Remarks from 2018 COY Travis Brodbeck

Aug 14, 2019 – This evening, 2018 National Collegian of the Year Travis Brodbeck addressed GCC attendees.

Brodbeck, Siena (NY), is beginning his second year on Delta Sigma Pi's Board of Directors. 

During his first year on the Board, Travis has made impressive strides in furthering a #DSPHigherStandard. He serves as a member of the Professional Development Committee, and recently managed the creation of officer position videos. He also attended and assisted in the installations of Beta Omicron at Rutgers-Newark (NJ) and Omega Psi at St. John Fisher (NY). He has also made it a priority, like those who have served before him, to welcome incoming COYs and make sure they receive as much support and resources as possible. 

Brodbeck gave a wonderful speech about his first Grand Chapter Congress, and how brothers can make the most of their time in Atlanta: 

Brothers of Delta Sigma Pi, we welcome you to the 52nd Grand Chapter Congress! 

I am so happy to see you all here filling this huge room full with 1,000 brothers from all generations, time zones and chapters. Four years ago, I attended my first GCC in Chicago and it was a catalyst for me getting more involved and experiencing everything that this amazing organization has to offer so congratulations for being AWESOME and being here this week! 

Chicago was so memorable for me because it was my first Deltasig event where I was alone, no one from my chapter was attending so for an introvert to be surrounded by more than 800 people that I didn't know was the epitome of riding the STRUGGLE BUS. But, I would not change a thing about my experience because it was a blessing in disguise. Being my chapter's sole attendee was one of the best parts of being there because it forced me to make friendships that I still have today and to embrace everything that Congress has to offer. 

Thanks to the help of my Regional Vice President, I was connected with the other attendees from my region to help share experiences. So, like the poor college students we were, we decided to drive 12 hours from New York to Illinois. I remember driving west on the highway before the sun had a chance to rise and which as you can imagine is SO FUN. In theme with the broke college student vibe, my car engine light was on, as USUAL, because being a broke student and living dangerously are essentially the same thing. My first stop after about three hours of driving was near Rochester, New York, to pick up a brother from Epsilon Lambda, then, we were off to Buffalo, New York to get a brother from the Alpha Kappa Chapter, then after lunch we embarked on the long nine-hour journey to Chicago. When we started that trip, we were essentially strangers who exchanged a few text messages to organize this trip, but by the time we got to Chicago, it seemed like we had known each other for years.

When we arrived, we could not get into our rooms since we were staying with two brothers from Zeta Psi, also from our region, they made the smart decision of flying to Chicago, but then again, they didn't get to have the amazing road trip we did. While waiting for the brothers who's names the room was in, the three of us sat in the lobby because nine to 13 hours of sitting was not good enough for us. Shortly after sitting down, then Grand President Onuka Ibe, came over and introduced himself to us and chatted for a few minutes. Being approached by the Grand President within minutes of arriving at Congress set the tone for how great of a week it was going to be. I learned so much that week I met so many people, and I had a blast which is why the 50th Grand Chapter Congress is the Deltasig event that changed everything for me, but at the same time, it is a long week that will require a lot of endurance, but I know WE ALL can do it. To help you make the most of it, I'm going to share with you Travis's Survival Guide to Grand Chapter Congress. 

First, anticipate that you will average three to four hours of sleep per night... in other words, sleep is totally not happening here. And if you're in a room where everyone is competing for a bed rather than sleeping on the floor, the only advice I have is may the odds be in your favor.

Second, you're surrounded by the biggest Deltasig celebrities including Past Grand Presidents, long-standing members, PVPs, and staff. It's ok to fanboy or fangirl, but come say hi - we love to talk.

Third, don't get trapped in the elevator, like PLEASE. I hope I don't have to elaborate on why, but remember, the elevators here are encased in glass so if something does happen, everyone gets to see the show. So, let's just not...

Fourth, if you're like me, you will forget someone's name four seconds after they told you it, especially after meeting hundreds of people each day, but not to worry they're wearing a name tag... HOPEFULLY. Otherwise, you have three options. Either ask them their name, wait until they introduce themselves to someone else, or you can do my personal favorite and play the game and see how long you can go without using their name.

Fifth, act like a tree and BRANCH OUT. Don't get caught up with hanging out with the people you know, but always make an effort to meet new people. If there is a giant group chat, try to get added and network with folks that way. OR USE THE NEW GCC APP. It's pretty awesome, Heather in the Central Office took point on the project so, special shout out to HEATHER! 

If your'e a GCC veteran, I urge you all to help guide and show our newest attendees why we all keep on coming back to Grand Chapter every two years. That is something very special to my heart because on Saturday night, Linda and Mark Dorn saw me walking aimlessly in the ballroom looking for a place to sit and invited me to join them and I had a blast learning from and chatting with them. 

For those of you who are here for the first time, look around and see your new friends, you are all going to have a blast this week. There are so many people who work to make this event amazing each biennium, and they are giving back to allow everything to run smoothly. If you enjoy your time here, I hope you come back and again and consider volunteering.

Brotherhood is a family like no other, no matter what zip code you are in or under what circumstances, there is a welcoming brother nearby ready to help someone in need. 

Have fun, and let's make this the best GCC to date!

Thank you! 

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