The Gavel Podcast

Honor with Jacob Rudolph (Minnesota)

Episode Summary

Adam and Drew speak with Brother Jacob Rudolph about his Sigma Nu experience, his career in law enforcement, and the how the concept of Honor can unite and motivate a group of peers.

Episode Notes

The Gavel Podcast is the official podcast of Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc. and is dedicated to keeping you updated on the operations of the Legion of Honor and connecting you to stories from our brotherhood. 

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Have feedback or a question about this episode? Want to submit an idea for a future topic you'd like to see covered? Contact the Gavel Podcast team at

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Guest for this Episode

Episode Transcription

The Gavel Podcast - Ep 9 - Honor with Jacob Rudolph (Minnesota)


[Intro Music]


0:00:42.5 Adam Girtz: Hello, everyone. Welcome to The Gavel Podcast. My name is Adam and I'm here with Drew and Christopher. Hello, guys.


0:00:51.4 Drew Logsdon: Hey.


0:00:52.1 Christopher Brenton: Hey, how's it going? 


0:00:55.5 Adam Girtz: Hey. It's great. It's good to be here with both of you. Last month, I was by my lonesome and now I have three. I have two whole friends with me today and that's very exciting for me. Let's talk about it, let's talk about this. I want to talk about where we're at. Where are we at? 


0:01:18.6 Drew Logsdon: Where are we at? [chuckle] Oh, wow. So as many listeners, hopefully many listeners, if you pay attention to the Facebook pages and Instagram pages, know, I, Drew Logsdon here, departed the staff team at the end of July after serving as Director of Communications that followed... That was the culmination, I should say, of 10 years of service to the fraternity on the headquarter staff. In that time, it was my first job out of college as a Leadership Consultant and did some time as Associate Director of Risk Reduction and then time as Director of Communications.


0:02:02.3 Drew Logsdon: So I have had a very privileged and significant opportunity to impact the fraternity's communications and messaging, and a lot of things we do like The Gavel Newsletter, The Gavel Podcast we're talking on right now. And a mentor of mine on staff, Nick Murphy, which some may know, some may not know, our CFO, said a great phrase during this transition time that at some point, we all hang up our spurs, which I thought was a very appropriate phrase. That while we would love to stay where we're at, you need to do new things to grow, and I think that's what a lot of our interviews in The Gavel Podcast have talked about. That to continue to grow, you got to continue to be willing to put yourself into new places, new things.


0:03:02.5 Drew Logsdon: And so an opportunity came up for me to depart the staff team and transition over to another great organization, OmegaFi, which many listeners probably also recognize hopefully, that there's name recognition there, but for those that don't know, OmegaFi is a online software financial management company, essentially. They offer different product solutions for chapters to do billings, collections, pay their bills. They do a lot more than that, communications, recruitment tools. They have a broad spectrum of tools and solutions for chapters, whether a fraternity or sorority to utilize today.


0:03:44.0 Drew Logsdon: Interesting and fun Sigma Nu fact, OmegaFi was founded by a treasurer, a fraternity treasurer, at the university or Auburn University and Sigma Nu, our Beta Theta Chapter, was OmegaFi's very first client of OmegaFi.


0:04:01.5 Adam Girtz: A long and storied history.


0:04:03.0 Drew Logsdon: It is. It is a long and storied history. So I joined OmegaFi in the early August, by the time y'all listen to this it'll be several weeks since then, maybe a month and a half or so since then. But I joined OmegaFi in early August as their Director of Communications. And I'm excited for the new opportunity, excited to still be in the world, the fraternity and sorority world that I know very well and I love very much. And so just have an opportunity to still be there but do something a little different, stretch my wings a little bit. And as I said to everybody who's reached out to me, and there's been multitudes, my departure from the headquarter staff team, A, it's not a goodbye. Brad Beacham, our Executive Director, is frequently found to say that we are a staff family, and I think that is absolutely true. That's 100% true.


