By Nishi Naik
Zeta Beta Tau continues to thrive at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Along with being in existence for almost two centuries, Zeta Beta Tau continues to prepare its members into leadership positions across the globe.
Zeta Beta Tau was founded as the first Jewish fraternity on Dec. 29, 1898 at the City College of New York, according to the fraternity’s national website. However, ZBT became a part of FDU on Oct. 29, 2011. Over the past years, ZBT has helped its members in all aspects of life: business, entertainment, media, politics and much more.
ZBT is growing every year as a result of its positive reputation and strong brotherly environment. The members of ZBT are actively fulfilling the mission of this organization, which is to foster and develop intellectual awareness, social responsibility and integrity and to maintain brotherly love for a lifetime, according to Quashon Stokes, president of ZBT’s FDU chapter.
ZBT continues to take pride as an inclusive organization that welcomes any college men who understand ZBT’s principles and mission.
Along with providing service to the community, Zeta Beta Tau hopes to better the world with knowledge.
It is known as the “powerhouse of excellence” because “it produces gentleman that become leaders and men of distinction,” Stokes said.
Some well-known alumni of ZBT that members look up to consist of Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, Tennessee Congressman Steve Cohen, Founder of Baskin Robbins Burton Baskin and many other influential men throughout the world, Stokes said.
Recently, the fraternity accomplished a major milestone. On Sept. 18, 2016, ZBT’s chapter at FDU received the honor and recognition of being chartered on a national level.
In Greek life, being charted means that a fraternity or a sorority is has successfully completed all requirements and goals of being a colony, which is a fraternity or sorority that is not yet nationally recognized.
“Chartering is significant to all members of ZBT as we have been recognized by our national headquarters for being just as successful as chapters at larger schools with 50+ brothers,” Stokes said.
“Chartering has also allowed ZBT to be recognized more, and this recognition also provides the members of ZBT with more benefits, compared to the benefits being offered to a colonized fraternity,” ZBT Brother Akshay Patel said.
“Zeta Beta Tau is not only a fraternity, but a brotherhood that endeavors in success,” Stokes said. “I think of it more as a portal to leadership and achievement.”
Like every organization, ZBT has its own set of requirements and values. The value of strong brotherhood is very important for ZBT nationwide.
“A strong brotherhood is one that is interdependent and understanding,” Stokes said. “All of my brothers look out for me and I do the same for them. This world can be a hard place to live in and it’s good to know someone will always have your back. ZBT is truly a brotherhood for a lifetime.”
“A strong brotherhood consists of maintaining social responsibility, integrity and brotherly love, which are the fraternity’s core values and always maintaining a high self standard of oneself,” Patel said. “ZBT is a fraternity that helps in the bettering of gentlemen, and pushes these gentlemen into success.”
Although ZBT is a “Jewish by tradition” fraternity, ZBT is open to any undergraduate young men in good standing with the university, Stokes said. The current members of ZBT are usually looking for undergraduate “active leaders on campus to be part of this fraternity,” according to Patel.
Brothers are expected to stay in good standing with the university while being active on-campus and maintaining a GPA of 2.8 or greater, Stokes said.
According to Patel, ZBT holds the highest GPA of any Greek life and is the largest fraternity on campus.
As a non-pledging and non-hazing organization, ZBT is the nation’s first fraternity to abolish pledging and instead rush potential brothers who are interested in joining.
As for the chartering, members are excited for their accomplishment of national recognition. But that’s not all they plan to do.
“It doesn’t stop because we’re chartered now,” Stokes said. “Excellence is an unreachable ceiling that we can only get closer and closer to. We’re never truly excellent until our next great achievement.”