My favorite article of the week and my favorite time of the week is always when I get to speak to members of fraternities on campus and learn about their members and what their interests are, and hopefully have a conversation with them that extends outside of my questions. This week, I will be introducing you to Will Willkomm, the Recruitment Chair for Beta Theta Pi.
Will is a fourth-year Political Science major with a triple minor in Psychology, Sociology, and Legal Studies. His time in Greek life began in the Spring of 2018 after he toured and met with the other fraternities on campus in the fall, and ended up deciding to pledge with Beta the next semester. He found his group quickly in his pledge class, and values that Beta has continued to instill a sense of community and belonging among its members. He has gained many networking opportunities through the fraternity, which he has used to help network with people on and off campus.
Beta’s charitable organization is Bangor Rape Response, which aims to offer support, hope, and advocacy to victims of rape and other forms of sexual assault as well as providing education about prevention of sexual violence. The fraternity holds an annual sleepout in the spring, which raised about $5,000 last year. Will helps coordinate this event and is working on plans for the event this spring.
As we began to talk about his personal achievements, Will and I were able to engage in a conversation that told me a lot about what he values and his goals once he leaves college. He takes large pride in the fact that he helped to coordinate a large pledge class of 23 this fall during rush, as well as the fact that they were named the most improved fraternity on campus last year. He feels that the work he is doing with his fraternity is important, and he wants to be able to give back any way that he can.
This giving back to the community comes largely in his involvement with Camp Kesem, a one-week summer camp for children whose parents have been affected by cancer. The camp is free for children of cancer sufferers and offers support for children who are going through a very difficult time. Will is the Make the Magic Coordinator for Camp Kesem at UMaine, and he is working on coordinating a gala to help fundraise for this year’s programs.
Will told me that his biggest personal achievement is his internship this semester with Senator Susan Collins’ office in Bangor. He is currently looking to apply for the University of Maine Congressional Internship for this spring in Washington, DC, as his goal out of college is to do some kind of work on Capitol Hill.
The most interesting part about my conversation that I had with Will is that we were able to connect and discuss so many things outside of my questions, and it allowed me to understand more about him as a person as well as discussing things that are happening in our world. We had an enriching conversation about the current political climate, talked about our own political views, and shared things that we do that we are passionate about and want to use to change the world in some way.
Having conversations with people and learning about the things that light their fire is my favorite part about doing Fraternity Friday, because it says a lot about the organization they are with and how they have felt impacted by it. Although my conversation with Will wasn’t much longer than 30 minutes, it truly allowed me to understand how being part of an organization betters people and enriches their passions. I can say without a doubt that his motivation and drive for success will not only take him to the stars in his career, but also makes him one of the people who gives a good image and upholds a positive reputation for Greek life at universities.
Thank you Will for everything that you have done and are continuing to do!
Donate to Camp Kesem: https://donate.kesem.org/give/54867/#!/donation/checkout
Bangor Rape Response: https://www.rrsonline.org