0:05:04.7 Drew Logsdon: Some of my closest friends and mentors I found through my interactions with the Sigma Nu staff and I'll cherish and hold, and continue to foster those relationships for years on end, but it's not goodbye. I don't think very few staff members fully leave the experience or can ever say that the experience didn't impact them in a positive and transformational way, just like your collegiate experience did.


0:05:35.0 Drew Logsdon: And the second thing is that my transition or departure was by no means result of anything negative, not that anyone insinuated that for that matter, but it's just a growth opportunity. And like Nick said, we all eventually come to the end of the cattle range and find a new pasture, and we hang our spurs up, and we take on that new pasture and we take on new adventures and new challenges in the horizon, so I'm excited for it.


0:06:05.5 Drew Logsdon: I'll tell you what I'm way more excited for is to see what my successor does, who's joining us today, Christopher Brenton, who's our new Director of Communications... I should say my new Director of Communications for the Fraternity, and I'm just really excited and thrilled to see where Chris takes it. I'm excited to see where Adam and you, Chris, together take this podcast experience. This podcast, as, Adam, you know, has been a labor of love for us for over a year now and we have put a lot of sweat equity into it and a lot of passion into it, and I think that shows in the content we've managed to produce.


0:06:45.1 Drew Logsdon: And so I'm just excited, and this is a really cool opportunity for us to transition, to hand the baton over, to say, Drew is departing, and so you guys won't hear me, unless I'm interviewed at some point, which, by the way, guys, my schedule is wide open, [chuckle] if you choose to interview me. But you'll no longer hear my friendly voice on The Gavel Podcast. You'll hear a new voice, and I think it's going to be an exciting time for communications, for Sigma Nu, and for the podcast.


0:07:13.5 Adam Girtz: Absolutely.


0:07:14.8 Christopher Brenton: Hopefully they find my voice friendly. We'll see. But thanks Drew, I appreciate that. It's an exciting opportunity, just seeing what you and Adam were able to build. I think this podcast is really exciting just in its opportunity for us to interview interesting alumni from our organization, to get to know what they're doing, how the Fraternity has impacted their lives, to also interview collegiate members to understand their experience, what it’s like on the ground in the trenches. We're all fairly young, but there's still the expectation that generations will change... Generations of students will change, excuse me. The experience that they're having will be altered slightly by that reality. But hopefully we can glean from them what the fraternity can do to provide a better experience that is continuously improving. So I'm excited just to be in this space, just because we get to have such interesting conversations with our collegiate and alumni members, and so it's a really exciting opportunity. But Drew, we're just really glad that you were able to join us. I felt a little awkward coming into this podcasting space and just kind of wearing kind of this clothing that wasn't my own, and so I told Adam, I was like, we've got to have you back for at least one more kind of transitional podcast, just so that way the listeners aren't so jarringly introduced to me. So it's really good to kind of have you on here.


0:08:48.6 Drew Logsdon: And listeners, this is your friend, your brother Drew Logsdon, speaking to you. I fully endorse Christopher Brenton coming onto the podcast as a new co-host.


0:09:00.1 Adam Girtz: Excellent, just wait until you see what we have in store for everyone, and we'll see if we can test that endorsement. [chuckle]


0:09:05.2 Christopher Brenton: Perfect. [laughter]


0:09:06.8 Christopher Brenton: Yeah, if we see our subscriber numbers quickly plummet we'll know we made a mistake. Hopefully, that's not going to be the case, [chuckle] though. But I will say just a quick introduction, for those of you who do not know me. So, as they already mentioned, my name is Christopher Brenton. I am an initiative of our Beta Tau chapter from North Carolina State. This is my 10th year on staff, in the middle of my 10th year. I joined in 2012 shortly after graduating from college as a Leadership Consultant, as all of our staff have had the experience of doing prior to taking on their Associate Director or Director level roles. And for the vast majority of that time, I served as our Associate Director of Leadership Development and then Director of chapter Services, working primarily under our Director of Leadership Development, Scott Smith. Most of my job responsibilities were assisting our Leadership Consultants, ensuring that our chapters had good office resources, so they could do good work. But I will say, an exciting opportunity to be involved with all of this work is that it actually aligns with my undergraduate career.


