By: Resource and Expansion Consultant Jason Sweet, Saginaw Valley State ’09

“No! Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.” This iconic phrase resonates in the hearts and souls of many people. While it is spoken by a short, green, pointy-eared being known as Yoda from Star Wars, there are no truer words to apply to one’s life.

In the world of fraternity, there is an ever present trend. When looking at the success, or lack there of, of a chapter, three questions must be asked:

  1. Do they know what they need to do to be successful? In most situations the answer is yes.
  2. Do they know how to achieve these necessary steps for success? Again, in most situations the answer is yes.
  3. Did they actually take the steps to become successful? We have established at this point that most chapters and individuals know what to do and how to do it, but curiously, this last question is more often than not answered with a no.

It is here that the lesson of Jedi Master Yoda can be applied. I would be willing to bet that in most sitations the necessary steps were attempted but there was no follow through.

Herein lies our problem, and hopefully our solution. There is an ever growing number of college-aged men who are content with saying they tried and failed because after all they gave it a shot didn’t they?


We as men must find it within our selves to never be satisfied with simply trying and failing. If we fail, we re-evalute and attack from another angle with increased vigor until we have achieved what we set out to do.

In that same vein, if it is a task that is too overwhelming for you alone, do not attempt it alone. There is no shame in asking for help.

Do or do not, there is no try. The Executive Offices and National Fraternity, through training programs, volunteer structure and online resources, do everything possible to supply the information and tools necessary for the “what” and “how.” All that needs to be done is to follow through!

In all aspects of fraternity, do you have what it takes to be successful?

The Exchange
“The Menaissance” by Brett McKay (video)