Written by Ashish Bhandari
Brother. This singular word with its two syllables, sometimes shortened to “bro”, generally means one thing to most of the Earth’s population: a male sibling with whom one shares a common parent. To me, this word carries a lot more meaning. A brother is someone I can call a friend, a mentor, or a mentee. A brother is someone who I can live with, eat with, and travel the world with. A brother is a teammate I take classes with, do work with, and play sports and games with. A brother is someone who I know has my back, no matter what. Above all, a brother is someone who I may not talk to for weeks, months, or even years, but at the end of the day is still a brother who I will always share a life-long bond with (no interest payments required).
I rushed and pledged Alpha Kappa Psi during my Freshman Spring of 2012. Since then, I have seen older classes graduate and younger classes become a part of our brotherhood. What has kept me excited throughout my years as a brother is that this organization is ever-changing – its makeup, its people, and its culture all progress and evolve with each year. It has also been and continues being an organization from which I have learned and received so much. As a pledge, I was given a community of friends – my pledge brothers – and was taught how to go above and beyond in situations I would encounter in the business world. As a brother, I have created and maintained relationships with alumni, chapters across the world, and respected professional firms. As President, I am learning how to best manage an organization that consists of such diverse people, and how to best meet the wants and needs of all our members.
I did not truly understand the full gravity of being part of Alpha Kappa Psi until this past year, when I served as VP of Alumni. Meeting alumni brothers from class of 2003 to today made me realize that the values instilled in us through pledging and during our time as a brother stay with us for the rest of our lives (a joking hashtag has developed recently: #NeverStopPledging). Thus when the time came for leadership elections, I decided to run for President to fulfill my duty as a brother – to give back and serve this fraternity that had given me such an amazing college experience. As a soon-to-be alumnus, my hope is that my fellow brothers and I can continue passing our teachings and keep our legacy alive for generations to come. This past week marked the 110th anniversary of the founding of this organization here at New York University and I could not be prouder to call myself a brother of Alpha Kappa Psi. AKPsi is among the largest national college fraternities with more than 170,000 members all across the globe, with chapters in Europe, Asia and America.