0:10:17.2 Christopher Brenton: So when I was in a... When I was an undergraduate student at North Carolina State University, I started out as a graphic design major, then I had the [chuckle] excitement of jumping around, trying to figure out what it is that I actually wanted to do as a collegian. I was in school during the financial crisis of 2008, and so saw a lot of my peers, as well as family members who were in more of creative careers, lose their jobs. And so when I was starting out in graphic design, I was like, I don't know if this is necessarily a viable option for me. And so I switched over to Business Administration, ultimately graduated with a concentration in Marketing, and then was able to maintain my minor design study. So this is a space that I feel really at home in. I'm excited to stretch those muscles, although they have severely atrophied over the last couple of years.


0:11:18.3 Christopher Brenton: Just as I've really had fewer opportunities to express my creative muscles. But I am excited to get back into the role and Drew has really done such a great job of expanding the opportunities that we have, to provide content for our members, and so I'm really happy to just be able to pick up and run with what he's created, but then also, hopefully I can bring some more creative ideas of my own. So that's a little bit about me. I know we have some other things that we need to get to on this podcast, but wanted just to do that quick introduction for those of you who are just learning who I am for the first time, and hopefully will not be turned off or turned away now that I will be working with Adam on leading this podcast forward.


0:12:03.2 Drew Logsdon: I do want to know two things before we get to kind of relevant updates here, Adam, if I have your permission as an outgoing co-host.


0:12:10.7 Adam Girtz: Please. As the transitional host of this podcast, I grant you permission. [chuckle]


0:12:17.2 Drew Logsdon: Thank you. Thank you. For the cheer. I will say one thing that out of Chris... What just Chris shared that I find so fascinating and amazing, and a large part of why I'm super excited. Chris is the... I think I'm correct in saying this, the only person in the staff team with a... Like Chris said, undergraduate background in Marketing. In Marketing and Creative Design. I graduated with a Political Science major. Adam, you graduated with a major in Iron or Mining, [chuckle] I think, safe to say? 


0:12:48.3 Adam Girtz: Yes, correct.


0:12:49.2 Drew Logsdon: Biozin Technology? 


0:12:51.1 Adam Girtz: Biozin Technology with a Z sound, yes. [chuckle]


0:12:56.6 Drew Logsdon: And that's awesome. Like round peg, round hole. That's super cool. And I was remiss to not mention this in my previous statements, but the big thing that when I stepped away... What have I done? What was the big, what was my big, hairy, audacious goal? What got achieved? And I'm sure many will laugh at this, but it was re-introducing Hi Rickety into common Sigma Nu usage, which everyone says, "What's Hi Rickety? I don't understand that." You got to go visit Lexington, go visit HQ, visit the museum, and you'll see a sheet of paper and in our past grand chapter transcripts, our official yell, "Hi Rickety Hooptie doo, what's the matter with Sigma Nu? Hullabaloo Terica who, all together for Sigma Nu" and so re-introducing Hi Rickety and hearing people say it at grand chapter and put it on comments and everything like... That's a check mark to me. The Gavel, the podcast, the magazine, those are wins, but Hi Rickety, that's the win. That's the victory.


0:14:02.9 Christopher Brenton: Well, we'll see Drew, for those poor tortured souls who sat through the virtual grand chapter experience and heard all of our Sigma Nu songs on repeat, I assure sure that Hi Rickety has been engraved into their minds for the rest of time. So whether we had it in print, or we had it in musical form, Hi Rickety, I think, is here to stay. So that is definitely a legacy that we're excited that you're leaving behind.


0:14:29.6 Adam Girtz: And with that, we'd like to announce something we've really been waiting for here that we are re-branding the podcast as the Hi Rickety Podcast, and that's going to be the new name, make sure you re-subscribe in the feed. Hi Rickety Podcast is now the name.


0:14:46.5 Drew Logsdon: Is that for real? 


