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TKE looks to change reputation at Boise State, nationwide

“I want to change the world,” sophomore entrepreneurship management major Brian Garretson said, without a hint of hesitation in his voice. Garretson spoke of his future plans without question, as if he knew that he would ultimately leave a positive, lasting legacy on his world.

His plans have already begun to unfold at Boise State via his involvement with the Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity, of which Garretson is the president.

TKE is one of 13 Greek organizations on campus at Boise State. However, TKE is a Greek organization that has recently faced significant public scrutiny at the national level regarding a racist-themed party thrown by the Arizona State chapter of the fraternity and at the Boise State level regarding the diminishment of the fraternity last semester.

“Some chapters have members who are not meant to be there. Some chapters have members who were meant to be in another organization,” Garretson said. “You work with it and you try to find worth in your own organization.”

Under current leadership, the fraternity seeks to thrive by participating in extensive service activities, by building a strong relationship with Boise State and by striving to live the values set forth by the fraternity.

“We know that worldly living sometimes isn’t the best, so why don’t we become the better men to make a better world,” Garretson said.

Service and Teke Week

The organization recently participated in Dance Marathon, which raised $37,000.23 for Children’s Miracle Network.

TKE also partners with St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital at the national level, so a significant amount of the service work performed by all chapters of TKE is done in order to benefit St. Jude’s.

The fraternity additionally hosts a weeklong campaign, called Teke Week, in order to promote friendly competition and volunteerism.

“The whole purpose of the week is to better ourselves and better the community,” sophomore health science major Nick Parisi said. Parisi, a member of the fraternity, organizes Teke Week.


Garretson implemented Teke Week after adopting it from a similar fraternal activity at Virginia Tech. Garretson spent his spring break participating in a volunteer program in Jamaica with the Student Involvement and Leadership Center.

“I’ve never been so empowered to do this and the current standing members of this chapter have never been so excited to keep going and live by the values,” Garretson said.

Looking Forward

Garretson believes that strengthening the relationship between the Greek community and Boise State is essential.

“Before we decide to be Greek, we actually decide to go to Boise State University, so that means we all have this common bond that we love Boise State University so much,” Garretson said.

The fraternity is currently in the process of educating seven young men who will be initiated in the fall. Currently, the focus of the fraternity is planning Teke Week and rush for the upcoming fall, as well as the graduation of some of the fraternity’s seniors.

Garretson continues to seek ways in which to live the values of the fraternity as well as ways to help the young men of Tau Kappa Epsilon to become better men for a better world.

“At the end of the day, it’s not the GPA that will measure our character. It’s not the amount of service. I know we love service, but it won’t measure our character either,” Garretson said. “It’s the relationships we build that will measure our character and the type of people we are.”

About McKenzie Perkins (0 Articles)
McKenzie is a freshman majoring in Mass Communication with an emphasis in Media Studies and a certificate in Public Relations. She has eclectic interests in travel, sports, literature, and political science. She also works for KTVB Channel 7 and Boise State Public Radio. Follow her on Twitter @kenzperks