Brooks Raiford recalls his participation in the founding of the NCSU chapter of Phi Delta Theta and the challenges associated with establishing a new fraternity. Interview on April 19, 2012. (2:27)


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Well, one of the activities I got involved in early on 00:00:00.000 - 00:00:02.928
was I was part of the founding group of a fraternity here, 00:00:02.928 - 00:00:06.798
Phi Delta Theta fraternity, 00:00:06.798 - 00:00:08.918
so that took a lot of our time. We were creating from scratch 00:00:08.918 - 00:00:12.766
a chapter of a fraternity and part of the reason for that was 00:00:12.766 - 00:00:15.822
there were already nearly two dozen fraternities on campus 00:00:15.822 - 00:00:20.426
but a lot of students who were involved in student leadership in one fashion or another, 00:00:20.426 - 00:00:23.656
who knew each other, a lot of us were friends anyway or at least acquaintances, 00:00:23.656 - 00:00:28.786
wanted to start something that was new, that would be unique to us. 00:00:28.786 - 00:00:33.326
One of the advantages of joining an existing fraternity is it's already in place; 00:00:33.326 - 00:00:37.315
one of the disadvantages is you inherit whatever baggage or reputation, for ill or for good, 00:00:37.315 - 00:00:42.593
that it may have, and we wanted to really do our own thing. 00:00:42.593 - 00:00:45.100
It was a great experience. I think doing things like that really help you in your professional life later, 00:00:45.100 - 00:00:50.404
which you don't think about at the time, 00:00:50.404 - 00:00:53.024
but you have to organize a lot of the business side of an organization 00:00:53.024 - 00:00:58.619
if it's not already in place. You're creating the by-laws, you're establishing the rules of the road, 00:00:58.619 - 00:01:03.343
you're establishing recruitment policies and procedures, you're establishing eligibility for membership, 00:01:03.343 - 00:01:08.685
you're helping set standards on what kind of people you're looking to bring in 00:01:08.685 - 00:01:13.972
and how broad or how limited that's going to be. 00:01:13.972 - 00:01:15.689
You are trying to build out a reputation for being strong not just in one area, like academics or sports, 00:01:15.689 - 00:01:21.268
but to be really strong across the board, 00:01:21.268 - 00:01:24.236
and we were able to do that very early on, so we won a lot of awards and campus recognition in the early days, 00:01:24.236 - 00:01:30.288
sort of set the standard for ourselves and an expectation, and it was compelling 00:01:30.288 - 00:01:35.574
to have the opportunity to do it and see the fruits of our labor pretty quickly. 00:01:35.574 - 00:01:40.086
So I'd say the last thing on that is you learn very quickly that you can't be irresponsible for long 00:01:40.086 - 00:01:47.850
because if you are you're letting down an entire group of people. 00:01:47.850 - 00:01:51.064
If you have a job to do and you don't if affects others, 00:01:51.064 - 00:01:55.261
sometimes financially, sometimes in terms of their calendar, 00:01:55.261 - 00:01:58.680
sometimes in terms of their just general expectations of what they think is going to happen, 00:01:58.680 - 00:02:02.404
and it doesn't take too often of making the mistake of falling down on the job 00:02:02.404 - 00:02:08.694
to quickly learn that even at a young age being responsible, being reliable, 00:02:08.694 - 00:02:14.183
following through on details and so on, is very important and those are terrific lessons in general. 00:02:14.183 - 00:02:20.278

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