Dear Everyone,

I have been meaning to write to all of you over the last few weeks given the national developments in the university Greek community. In the past year, we have seen fraternity freshmen deaths at Penn State, Florida State, LSU, and Texas A&M, all or most related to alcohol or drug use. The national media is correctly asking the question whether fraternities need to exist any longer. The term “frat” and any references to fraternities comes with national negative connotations. These events hit Texas also. As of yesterday, the ΣAE national chapter pulled the charter of UT’s chapter. As a parent of an active member of Texas Alpha, I am concerned. I know you are, too.

As we come into this weekend with all of the parent events, I thought it was imperative that I write to you. Those of us who regularly work with the active chapter understand that we are attempting to minimize the occurrence of something bad happening. We are dealing with 200 young men at a competitive school in an alcohol-centric social environment. The chances of something happening are not insignificant. We talk to the young men about this all the time. What I want to impart to you is that these young men, for the most part, listen. They care about their own well-being and the well-being of their fraternity brothers. While the men of the chapter are keenly focused on their academic and social prowess, I believe they understand the responsibility that goes along with living at Texas Alpha.

As I’m sure it is with the entire chapter, our officers are some of the finest young men I’ve ever met and they take their responsibility for the safety of the chapter very seriously. For those who don’t know me, you should know that I am not an excuse-maker or an apologist for the chapter. If the chapter fails, they hear from us in loud, clear terms. I am not attempting to give you a false sense of our particular situation at Texas Alpha. I’m trying to do the opposite. You, as parents, have given us intelligent, well- rounded, ambitious young men. As a result, they readily accept the challenges (and the benefits) of life at Texas Alpha. We, and the officers, continually emphasize individual and group responsibility, academic excellence, and responsible social behavior. Do they still get a little crazy on the weekends? Perhaps. But I firmly believe that in the back of their minds they don’t forget that responsibility to themselves and to their brothers.

Many discussions over the last year have centered on how to better inform the public about the positive side of fraternities. Given today’s environment, that attempt may very well fall on deaf ears. What we tell the boys is similar to what we learned long ago: prove your value and worth through your actions, not your words. Be the best you can be while you’re here. If others accept you for who you are, fine. If not, you’ve done what you can. I encourage you all to talk with your sons about the national events and how they perceive their life in contrast to the tragedies we continue to hear about. I think you will be encouraged.

Thanks, Lynn

Please know that, as alumni volunteers, we take our duties as stewards of our chapter seriously. In closing, please come by and see us during football season, send us your legacy information, and send any news or contact information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thanks and HFF!

Lynn Butler ’88

AVC President