So, I had never read a personal statement when I wrote mine, and now that I have..I wonder. Care to take a glance?
It all started with a simple children's toy. Couldn't be more innocent than that, right? That was the thought process of the gentlemen of Delta Tau Delta when we decided to have a “Slip 'n Slide Night” for our recruitment week. Something fun, care-free, and (since it was 90 degrees outside) ultimately just something to cool us down. Who would have thought that it would have fired so many other people up? But I am getting ahead of myself. I am a long-standing member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity, and also have the unofficial title of “recruitment guru”. From the time I was a pledge I helped execute the best recruitment program at the University of Northern Colorado. We took recruitment week from simple house tours and BBQ's to full out Carnival Days and Casino Nights (complete with Craps tables, and Roulette wheels). Unfortunately not every event can be a sure-fire winner, and we have had less than ideal events, as well including Oil Wrestling with the UNC Dance Team. Oil. It was from oil that a new rule for fraternity recruitment was born. “Women are not to be used in a sexually explicit manner.” We, of course, had no problem with this because we had only that one event that involved women at all, and normally kept our recruitment events to higher standard. Now, this new rule was meant to only punish my fraternity but it seemed that other houses were also involved in slightly inappropriate events as well and had to abide by their own new rule. Between the new “chastity” rule and hitting the highest recruitment numbers at UNC for 4 years in a row, you could say that we were not the most popular on campus with the other fraternity houses. How does this all effect me? It all started with oil.
The newest recruitment chairman, who just happened to be my assistant the year prior, was hungry for another year on top of the recruitment ladder. We had won awards for the last 4 years, and he didn't want to be the one to stop that. Together we created a flawless execution of flyers, recruitment shirts, and events that would entice the whole campus community, not just those interested in Greek life. We had over 200 people at our first event which involved dunk tanks, pie eating, free food, and the Ultimate Slip 'n Slide. Made from 50 feet of rubberized tarp with a garden hose running the water we had created the biggest Slip 'n Slide I had ever seen. Then it happened; someone decided to be a genius and pour bottles of baby oil on the slide in order to make people “slide better”. It, almost ironically, was a slippery slope from there and we soon had 50 girls in their bathing suits slipping and sliding up and down the lawn outside the DTD house. We made it through the night, and everything seemed to be going swimmingly. We had not been lectured by the Greek Advisor, nor had anyone shut us down. We had 50 names of future members to continue recruiting and it seemed as though we had dodged a bullet.
“We would like Delta Tau Delta to be suspended from recruitment activities for the following 2 semesters, including being unable to initiate any members this semester.” That was the statement given by a member of another prominent fraternity on campus. The house shall remain nameless to protect the guilty. Our rival house asking that we be taken out of the recruitment equation would mean significant increases in future members for them, and almost certain death (of the house) for us. Apparently there was a member of this house that had driven by the DTD house in order to see how many people we had “stolen” from their numbers. They saw beautiful girls sliding down our lawn in bikini's and decided to take a report straight to the Inter-fraternity Council; the governing body of fraternity life. Our President asked for a weeks time in which to prepare an answer for their grievance and we had one week in which to save our recruitment, and thus save DTD.
This is where I come in. Our President came to me and asked that I defend our position that we broke no rules during our recruitment event, and I gladly obliged. You may be asking yourself, “Why would he ask you to defend the fraternity? Couldn't he easily do the job himself?”. As I mentioned earlier I was known in the fraternity as the “recruitment guru”, but I also had another unofficial “title” that I am almost significantly more proud of. I can get out of anything. I have always been a highly vocal person within my fraternity and allowed myself to be the punching bag for many of the other members ill-suited vendettas and petty misunderstandings. I allowed this because I currently hold the record for most disciplinary write-ups within my fraternity, and the least amount of punishment given. I research for hours in old fraternity by-laws, and read 100's of pages of fraternity Constitution that most of the members did not even know existed. I call in witnesses, and collect written testimony relieving me of any wrong-doing. I found the “loop-hole” within our by-laws that allowed for a member that is currently not enrolled in the University to remain active in the chapter, (I became quite ill and was forced to withdraw from all classes, but thats another story) and most of the current rules and regulations were co-authored by me so that others would be unable to get away with the drastic misrepresentations of what was actually written versus what was obviously meant to be written. I was the guy that could figure out how to get us out of the problem we were facing. I was appointed “Legal Counsel for the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity”.
Do you know the legal definition of “sexually explicit”? I do, and so do all of the members of the Inter-Fraternity Council. It involves words and phrases I think best left out of an essay I am hoping will kick-start my law school application, but I will say that if you ever need to see a 21 year old football player blush, try it. After reading the definition there was absolute silence. These were the members of the fraternity community that had significant “moral” (though, obviously other reasons were in play) problems with the “elicit” acts performed on the lawns on the Delta Tau Delta house and they were silent. Eventually there were arguments against the legal definition which were immediately disregarded as they had no relevance. I spoke again on the nature of our events being purely child-like, and that they oil was simply a conductor to increase speed and had no bearing on a sexual nature of the event. I spoke, and spoke. I answered question after question with ease, because I had prepared myself for each and every discerning opinion. In the end we were given the opportunity to re-write the current
by-law for the following semesters, and no punishment was given. We had done nothing wrong, and we knew that from the beginning. Delta Tau Delta would live on.
After speaking with many people about my law school application most felt that I should try to shy away from my fraternity life, and focus on something else good, or honorable that I had done in my life that had brought me to my love of the law. I told them that the fraternity was one of the biggest influences in my life, and it taught me things that no simple club or other organization could teach me. Politics, and rules live within us everyday and define the things that we do. Either you play by someone else's definition of the rules, or you better understand them to live your life the way you should. I have always been one to better understand the rules around me, and believe that I was made to argue for myself and others for a better life. I was born to be an attorney, and I hope that with your help and your University that I will become the best one that I can be.
There are issues that I need addressed as well, but didn't want to destroy my story with information that wasn't relevant. I wanted to address my missed year of school, and subsequent drop in GPA. I have a heart condition that was discovered early in my junior year, and effected me throughout the year. I have a hole in my heart that effects many other things in my body, including my respiration, energy levels, and physical well-being. I was forced to withdraw from my classes for one semester, and while I tried to continue the semester following it didn't work out. I took very few credits, and was still unable to make it to class often enough to perform the caliber of work that my professors were used to. I am an A and B student, and the grades reflected have stemmed from this physical condition as well as a severe depression that seems to have exposed itself due to this heart problem. I no longer have any symptoms from the heart condition and intend to follow up with doctors as I continue my career in law school, and I have been seeing a Psychiatrist regularly to help with my depression. I feel that I will be able to give my complete and total commitment to the study of the law, and I hope you can look past the poor marks that are surely not a complete representation of who I really am. I also would like to make it known that California is my home, and I wish very much to return to it. I was raised here, and I intend to spend the span of my life contributing to the professional and social worlds of California that are unmatched by any other state.