Pledging is always an interesting time for the Psi Chapter. It is the optimal time where, as brothers, we can teach new members the ideals and values that transform an ordinary college student into a Zete. While serving as pledgemaster this past spring, I had the amazing opportunity to guide 10 freshmen and sophomores through the pledging process. During the few weeks of recruitment, the pledges were able to participate in a ropes course sponsored by Cornell Outdoor Education, and play broomball at Cass Park ice rink.

At the ropes course, the pledges worked together in teams and also completed individual challenges, such as walking across a steel beam 60-feet off the ground and across a tightrope roughly 40-feet in the air. Although only a week of pledging had elapsed, pledges were already learning to work together and support one another.

Another popular event during pledging was Iron Pledge, now in its third year, during which three teams of pledges faced off in a cooking competition resembling the classic TV show, Iron Chef. The secret ingredient for each team was a particular type of cheese. Brothers served as judges along with our guest judge, Mark Boyland ’85. At this point, pledges had known one another for only a few days, and so teamwork and communication were important in the competition. Team Swiss was able to win the competition for the third-straight year.

As the weeks went on, the pledges learned more about one another, the international fraternity, our chapter, and the current brotherhood. Each was paired with a big brother to mentor and guide for the pledge process and beyond. Finally, all were initiated, but they were reminded that life as a Zete had only begun. Pledging requires dedication, initiative, and motivation, all of which this pledge class has shown.

This class in particular showed a lot of fortitude and unity throughout the entire process. I have high hopes for this class, and I am looking forward to them becoming future leaders in the house and giving back just as brothers before them have done.

In TKPhi,
Chris Cassano ’14