Arthur Scoleri ,’12 Epsilon Kappa (Southern Illinois University – Carbondale), Collegiate Province Representative for Province 5, recently attended the annual CPR Convocation at Lyrecrest. Below are his remarks on the experience.
In summarizing CPR Convocation for you, I could describe countless hours of risk management presentations, lengthy Q+As, and the passage of what could have been a four-day business meeting. Despite inevitable differences in opinion and brief conflicts of interest, CPR convocation was not a business meeting. It was far more than that.
There have been instances in the past three years in which Sinfonia has made its existence and purpose blindingly clear to me. Often, these appearances have been little more than passing glances. CPR convocation, on the other hand, was an uninterrupted four days of fellowship shared with fifty-two of our brothers. Though we come from different places and share incredibly different backgrounds and opinions, it is impossible to feel alone in the presence of a group like the CPR Council. As each of us walked into Lyrecrest that week, we each felt an incomparable sense of homecoming and camaraderie that transcended petty logistics. The stress of the past semester and recent holidays dissolved into the background, and I found myself engaged in a lighthearted togetherness that earlier months had been lacking. I was healed and full of something more powerful than nostalgia- the boundless love of our brotherhood.
CPR convocation did not change my life. But getting to know those fifty-two men and members of our National Executive Committee has led to a personal desire to live differently- as a resource. In this New Year, seek to cultivate Sinfonia in your life. Foster openness and concord, and seek new solutions to domestic issues at the provincial level. Look and listen so that those who are typically silent might speak. Challenge yourselves to seek new mediums in which to spread inspiration, and turn your gaze outward to brothers across province and geographic boundaries. Step outside of your comfort zone and set goals that require extensive planning and collaboration for proper execution. It may sound cliché to say that a life truly lived as a Sinfonian is not an easy one. But it is far from a dull or solitary one.
As your brother, I would ask you to find new ways to live as a Sinfonian among other Sinfonians. This fraternity requires that you employ your entire self, both good and bad, in service of our object. Our brotherhood creates the circumstances under which we have the power to transcend even the parts of ourselves that we deeply despise and turn them into resources for the empowerment of others. Sinfonia removes divisions and disabilities among men that ought to be strangers and gives them the opportunity to sing as one- not only for the making of a better, more whole man, but also for the uplift of the human race to which we all belong.