Duncan PicDuncan Asbury 

Fraternity: Beta Theta Pi
Position/Involvement: Interfraternity Council President

Background:

Hometown:

Opelika, AL 

High School:

Opelika High School

Class:

December 2017

Major:

Mechanical Engineering 

 

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Why did you join a fraternity?        

  • I joined a fraternity because most men in my family were in fraternities during their time in college. I always heard them talking about their times at the fraternity house in college and the friends they made through their fraternity. My brothers were the biggest reason I joined a fraternity though. They enlightened me on the various opportunities a fraternity offers. Beyond friendships, events, and philanthropies, fraternities offer a chance to be plugged in to the university immediately and take a sense of ownership in flourishing organizations that do great things for the community and the university.

One of the biggest concerns of incoming freshman and their parents is the financial aspect; do you feel it was worth paying the average of 1500 a semester?     

  • I was fortunate enough to not have to worry about where the payment for dues would come from during my time in college, but I absolutely feel it was worth every penny and I think my family would agree. With that being said, it is definitely a “you get out what you put in” experience. For those that want to just coast by and not build relationships or get involved in their fraternity I would say their perspective may differ, but for those that seek strong community with like-minded individuals who will challenge you to be a better man and get plugged in to the community and the university, their fraternity experience will more closely resemble mine; an experience that could not be assessed a price.

Another concern of a lot of parents is being able to balance fraternity life with academics, what advice would you give to incoming freshman to help them enjoy all aspects of college while maintaining good grades?

  • The struggle of time management is one everyone will face in college regardless of involvement. Joining a fraternity definitely calls for a time commitment that a non-Greek student may not face, but every freshman and especially Greek men need to remember why they are at Auburn and that is to get a degree. Auburn’s fraternity community has a strong focus on academics and the numbers prove that fraternity men out perform their non-Greek peers in the classroom at Auburn. If it is study hours or having fraternity brothers as study partners, a fraternity can be a valuable asset academically if one presses into the resources provided. My advice: remember why you are in college, do not get behind, and make some time for fun or school will takeover and vice versa.

What do you think/what are the benefits to joining a fraternity?

  • I feel the benefits of joining a fraternity are the relationships and the leadership opportunities. The relationships are worth so much more than I can express in words. Being able to rely on those friends to support you in triumphs and pick you up in failures is invaluable. The relationships formed are not limited to one’s own organization either. Other fraternity men, alumni, sororities, and potentially university administration are a few of the relationships one can expect to build during their time as a fraternity man. I know without a doubt that I would not have found the belonging and strong friendships I currently have if I would not have joined a fraternity. There are numerous ways to get involved in leadership roles within a fraternity. Whether it is Recruitment Chairman, Treasurer, or President – to name a few – a fraternity cannot perform at a high level without a passionate executive board. They direct the future of the fraternity and I don’t know of any other organizations that allow such a large percentage of its membership to contribute in leadership roles that actually make decisions.

What do you enjoy the most about your fraternity?

  • I enjoy the laid back atmosphere the most. We have a lot of guys from all over the country which is pretty special because it provides a melting pot of styles and viewpoints that inadvertently eliminates the pressure to have to dress or act a certain way. I have learned a lot about other regions of the U.S. and been exposed to different viewpoints/ cultural norms. This experience has challenged me to know why I believe what I believe and not just go through the motions because it is what I have always done or what those around me are always doing. I feel that my fraternity truly has the individual component that can sometimes fall by the wayside in a large organization.

What is the biggest lesson (or two) that being in fraternity has taught you?

  • Time management - in college there is always something to do so it is imperative that one learns this lesson and refines it because it is a necessary skill for the remainder of life.  Assertiveness - I learned the hardway that if a certain outcome is desired sometimes it is required to step out of your comfort zone and pursue that goal relentlessly. Along with that I will say it is important to rely on others as well; it can be easy to think “everything is on me,” but part of being in a fraternity is having that support system to aid you. Conviction – I learned to stand for what I believe in and represent that set of beliefs to the best of my abilities because people are watching and will quickly call you out if you claim one thing and do not behave accordingly.

If you could go back would you do it again?

  • Yes, if only I could.