0:14:47.6 Adam Girtz: No, no, no. [laughter]


0:14:51.4 Christopher Brenton: I was getting a little bit nervous myself, Drew. [laughter]


0:14:54.7 Christopher Brenton: Wait, we did not talk about this in the pre-show. [laughter]


0:14:57.6 Adam Girtz: Nope, once it's recorded, then it's official, and then once it goes out there, that is now cannon, in the larger... The Gavel Podcast extended universe. So, well, thank you guys for reintroducing yourselves, Christopher, it's great to have you on the podcast and in moving forward here, Drew, we will absolutely be having you on in the future, your guest host, guest contributor from the field, the special report from Drew Logsdon, but today we are... Let's kind of dive into the meat of what we've got going on today. We've got a really great interview that Drew and I did with brother Jacob Rudolph, to discuss honor, the concept of honor amongst a group of peers, a group of young men or a group of your fraternity brothers, or a group of police officers that work together, and I really, really enjoyed that interview. A couple of news items that we wanted to go through, Christopher, I believe you've got a couple of news items for us? 


0:16:14.4 Christopher Brenton: Yeah, so just two things I wanted to touch on that are relevant to... Specifically when this podcast will be coming out, maybe less relevant if you're a listener who's just joining at a later date, but...


0:16:25.8 Adam Girtz: If so, welcome.


0:16:26.9 Christopher Brenton: You're so welcome. But these are two things that happen annually, so we're at least confident that if you're not joining us right now or when the podcast is immediately coming out, you're joining us at a later date, that this will be relevant for subsequent years. The first is the National Hazing Prevention Week, and that's coming up here in two weeks. It'll be taking place the week of September 20th. And so for those of you who are obviously familiar with the fraternity, you know that we are an organization that was founded... One of the only organizations, I believe, Drew can correct me if I'm wrong. The only organization that was founded explicitly against hazing, so that... It being essential and core to our historical founding at VMI.


0:17:18.0 Christopher Brenton: We have that in our DNA as something that is essential and important to all of our members, and so... National Hazing Prevention Week really has a soft spot in our hearts, it's something that we want to contribute to, we want to encourage our brothers, whether they be collegiate or alumni to participate in, and we are going to have a weeks-long worth of content coming out of our various social media channels, on our website, you're going to see lots of featured articles from brothers, both young and old, talking about their experiences, why hazing has no place in our organization, how we can create a better fraternity experience without it. Drew, I actually... This is on a plug for you, you're going to be one of our featured guest writers for that week. So we're excited to be able to bring you back in more ways than just here on the podcast...


0:18:12.0 Drew Logsdon: To badly quote Al Pacino, from the Godfather films, "As soon as I get out, they pull me back in." [laughter]


0:18:20.7 Christopher Brenton: Well, we can't let our talent leave without extracting as much as we can from it, so we're excited to have you on for our National Hazing Prevention Week, but we'll also have some additional tie-ins that are going to be happening across the industry, that will want people to join for and to be a part of those conversations, so be on the look-out for that. And then the second, is going to be, what is it really important to our staff team, which is the process of getting new applicants to apply to our Leadership Consultant Program. Every chapter has the experience of interacting with a Leadership Consultant, most often he's going to be working with your chapter's officers, but there's a strong likelihood that you've also been able to engage with the Leadership Consultant at a chapter meeting, or maybe that Leadership Consultant had the chance to facilitate a lead session.


0:19:12.1 Christopher Brenton: Regardless of all of our current staff men, except for just a few, have had the Leadership Consultant experience. We speak really fondly of it, but we also have just an army of men who have come through this experience, who have reaped the benefits of that two years of being on the road of getting to work with our chapters, and then have taken that professional development into their own careers outside of working for the fraternity, who can speak really strongly about that experience. But right now we are trying to attract high quality candidates to apply for the Leadership Consultant Program. Regardless of when you're listening to this interview, applications are always going to be due on October 15th of every year, we go through a short interview process and hope to make our selections prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, but if you're listening prior outside of that window, we accept applications on a rolling basis and are always interested, of course, in recruiting high quality staff and applicants to apply.


