Spreading the sentiment of gentlemen

Kappa Delta Rho hosts Gentlemen’s Week to raise money for philanthropies, promote healthy masculinity

Throughout the week of April 1 – 4, Kappa Delta Rho hosted their first major Gentlemen’s Week.

Kappa Delta Rho began Gentlemen’s Week last semester, but it was more of a trial run back then. This past fall, the theme of Gentlemen’s Week was uplifting women and it was a bit smaller than this year.

“That was our test run to see if it was possible. This time around, we wanted to make it a bigger event and really push ourselves to the edge,” Evan Flatt, President of Kappa Delta Rho, said.

“This is the first full big [Gentlemen’s Week]. Our plan is to continue doing them every semester or at least in the spring doing a big one like this.”

Kappa Delta Rho views Gentlemen’s Week as an opportunity to use their platform as fraternity men to try and improve the Christopher Newport campus and the surrounding community.

“Ultimately the goal of this is to set a new standard of what masculinity is. At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters to us,” Flatt said. “If we spent all this money and two more people live their lives to a higher standard, that’s a success to us.”

There are two main focuses of Gentlemen’s Week. The first focus is to give back to the CNU and surrounding Newport News community by putting on philanthropic events to raise money and awareness for various charities and foundations at both a local and national level.

To meet this focus, Kappa Delta Rho hosted “Balloon a Brother” on Monday, April 1 on the Great Lawn. During the event, participants could pay money to throw water balloons at the brothers of Kappa Delta Rho. In total, Kappa Delta Rho raised about $400 for their national philanthropy, the B+ Foundation.

The B+ Foundation is a national organization that raises money for childhood cancer research and provides financial support to families of children with cancer.

On Tuesday, April 2, the brothers of Kappa Delta Rho hosted a “Recognition Luncheon” that fed over 100 Christopher Newport University community members who have helped the brothers along their academic paths.

On Wednesday, April 3, the Freeman Center Field House was filled with people participating in “KDR Kickball.” Different organizations on CNU’s campus created teams and played in a kickball tournament that raised about $300 for Kappa Delta Rho’s local philanthropy, EDMARC Hospice for Children.

EDMARC is a hospice for children located in Norfolk that serves the entire Peninsula. They also help children who have cancer and their families by providing meals and transportation during treatment.

“They’re a small philanthropy but they do that more localized work,” Flatt said. “Of course B+ helps out a lot nationally, but EDMARC is the same organization but more local.”

“We’re really passionate about that cause because it’s one that’s not championed enough.”

The second mission of Gentlemen’s Week is to bring attention to the need to come together to promote healthy masculinity and gentlemanly character.

In order to accomplish this goal, Kappa Delta Rho sponsored speaker Casey J. Cornelius in partnership with S.A.V.E.

On Thursday, April 4, Cornelius spoke to a group of students and faculty in Gaines Theater. Cornelius is one of the leading national voices on the topics of personal development and healthy masculinity.

Flatt had the opportunity to meet Cornelius at a previous event through his position as President of CNU’s chapter of Kappa Delta Rho.

“He has been talking about healthy masculinity before it became mainstream,” Flatt said. “He’s really passionate about it.”

At CNU, Cornelius presented his signature program entitled “Be The Man: A Movement for Healthy Masculinity.” 

During his speech, Cornelius, a fraternity man himself, talked about several stories in the recent media that have given college men a bad reputation. He also talked about some of the unwritten rules of manhood that are passed down through generations and are ingrained into young men. He believes these unwritten rules of manhood lead to toxic masculinity which causes men to internalize their emotions and can cause more serious issues like rape culture.

At the end of his speech, Cornelius offered audience members a challenge. If one accepts the challenge, one must break the stereotypes and assumptions people have about them, and one must challenge others and themselves to be the best version of them they can be.

All of the events put on during Gentlemen’s Week tied into Kappa Delta Rho’s motto “Honor above all things” and the mentality of the KDR gentlemen.

“That’s what we’re really trying to tie into. The point of [Gentlemen’s Week], particularly the last day, is to promote healthy masculinity on campus,” Flatt said.

“Pretty much the purpose is to set a new standard of masculinity and our goal is to share the KDR gentlemen mentality with everyone else. This is our way of sharing not only our values with the community but promoting our values.”

Throughout the week, Kappa Delta Rho raised approximately $700 for local and national philanthropies and worked to spread their fraternity’s values and a new standard of healthy masculinity. 

~Emma Dixon, News Editor~

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