Major: Economics at the University of Iowa
Current City: Bloomington/Normal, Illinois
Hometown: Bloomington, Illinois
Joined Alpha Rho Chi in 1995
JH: Why did you join Alpha Rho Chi?
BP: In my sophomore year a friend recommended me to check it out. When I met everyone there was a connection, so I decided to join the fraternity.
JH: Why did you choose economics?
BP: I first began studying architecture at the University of Illinois but then decided in my sophomore year that I did not want to pursue architecture. My wife was studying at the University of Iowa, so I decided to transfer there to finish my education. When I transferred to Iowa I wanted to find a degree that I could obtain within four years, because I was on financial aid and did not want to have to take any loans out to finish school.
JH: What are you doing with your economics degree?
BP: Business development with an IT consulting firm.
JH: What is something you love about Alpha Rho Chi?
BP: The people. The ability to contribute to society and stay connected. There is always the opportunity to connect at any age and point in life.
JH: What is a reason someone should continue with Alpha Rho Chi after graduation?
BP: Some people do not see the full benefit of Alpha Rho Chi until after graduation. There are many long-term benefits to being an alumnus. The learning and connections you make just multiplies after graduation.
JH: How did you first get involved with the Housing Corp?
BP: Pete Heinz is the president, and we developed a close friendship through college. A few years ago he asked me to help him out with the Corporation, and so I became involved.
JH: What is the Housing Corp?
BP: Basically we are the landlord to the chapter house: we own and operate the property. Our first responsibility is to the safety and finance of the structure. The Chapter pays rent to the Housing Corp, and in return we pay for inspections and any minor or major fixes. We also coordinate workdays with the chapter in assisting on some projects for the house, keeping them involved in the upkeep of the house.
JH: Have there been any issues with the house?
BP: A year ago people decided to move out into apartments bringing the occupancy down making it difficult to pay rent, leaving the Housing Corp to decide whether or not to let another fraternity or sorority rent the house. The Housing Corp favored with APX and decided to help the Chapter increase the occupancy rate to help pay the bills. Recruitment needs to be a fully involved process, including Actives and Alumni. Unfortunately the Chapter could not maintain enough occupancy; there were too many repairs that needed to be done with no income to support them, so we had to sign a three-year lease with a sorority for the time being. The hope is that the active chapter can come back strong in three years to move back into the house with a stronger chapter, financially and socially.
JH: With a new tenant in, what changes can they make?
BP: They are not allowed to make any structural changes. Basically, it is the typical rules of an apartment. If they want to make any major changes, they can partner with the Housing Corp and go through an approval process to see if it is allowed.
JH: Do you have any advice for brothers out there?
BP: Don’t be afraid to ask somebody for help.