0:20:10.8 Christopher Brenton: So, if you yourself or someone you know is interested in the Leadership Consultant Program, I often plug this, especially for individuals who are interested in going into a post-graduate degree track, I think this is a really great bridge between your undergraduate experience and your next degree, so that way you have a little bit of professional development in between, I strongly encourage you to apply. Questions as well as applications can be directed to Scott Smith, our Director of Leadership Development. You can reach him at, and you can also look up all of the information as well as the employment application, and other materials about the experience at, but I strongly encourage that, and I hope that you will consider it.


0:21:01.3 Adam Girtz: Strong plugs love that... That you sound great, you sound great doing plugs. That was wonderful.


0:21:09.2 Christopher Brenton: That was my job for the last, [chuckle] the last six years at least, so I've already had the pitch in mind, but now I'm just getting to put it in audio form.


0:21:19.6 Adam Girtz: Yeah, love it. New mediums, new mediums abound. Excellent, so I think that's it. Let's dive into the interview? 


0:21:29.9 Christopher Brenton: Yeah.


0:21:30.1 Adam Girtz: Let's dive into the interview.


0:21:31.3 Christopher Brenton: Let's go.


0:21:32.4 Adam Girtz: Sorry, my teleprompter had the wrong punctuation at the end, right there. Let's dive into the interview guys, we'll see you in the back-end.


[Transition Music]


0:21:55.4 Adam Girtz: Hello everyone, we've got brother Jacob Rudolph here. Jacob, welcome to The Gavel Podcast.


0:22:03.8 Drew Logsdon: Welcome, Jacob.


0:22:05.5 Jacob Rudolph: Hi.


0:22:07.3 Adam Girtz: So we're going to to be talking today about honor, and really before we dive into the interview itself, you we were very excited to have brother Rudolf here. I did just want to kind of talk about the concept of honor and how we'll be discussing it today, so we're talking about honor, obviously one of the values of Sigma Nu, but honor specifically and in how it unites a brotherhood or a close-knit group of peers. So, today we'll be talking about that in the context of a fraternity chapter, as well as a law enforcement agency or really any other close-knit group of peers. So, to really get started, Jacob, I'd love to hear about your Sigma Nu experience, if you could just briefly tell us about your time at Sigma Nu and what it meant to you in regards to the concept of honor.


0:23:02.6 Jacob Rudolph: Sure. Well, Adam, Drew, thank you for having me on The Gavel Podcast, love listening to the last few episodes, and coming off of Grand Chapter here, it's great to be on the podcast. I joined Sigma Nu in the summer of 2003 at the Gamma Tau Chapter at the University of Minnesota. I grew up in Shakopee, Minnesota, which was or is about 30 minutes South West of Minneapolis where the Gamma Tau Chapter is located. I graduated the University of Minnesota with a degree in sociology of law, criminology and deviance, so, I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement. Like I said, I signed in the summer of 2003, I was recruited by brother Pete Setter through the chapter's Arthur Barlow scholarship. Brother Barlow was a past regent of Sigma Nu from the Gamma Tau chapter. He grew up in the North Dakota area and was a state senator, I believe under out of North Dakota. And a prominent business person from the State of North Dakota. I believe he is a member of the Hall of Honor of Sigma Nu as well.


0:24:17.7 Jacob Rudolph: During my time at the Chapter, I was my candidate class's, honor initiate. I was the Recorder as a freshman... I was as a... Freshman, I'm sorry. As a Recruitment Chairman, was the Lieutenant Commander and the Eminent Commander as well. Also served on our IFC as VP of Risk Management. I was part of one of the first Sigma Nu Institutes held out at the Rock, the Headquarters and...


0:24:54.0 Adam Girtz: Cool.


0:24:54.1 Jacob Rudolph: Attended College of Chapters in 2005, Grand Chapter in 2006, where Gamma Tau won our first of nine consecutive Rock awards so far. And I'm also an Alpha Affiliate number 536.


0:25:06.9 Adam Girtz: So wow...


