a fraternity play at a university with such a unique culture of students and faculty? The answer is not simply the sponsoring of new service projects, building strong friendships, promoting campus involvement and so on; while these purposes are meaningful, they do not capture what it really means to be a student at UD. To help us consider this question, we turned to our university’s mission statement.
It first states, “the University seeks to educate its students so they may develop the intellectual and moral virtues, prepare themselves for life … become leaders able to act responsibly for their own good and for the good of their family, community, country, and church.” Immediately, we noticed a striking similarity to the national mission of ADG: “Alpha Delta Gamma is a group of men whose lifestyles are enriched by a common set of ideals, goals, and realistic purposes. An intrinsic part of this lifestyle is the responsibility to many things: self, fellow man, school, society and God.”
With specific regard to our campus culture, however, we found that the following piece of UD’s mission was able to shed more light: “The University is especially dedicated to the pursuit of liberal education … the recovery and renewal of the Western heritage of liberal education … [and] to fostering principled, moral judgment.”
Having attended UD for just over two years now, it has become increasingly clear to me that this mission is not simply promoted by the faculty, absorbed by the students and then regurgitated through exams and essays. On the contrary, our professors inspire their students to promote and discuss this mission in their daily lives. I have observed that a genuine love of learning is common among UD students, setting the foundation for what I believe is the most recognizable trait of our campus culture: conversation.
There are always great conversations to be had with both students and faculty on campus. If a fraternity could have a worthwhile presence on this campus, it would be to stimulate this campus culture, its love of learning and its conversations.
We firmly believe a particular and unique fraternity, ADG, could complement the unique culture of UD. UD’s culture of student life, so rich with enthusiasm for the Catholic intellectual tradition and unified through the Core, must be preserved. The preservation of this culture would be our primary goal as a chapter of ADG at UD because it goes hand in hand with what our fraternity stands for. In helping to protect and promote our cultural traditions at UD, the fraternity would be realizing its own goals “[to] foster the mind, body and soul in order to strengthen and enhance the world around us.”
Sadly, for many students, the opportunity for “UD” conversations becomes very limited upon graduation. A brother of ADG, however, would not be so cut off when he leaves our campus. He would have a lifelong connection to thousands of likeminded ADG brothers from around the nation, mutually encouraging intellectual and spiritual growth.
In a sense, ADG would act as an extension of our beloved campus culture throughout our lives after college.
For these reasons, my fellow ADG proponents and I have decided to push forward with our bid for university recognition. We stand by the mission of UD; we cherish its culture of student life, and we hope to further enrich the academic and professional careers of our brothers and the entire university.