Friday, March 6, 2009

Player Blog: Paul Partlow "Extending a Helping Hand"

Today’s player blogger, Paul Partlow, is coming from a place that Wildcat11 knows very well. While football at Linfield was a major part of my Linfield experience another part of that experience that had just as large of an impact was my participation as a member of Theta Chi (Delta Alpha Chapter). I lived at 405 College Avenue for 3 school years (2 summers) and had many great memories of living in the “OX” house. I’m sure what I’m typing now still holds true today but without that house and the friendships and bonds formed within its walls there are probably many of my friends from Linfield that never would have finished college or at least college at Linfield. It was really our home away from home.

Currently, Linfield Linebacker, Paul Partlow, is the acting Treasurer of the Delta Alpha chapter and a strong believer of the community service aspect of fraternity life. While Paul maybe an impact player for the ‘Cats on the football field, off the field you’ll find a bright, funny, and reflective young person who is working hard to counter the standard “frat boy” stereotypes you’ll find at most colleges.
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Beer, parties, girls, hazing, meathead, academically challenged, toga. These are the words that most likely come to mind when people hear the word fraternity. With Bluto from Animal House and Frank the Tank from Old School as the stereotypical frat boys. Though could you imagine either of these fraternities requiring community service as a requirement for membership? Of course not, fraternities never give back to the community and are only concerned with the coming weekend party. Yet, like most Hollywood portrayals, this could not be further from the truth.

At the Delta Alpha Chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity at Linfield College, part of the requirement of being a brother is to complete a minimum of ten hours of community service each semester. WHAT! Theta Chi is full of meatheads who are self centered pricks! I won’t waste my time to argue the meathead status given that over half of the members are Linfield football players, with a handful of members involved in other sports including baseball and track, but I would like to point out that we do have a diverse group of guys, even including a thespian member, I will say that many do not realize that we actually help others. After all, the Theta Chi motto is “extend a helping hand.” In fact every year an executive member of the fraternity is elected to the position of Philanthropy Chairman. His sole responsibilities being to plan, organizes, and oversee Theta Chi’s community service events throughout the academic year.

The biggest philanthropy event that we put on every year is a goods drive during the holiday season we’ve coined “Theta Chi’s Twelve days of Christmas”. During this event we park an RV on campus where we accept donations 24 hours a day for 12 straight days offering donators and passers by some hot cocoa, coffee and cookies while listening to vintage Christmas music. Then we forward everything on to local organizations such as Goodwill, Kids on the Block, OHSU, and the food bank. Simply put, it’s a local drop off for students and McMinnville community members who may otherwise be unable or unaware of such community service and a place where they can pick up a hot beverage during the cold weather to warm themselves up throughout the winter days.

Other events Theta Chi participated in throughout the fall semester included a 3rd Street cleanup with the Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority and the annual “Think Pink Week” with Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority. For Think Pink week, we hold different events throughout the week in efforts to help raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. This year Theta Chi contributed a bit extra by organizing a new event called “Bash out Breast Cancer” where members of the community could donate money to the cause and bash a car. So, not only could a student or faculty member give money to a great cause but they could also relieve some stress by smashing a car with a sledgehammer. In all, the event raised close to $300 in its efforts to bash out breast cancer.

Philanthropy events that we have coming up this semester include volunteering at the local soup kitchen, a mentor program with a local middle school, and collaborating with the Make a Wish Foundation. For the aforementioned event, we'll be sponsoring multiple events around campus that'll last all semester. Events include a golfing day, a "donation dance,” an auction of fraternity brothers and sorority sisters, a barbecue and something that we’ve labeled "meathead" events. These “meathead” events will include push up contests, races, and other events that will demonstrate “meathead status.” Our goal is to reach $5000 in donation funds to forward on to the Make A Wish foundation. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Philanthropy Chairman Grant Lucas at glucas@linfield.edu.

So just know that the next time you insult or hold a prejudice against a fraternity meathead, that meathead may have just made a difference in the community. And if you don’t realize that, then I may have Brother Heston, Brother Bolin, and Brother Nishizaki come out and eat you. Just kidding, that would never happen…or would it?...

-Paul Partlow
Class of 2010

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Profile picture courtesy of Linfield S.I.D. Kelly Bird

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