0:25:09.9 Drew Logsdon: That's an impressive resume, yeah.


0:25:11.1 Adam Girtz: So, you've kind of had the whole experience. Yeah. You have had the whole experience. Huh?


0:25:12.8 Jacob Rudolph: Yeah, so after graduating, I started a career in law enforcement where I've been for about the last 13 and a half years, so I work for a small city, about 45 minutes South West of Minneapolis.


0:25:26.5 Adam Girtz: Cool. Okay, yeah. So, you were able to... visit headquarters, you've been able to go to the Grand Chapter. All of that whole experience, I suppose.


0:25:36.9 Jacob Rudolph: Yes.


0:25:37.9 Adam Girtz: Cool, so actually, I am glad you have or had mentioned I did not want to ask about specifically kind of the Rock Chapter aspect of Gamma Tau, and having worked with Gamma Tau myself I know it's a very successful chapter and you have seen the culture of the chapter. So I know this to be true about the chapter. But in your experience, how has the concept of honor influenced Gamma Tau specifically? 


0:26:09.2 Jacob Rudolph: Well, Gamma Tau kind of went through a transition phase in the early '90s. Our charter was pulled for a variety of reasons, some folks got into some malfeasance around that time. And our charter was pulled, and then we were re-chartered in the early '90s. And when I joined in 2003, our chapter size was right around a dozen or 15 members or so. And it was with my pledge class of about, I think we were right around 10 or 12 members, I forget exactly how many. There was a conscious effort to start recruiting members who were going to make a significant contribution to the chapter in propeller tours, the idea of excelling with honor, and really putting forth the ideals of living out what is expressed through lead phase one and two, and moving the chapter forward.


0:27:19.3 Jacob Rudolph: So the next two years, we really worked hard at building up the chapter through recruitment and retention, and really being picky about who it was we were going to recruit. And finding leaders, as in terms of who it was we were recruiting, whether it was people who were going to be participating in ROTC or who already signed up with military experience or had experienced in scouting or athletics or other community service avenues.


0:27:56.1 Adam Girtz: Okay. Struck by that, then, what all of those groups have in common is that your peer mentality, right? Like they are... You are a group dedicated towards a certain purpose, whether it's your ROTC or scouts or anything like that. You are a group of peers dedicated towards one purpose: Holding each other accountable towards advancing towards that purpose. And I mean, do you feel that by recruiting those types of guys like that's what led Gamma Tau to be successful?


0:28:31.1 Jacob Rudolph: I do, I feel like with a strong recruiting base, it was, made it much more easy to hold people accountable. When it came to chapter functions, whether it was getting people to participate in other campus activities, or, clean the chapter house bathroom, it just made things a lot easier to hold people accountable and make sure they're doing what they need to do, get their grades in and just be one on one accountable for what needs to happen to make a chapter run successfully, pay their bills, all those sorts of things that come with making a fraternity successful.


0:29:21.9 Adam Girtz: From bottom to top there.


0:29:24.3 Drew Logsdon: Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, we talked a little bit about your, your collegiate experience, your Sigma Nu experience, Jacob, I'm really interested in talking a little bit more about your professional experience in law enforcement. And I think there are some really unique parallels between law enforcement and fraternities. Right? Both entities have a... Sigma Nu especially have a pretty clear cut kind of, honor code, if you will, right, or mission, in fact, right? Sigma Nu, we develop ethical leaders, right? We're excelling with honor. Honor is a foundational principle of our fraternity, law enforcement, protect and serve, right, via these foundational pieces. And I'm interested in hearing, you know, kind of your perspective. In what way does honor play a role in in your professional work, Jacob? 


0:30:21.8 Jacob Rudolph: Well, honor in law enforcement is really synonymous with the idea of integrity. And in all the interview panels I've sat in on, or have been a part of, that's one theme that really is consistent across the board there. I've seen people lose their jobs in law enforcement because they lacked integrity. They do something and the... Often is the cover up is worse than the crime, so to say. And, if you lie about something, especially as a police officer, you can't be trusted moving forward, especially when you have to testify about facts and circumstances in court.


