Fraternity members seeking to change the image of Greek life

Photo provided by Dylan Byrum of Delta Sigma Phi.

Sophia Clarke

Research on fraternities nationwide will turn up recent cases of hazing, sexual assault and the detriment of character.

From the expulsion of one of the University of Mississippi’s oldest chapters due to health concerns, to the death of a member at Pennsylvania State University, many have a sour taste in their mouths about these chapters and their members.

However, for Blake Sims of Beta Theta Pi and Dylan Byrum of Delta Sigma Phi, this thought process is what fuels their day-to-day lives.

Sims and Byrum are working individually within their chapters to address these issues and break the stigma towards Greek Life on college campuses. They plan on tackling the problem before it starts— during formal recruitment.

“Our philosophy on pledging is to build men up, rather than tear them down,” Sims said.

Byrum agreed.

“During recruitment and pledge-ship, we (Delta Sigma Phi) look for young men who have long-term goals,” Byrum said. “I believe a goal-oriented person has balance in life because they see ahead of what is happening in that moment.”

Maintaining the relationship with not only UK but also the Lexington Community is vital during the process of selecting new members. These attributes extend beyond Bid Day and can be observed through the men’s philanthropy events.

Byrum said his motivation behind these charitable causes is not “‘Hey, I’ve done this, hey I’ve done that’” but instead “‘What have I done to make the world a better place?’”

“We have grown our philanthropy, Bring It On, into one of UK’s premier Greek events. Specifically, we raise money through Bring It On to donate to God’s Pantry Food Bank, a fantastic organization located in Lexington,” Sims said while explaining his role as Overall CoChair for Bring It On. 

Both men agree the motivation behind their good-deeds is their chapters. Without those brotherhoods, and without the support from the university community, they both said that they would be “lost in the sea of people that is UK.”