My fraternity taught me the secret to surviving a pandemic

Updated 12:05 PM ET, Tue June 30, 2020

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This is the next installment in the "Generation Resilient" series. Spencer Wright is a recent graduate of Emerson College, where he majored in media arts production. He was president of Delta Kappa Alpha fraternity during the spring of 2020. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion articles on CNN.

(CNN)If there's one skill you need to survive a global pandemic, it's the ability to adapt -- and quickly. Two and a half years as a member and then president of Delta Kappa Alpha (DKA) positioned me to take on this challenge.

DKA, a national, gender-inclusive organization for the cinematic arts, demands its members not shy away from adversity -- but rather be malleable and adapt to changing circumstances.
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I pledged for DKA my sophomore year and went through a rigorous process of weekly meetings and projects, each designed to build fraternal bonds and to teach values such as honesty, reliability and generosity. After six weeks of this, I was accepted as a new member of the chapter and happy to finally take on the full responsibilities that accompany active membership.
Then the other shoe dropped: the need to take an official exam, which measured how prepared new members were to become nationally recognized, active members. I studied hard, took the exam and eventually celebrated my formal entry into the fraternity, as DKA celebrated its new national status.
But the real test of my adaptability came senior year, when I became chapter president of DKA.
While this appointment was an honor, it was somewhat of a surprise. And this happened before the spring semester was interrupted by a global pandemic. Two months into my new leadership role, Covid-19 led to the closing of my college campus and the rise of virtual classes from our respective bedrooms across the country.