0:31:14.6 Jacob Rudolph: And especially today, in an age where the public expects things to be captured on body cameras, or surveillance cameras or squad cameras, or what have you, you still have to be able to testify to certain facts and circumstances that aren't necessarily covered on the video. And you have to be able to be believed and be truthful about those facts and circumstances. And if you're found not to be truthful, if something's not covered on video, well, you have no more integrity about what it is testifying to and that comes down to everything from, maybe a search warrant application or your report writing or just anything else to do with your job. And so if you don't have that integrity, you don't have any honor within your ability to do your job either. And if you lack those two things, well then you can no longer do your job.


0:32:06.9 Adam Girtz: Yeah.


0:32:09.2 Jacob Rudolph: Yeah, and it just makes it much more difficult.


0:32:12.5 Adam Girtz: It's almost like, yeah, honor is almost a resource to be gained and lost, cultivated over your time with the group, with the organization. And if it is lost, it's something that's hard to rebuild, obviously with different set of stakes in the different organizations, but...


0:32:33.6 Drew Logsdon: But there are. That's a great point you make as well, Jacob, there are these unique parallels. And we tell collegiate Sigma Nu men this all the time that, "Yeah, you may not wear the letters every day, but you never really take them off." And I feel like a lot of Sigma Nu men, a lot of fraternity men in general, get really disgruntled. I wouldn't say disgruntled, frustrated. Let's say frustrated. "Why are we held to such a different standard than everybody else?" And it's because you're visible. You're highly scrutinized, because you've put this ethos, this mission out there publicly. And it's a good thing. You've said, "Hold us to a higher standard. Hold us to the highest standard, if you will."


0:33:19.4 Drew Logsdon: And so I think that that's difficult for men to rise to. What would your advice be to them, Jacob? Because I feel like that law enforcement gets that same kind of experience of you are so highly visible and because of that, highly scrutinized. What would your advice be to a Sigma Nu guy on a campus who's frustrated of, "Well, these people down the street, they do this, and they don't get in trouble. But we can't sneeze in the wrong direction, we get in trouble." What would your advice to those folks be? 


0:33:53.0 Jacob Rudolph: Well, it's almost like the Walt Disney standard where it's nobody should be ashamed to pick up the trash that's on the floor. Nobody should be ashamed to clean up their yard. If your chapter's yard is the one without the solo cups and the bottles of beer in the yard, maybe you're not going to be the one whose camera is going to get flashed across the news when they have to do the story about the college binge drinking. Maybe it will be the chapter across the street. Just those little things. So, take the time to clean up your yard.


0:34:30.5 Jacob Rudolph: Especially at the University of Minnesota, there are two dozens chapter houses that line University Avenue, just directly across the street from campus property. And it's a highly visible area leading down to the stadiums, the football, hockey, basketball arenas. And that's where all the traffic goes on game day. And whether kids are out partying before games, tailgating, doing whatever, or if it's just a regular Wednesday afternoon when people are hanging out, it's a highly visible area. And professors and school administrators get to know who chapter leaders are.


0:35:17.7 Jacob Rudolph: And it's amazing how public fraternities are, even in smaller communities. Even though the University of Minnesota is a rather large university, we're still in the bottom third or bottom quarter of Greek population across the big 10 campuses. And the school administrators still are aware of who the leaders in the Greek community are, and you don't want to be that chapter who's flashed across the news because of a binge drinking incident, or an overdose, or a hazing incident because you just end up being in somebody's B-roll footage because that happens.


0:36:06.9 Adam Girtz: I think one thing I've always told my members that I work with, and officers, and everyone is for a majority of people, the distinction between Sigma Nu and Sigma Chi is non-existent. It is just Greek or it's just fraternity. So they're not even necessarily going to make the distinction if they see it on the news, that that is just generic fraternity. So we owe it to, not just ourselves, but to the institution of fraternity nationwide, to take care of our own reputation so that we can take care of our collective reputation rights. We keep our yard clean because we expect the other chapters to keep their yard clean.


