My DSP Journey
By Matthew Kaiser
It’s that time of my college experience to look back and say, “Wow it has gone by so fast.” I never expected my college experience to go the way it did. For the most part, I consider that to be a great thing. There are so many amazing experiences that I’ve had the opportunity to take part in that I could’ve never predicted happening and many of those revolve around my time in Delta Sigma Pi. The experience of being a deltasig went beyond the meetings and the events. It also included people I was able to meet and the conversations I was able to have that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I hope to briefly take you through my journey in DSP so that you can see some of the impacts it has had on my time at college. A true breakdown of everything that the organization has had to offer would be far too long for a blog post, but I will sum it up as best as I can.
Coming into Truman as a business student I always heard one thing, “If you are looking to join an organization, you must keep Delta Sigma Pi in mind. They are one of our best.” However, when one enters college there’s a lot you have to consider: what is my schedule going to look like? How much homework will I be getting? How hard are my classes going to be? How much free time will I actually have? So in my first semester, I decided that I wouldn’t join any organizations right away. To this day I believe that is one of the biggest mistakes I made in college. If I could do it all over, I would have joined as soon as I arrived. Thankfully, I realized my mistake fairly quickly. I ended up going out for recruitment in the second semester of my freshman year. From the very first recruitment night, I knew that this was an organization I wanted to be a part of. Walking into the room and seeing how all of the brothers were so friendly, happy, and ready for the event despite their course loads made me feel better about my own. It felt like they took an interest in me at the recruitment events, breaking the ice, but also asking difficult questions. Later, as a brother myself, I better understood why they were so attentive. Deltasigs take pride in their organization. They want to make sure that the people they are bringing in with them are truly those who fit best. It’s part of what makes us such a cohesive unit.
After I joined I found that I was among a very kind group of people with whom I felt I belonged. Being among friends made every event we did better. It didn’t matter if it was a meeting, a service event, or just working the concession stand. The semester after I became an official member, I went to my first LEAD conference. It was in Minneapolis, MN. It was the first big trip I had taken outside of Kirksville since I had started attending Truman. The multi-hour car ride was a lot of fun. Not only did it allow me to spend time with those who I was close to, but it also gave me an opportunity to become closer with those I hadn’t spent as much time with before. For any LEAD, I always felt like I returned with more friends and better relationships than I had left with. That first LEAD, however, really set the tone for all of the ones to come. For my first LEAD, I shared a room with a senior who was attending his last LEAD. I spent a large portion of the night talking with him about his time in DSP: what he loved about it, what he learned from it, and the impact it had made on his life. I thoroughly enjoyed his story and it made me so excited about the rest of my time in the organization. I was so enthusiastic and pleased with my first time going to a LEAD conference that I went to most of the LEADs offered in the semesters to come and told others to do the same.
One of the biggest changes that I noticed after joining DSP was my classes, and this was only enhanced as I got further into my time at Truman. It seemed like every class I had also had a brother in it with me. All the stress of group projects seemed to alleviate. I had people from the organization that I knew I could trust to put forth great effort in our assignments and strive to turn in the best work we possibly could. Not having to rely on partnering up with whoever happened to sit next to you on the first day of class was a weight off my shoulders. From how the professors of my classes spoke of the fraternity I could tell that they admired us and thought highly of those within the organization. Another aspect of the fraternity that I loved from the very beginning was our chapter retreats. At the beginning of the school year, we would leave our campus and go out to spend some time together. No schoolwork, no stress, just brotherhood. Once there, we could play games, tell stories, talk about our summers, plan for the upcoming semester, and round out the night with s’mores by the campfire.
Since the pandemic, things have been different. Most of the stuff we do is online now. Brotherhood events look a little different. Our recruitment changed in a few ways as well. One thing that hasn’t changed is our spirit and values as a fraternity. The same interactions that I saw between the brothers as I walked into my first recruitment event still happen. Despite moving online, we put the same thought, care, and effort into all the things we do together. Our service is still strong, we still look after one another, and we are planning to take our chapter forward out of the pandemic. Looking back at the past four years in Delta Sigma Pi, I am left with the thought of everything that the fraternity has given me. It allowed me a chance to learn outside of the classroom: how to dress professionally, how to prepare and act in an interview, and how to hold myself to the highest standard of integrity in business. It allowed me a chance to make connections with people, not just with many of my friends that I’ve spent so much time cleaning highways with or serving up Bulldogs to customers in concessions, but also meeting my girlfriend, Jessica, with whom I just celebrated our one year anniversary. My time in Delta Sigma Pi has allowed me so many experiences, opportunities, and moments where I was able to better myself as a professional and a person. I am very grateful for the memories but also grateful that it's not just four years, it's for life.