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By David Minkoff ‘81

Going back many years, the Penn State Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life has required each Fraternity to have a chapter advisor or co-advisors which could be the alumni corporation or association’s officers and/or a local alum. Beta Sig has complied, of course, and when the Interfraternity Council (IFC) Chapter of Excellence application added a category of University Advisor (someone who works at Penn State, whether an alum or not) for extra points, we submitted a name as well. When I became the Beta Alumni Association treasurer in 2011, the IFC started having advisor meetings the weekend of move-in for the fall semester and sometimes winter.

Since I have a home in State College and my sons have been “moving-in” to Beta Sig or an apartment for the past six years, I started attending those meetings and was listed as one of our chapter advisors. When my term as treasurer ended, then was executive director for a short period of time, I continued this role. Now that I have been working for the Smeal College of Business for almost two years and spend much of my time in State College, my official Beta Sig title is Alumni Chapter Advisor. Unfortunately, we’re not allowed to “double dip” so we no longer have a university advisor.

So what do I do as advisor? Well, sometimes I feel like a big brother when the undergrads actually ask me for advice, or reach out to me first when something goes wrong and they don’t want to tell Moss Walden ‘83, our BAA president. Then there are times I feel like a father when I have to say “no” to a request or the undergrads ask for more money! I also feel like a friend (or coach) when I attend their IM basketball games or see many of them in the Business Building. This summer, there were about nine brothers taking classes or working on campus so I took most of them out for pizza one night. At the end of the summer, all the guys were in a predicament as their sub-lets were over with a week to go in the session. We let them move into the house until they were done with their finals or work, which I coordinated.

In addition to interacting with the undergrads, I am the liaison to the Nittany Co-op (formerly FPA if you go back that far), and the main contact with our maintenance supervisor, general contractor and cook.  Of course, if there’s a problem with the IFC, I hear that as well. These responsibilities carried over from when I was treasurer as living local just makes it easier to deal with most issues. Unfortunately, I still get contacted by the kids when there are parking issues, and when someone wants to see video of vandalism to their car or if there was an incident during a party at the house. I just can’t convince a fellow board member to take over this important job!  Seriously though, I truly enjoy my role and hope that I’m making an impact on our younger brothers.