An Auburn chapter is looking to change the narrative on fraternity culture and promote the good that Auburn fraternities produce.
Launched by Phi Gamma Delta, commonly known as Fiji, Making Better Men is a social media campaign that highlights the parts of fraternity culture that fosters philanthropy and social impact.
“In light of the news surrounding fraternities, we thought this was a critical message to share because fraternities do receive a lot of negative news, and a lot of times that’s deserved,” said Jack Albert, Fiji’s president. “We truly believe that Auburn fraternity system is different with the fact that it’s not just a bunch of guys just trying to have fun all the time. It’s truly men getting better by their community, by their fellow brothers.”
Albert said it has been disheartening to see some of the bad fraternity experiences at other schools, but he believes the Auburn fraternity experience is set apart and goes beyond parties.
Ben Conry, Fiji’s former president, came up with the idea for the campaign when he attended a national conference and heard about other fraternities’ efforts to promote the good that they do.
He passed the idea along to Albert, and the campaign began in the fall of 2018. Then, the social media push came earlier this semester.
Fiji partnered with other Auburn fraternities, and the three-month social media campaign under #MakingBetterMen has spotlighted various fraternity success stories.
Each month has had its own theme of how fraternities have positively impacted the lives of its members.
The first theme was how individuals make a difference philanthropically.
“The real purpose of it was to show how fraternities encourage young men to get involved philanthropically, and without fraternities, a lot of these college students wouldn’t,” Albert said.
The other themes have been campus involvement and life after college.
“Making Better Men sounded like a good name for a campaign because that’s what we truly believe fraternities do,” Albert said. “Fraternities make Auburn men better through the job search, getting people involved on campus philanthropically.”
Albert said he hopes to continue to develop the campaign with more physical structure and additional partnerships with other fraternities and possibly Interfraternity Council.
“A big difference in this campaign and a lot of things is that this is a grass-roots fraternity initiative,” Albert said. “No person or position from IFC or administration is telling us to do this. This is spear headed by fraternity men just examining the environment around us and saying, ‘We need this for fraternities. We need to show that fraternities are doing good.’”
Albert also said the campaign is intended to show current fraternity members, who aren’t as involved as they could be, how their fraternity can provide avenues to develop them as people.
“We really have received a lot of positive feedback from Greek life and from IFC,” Albert said. “We really just want to reach the whole student body and the whole administration. And that’s the next step.”