New members bond at day of philanthropy

Via Chi Psi at Home (blog)

If one attribute that Chi Psi looks for in its recruits is a spirit of philanthropy, the men at Alpha Pi of Union College have done an excellent job with its New Member class. This past semester, the 19 New Members of Alpha Pi decided they wanted to take part in one of Union College’s John Calvin Toll Day philanthropy events.

Though most groups were limited to about 7 people, Brody Dupuis, ’22, who helped organize the event, says most – if not all – of the New Members came through at some point in the day! He says his experience as a member of the Naval ROTC at Union helped pique his personal interest in participating in a letter-writing philanthropy on John Calvin Toll Day.

“We all collectively felt a pretty strong urge to get involved in some capacity,” he says. “It’s near and dear to me, but the whole group felt a strong connection to this event in particular. It was the best way for us to make an impact in a socially-distanced setting.”

The group of 7 New Members including Dupuis (pictured above) were the first into the tent at this specific event. They were sent to individual tables and asked to write at least one letter to active duty sailors or soldiers on deployment, new recruits going through basic training, or servicemembers who were away from family for the holidays.

“We knew we wanted to get involved either way, but especially to represent our Alpha as best we could,” says Dupuis. “The ability to sit down and write a letter that appealed to someone in need and create a personal connection, even if we don’t know each other personally, was a huge opportunity. But that Chi Psi pillar of philanthropy played a huge role in our decision.”

John Calvin Toll Day is a service day on the Union campus that encourages undergraduates to get involved in philanthropy. As one of the bedrocks of Chi Psi life, Dupuis felt it was the perfect way to blend doing a great service with a chance to bond for the New Members.

Dupuis says that even though they had to break into smaller groups and keep their distances from each other, it was an awesome experience.

“We had to comply with community and COVID standards, of course,” he says. “That’s something we all respect and it’s non-negotiable for anyone on campus. We hold ourselves to a high standards being members of the Union and Chi Psi communities, and take a ton of pride in both. After the event, we were able to chat a little bit about how this year has made us appreciate the opportunities to interact even more, and to do something like come together in service that we may have taken for granted in the past.”

Dupuis in particular was excited for this chance to combine his personal interests with philanthropy, and get the rest of his new Brothers involved, too. He has known he wanted to commission into the Navy after college for his “entire life,” as he put it.

“It’s a tough time for everyone right now,” says Dupuis. “This year, especially, has been difficult. So we wanted to attend this event to send letters in time for the holidays. Everybody in our Alpha takes pride in making a positive impact, and this was a great way for us to get involved.”