Brotherhood Spotlight: February

In the beginning of 2013, I decided to take up the initiative of interviewing two undergraduate brothers every month, to showcase the leadership and commitment to the creed we see around the nation. For the inaugural post, I interview Brother Carlos Antonio Tavares of the Kappa Alpha Chapter at The University of Arizona, and Brother Francisco Paco Hidalgo of Zeta Beta Chapter at The University of Florida. Speaking with both brothers reminded me of how two brothers’ experiences can be both profoundly similar, and profoundly different.

Brother Carlos Antonio Tavares

Carlos
Where are you from?
Nogales, Arizona. Originally born in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.

When did you cross? What is your fraternity number? What is your line name?
I crossed Spring 2011. Number 81 in the chapter, and Nahum is my line name.

What are you studying?
Psychology and Sociology, as well as Family Studies and Human Development.

What would you like to do after you get your degree?
I would like to pursue a career in higher education – in administration or student life involvement. I would also want to work for the government at some point.

What do you like to do as a pastime?
Pastime? I like to listen and play music, hang out with high school friends and brothers, and travel.

How did you hear about the fraternity? Why did you decide to join?
Summer before my freshman year, I was doing a bridge program. I went to an info session, and there were a lot of clubs and organizations there. My would-be chapter was there. Actually, my pops, Maurice, was there, too. He told me a little bit about the organization. I wasn’t too into it then, because of a lot of stigmas. I went through my first semester and didn’t really pay much attention. By the new year I had kind of set new goals for myself. I wanted to be more social, more involved, and more active in meeting new people. I looked up a bunch of Greek life organization who hung around the Mexican American Cultural Center because that was where I worked. Maurice came by one day, and he was hanging out with my Dean Freddy, and we just started talking. He invited me out to an event. After that… I just went with it. I was looking to be a little bit more social. I was a little depressed from the new college environment. I needed that support system. I have family in the city, but they live on the Southside. I needed someone that was there to help me get more involved, and I really wanted to find that second family.

Why have you stayed so involved?
It has been a privilege for me to work with such a fine caliber of college students, and the payoff is seriously one of the best feelings I could ever imagine. Helping the community, AND ourselves, grow is a true hobby. What you put into the fraternity is what you get out of it, and that’s something that has been engraved in my memory for as long as I’ve lived.

What is something you value about interacting with brothers outside of your chapter?
Meeting and bonding with brothers from New York and Florida in just one summer would definitely hit number one on my list.

What accomplishments within your chapter are you most proud of?
I feel proud of everyone achieving more community hours last semester than I have ever seen as a brother. Everyone was really involved last year and the morale was really high starting this semester, so I would like to see that continue.

What are some of the things you would like to accomplish in your chapter?
I would have to say I want to see more enthusiasm for our events. We hold really good events that could be a lot better and have better attendance if we got a little more excited for them! Or maybe a little more involvement in outside activities or organizations from brothers.

What are some things you would like to see the fraternity accomplish nationally?
It is hard to say what I would like out of the fraternity nationally; I already feel a strong sense of brotherhood wherever I go, no matter who I meet. The only thing I could think of would be a nationwide Facebook page or website where alumni or brothers working full-time jobs posted any job openings or professional development opportunities for younger brothers coming out of college or grad school. That would definitely help undergrads everywhere find a job, no matter where it is.


 

Brother Francisco Paco Hidalgo

Francisco

Where are you from?
Miami, Florida.

When did you cross? What is your fraternity number? What is your line name?
I am the Deuce of Fall 2010, #78 Veritas.

What are you studying?
I am currently studying Political Science with a certificate in International Relations.

What would you like to do after you get your degree?
I would like to go into educational administration and be a superintendent of a school district. I came from a really rough urban neighborhood and I want to create a change in those types of neighborhoods.

How did you hear about the fraternity? Why did you decide to join?
I first learned about the fraternity at the University of Florida’s Multicultural Greek Council showcase. The main reason I decided to join was that when the brothers performed, I could immediately see the racial diversity of the brotherhood. When I went up to them after and talked to them, I saw that so many diverse cultures were able to interact, it really inspired me. I saw multiculturalism of the membership, and that made me want to join.

I grew up in an urban neighborhood, a Cuban neighborhood where Latinos stayed together. When I went to a different neighborhood I was the only Cuban, in the midst of a bunch of African Americans. My father always taught me to befriend everyone, so in high school, it seemed like I was the only person that could cross the racial lines. The black athletes stayed together, the Latino athletes stayed together, the whites stayed together, and the few Asians stayed together, but I just kind have hung out with everyone.

When I got here to UF, I saw that some fraternities seemed very separated. It was clear that some fraternities were only for Latinos, and some were only for African Americans. To me SLB was very united. You could see very different cultures just coexisting together, and wanted to be a part of that.

Why have you stayed so involved?
Mainly because I have a personal desire to stay involved. I was always told to give a lot. My Membership Educator is one of the few I still look up to. He always told us: “give me 100%, not 50%. Don’t half a– anything.” That stuck in my head and I kept with it. I am always going to give it my everything, and not half of it.”

What is something you value about interacting with brothers outside of your chapter?
The dynamic, you’d expect it to be very different. Brothers are very open to other brothers. I experienced that in Seattle, with the brothers from the Phi Beta chapter. The dynamic of family is still there.

What accomplishments within your chapter are you most proud of?
I have been the Philanthropy Director  for the “Panhellenic Stroll-Off” and “CPR Awareness Day”. I was proud of the CPR event, because at one point it seemed like it wouldn’t be successful…but we raised a few hundred dollars to donate to the American Heart Association. With the Panhellenic Stroll-Off, we taught a different council about stepping and strolling. They enjoyed it and learned from it. It was interesting to see them compete among each other, but still work towards a good cause. We raised over $3000 for Alpha Epsilon Phi’s philanthropy of choice. Possibly the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

What are some of the things you would like to accomplish in your chapter?
Win chapter of the year within our council. I feel that our hard work should be recognized because when people think about MGC, they think about us. The amount of work I know we have done, including fundraising for our philanthropies, and we watch other organizations be inspired by our events to use them for other great causes.

Specifically, we are hoping to hold a Multicultural Fair where we’ll co-sponsor with other organizations like the Black Student Union, Filipino Student Union, Colombian Student Union as well as the Office of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs.

What are some things you would like to see the fraternity accomplish nationally?
To expand at least one chapter per state. So we can truly be from coast to coast.

What do you like to do as a pastime?
Gym (At this point, his LB in the background laughed loud enough for me to hear), Netflix. Going to the pool.

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About Nathan Vidal Bunch

Originally from El Paso, Texas, Nathan received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Bachelor of Arts in Mexican American Studies from The University of Texas at Austin, and his Master of Science in Higher Education Administration at Florida State University. In the Fall of 2007 he joined Sigma Lambda Beta at the Eta Alpha Chapter as #167 Brother Sin Límites. He enjoys writing about politics, cultural awareness, social justice, and domestic issues focused on race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic class, and sexual orientation.

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