0:37:00.3 Adam Girtz: And we take that step up onto that pedestal and say, "Hey, we are holding ourselves to a higher standard." But then we also have... We can't just step down off the pedestal when it's convenient for you and step up when it's time to be praised for it. And again, I do think there is that parallel then to law enforcement. We protect and serve the community, and you can't... Just because you're not in uniform doesn't mean that somebody's not going to recognize you and hold you to that same standard.


0:37:35.0 Drew Logsdon: And it's good too, right? I mean, you...


0:37:36.8 Adam Girtz: Yeah, it's a good...


0:37:37.2 Drew Logsdon: You don't join Sigma Nu... You shouldn't join a fraternity because you want to be mediocre. If you've joined a fraternity because you just want to be the lowest common denominator, that's a you problem. That's a look in the mirror, the problem is actually in the mirror. And that's the issue I... That's why I think certain organizations attract certain people. Men are attracted to Sigma Nu, for the most part, because they want to be held to a higher standard. Like I want the guy next to me to say... To be the guy who's checking me, who's encouraging me, who's going to hold me accountable, to do better because it feels like so often you think you're only capable of 80%, but the guy who knows you're capable of 100% is the guy outside, the guy next to you looking at you, so.


0:38:38.8 Adam Girtz: Yeah.


0:38:39.4 Jacob Rudolph: Well, Adam, you bring up a good point, I mean, just as people don't see the difference between Sigma Nu and Sigma Chi, people don't see the difference between me wearing a police uniform and the Minneapolis Police Department. And though the death of George Floyd has been very tragic and has had a very significant impact across the Greater Minneapolis area, the style of policing that we do in the community where I work is vastly different than the style of policing that occurs in Minneapolis, and don't mistake me, I'm not necessarily trying to bring the Minneapolis Police Department on, or down, I'm sorry. They have just a very different particular set of challenges in the city of Minneapolis than what I face. And...


0:39:35.2 Jacob Rudolph: But people lump all, tend to lump all cops in the same group because all they see is the uniform, and I have been accused of policing in a racially-motivated way just because I pull somebody over. I've had people accuse me of pulling them over because of fill in the blank. And 90% of the time I'm going to let you off with a warning just because I want to say, "Hey, you know your tail-light's busted or whatever." So it's like you alluded to, if you get lumped all into the same group, what are you doing to distinguish yourself as being better than the group mentality? How are you going to rise above that? How are you going to set yourself apart from the... How are you going to be better? So it's very difficult, especially when you're in groups that are under a particular microscope.


0:40:46.7 Adam Girtz: Yeah.


0:40:47.7 Jacob Rudolph: In this moment in time, I think we have two groups, fraternities in law enforcement that are under a very particular microscope, so.


0:40:56.8 Adam Girtz: Yeah and that's what I've told my guys is you got to prove it. If you want to say that you are a fraternity of upstanding men, of honorable men, then you need to prove that, and you need to do it in a way that can show people that you mean what you say and you're doing what you say you're going to do.


0:41:19.8 Drew Logsdon: Yeah. You've referenced it there, Jacob, of George Floyd's passing and murder, I guess now, as legally adjudicated murder, yeah. What has this year been like for you in law enforcement? And I think you've got a really unique perspective because, like you said, you're so close to the epicenter of what has been probably a really unique year for your field.


0:41:53.1 Jacob Rudolph: Yeah, it's been difficult. So my wife is a Minneapolis teacher. She's a AGD from the University of Minnesota as well. We didn't meet while we were in college, we met a couple of years after. But we had a lot of friends in common while we were in school. But anyway, she's a Minneapolis teacher and so first we had to pivot because of COVID. She went from being elementary teacher in front of her class to having to go online distance learning within a matter of a few days. So that was very challenging, not only for her, but for me too because of the unknown vastness that the pandemic brought for so many people. A lot of people were able to make the change and work from home or and socially distance, but that wasn't the case for me. I still had to go in and interact with people and go into people's homes and so forth, and so there was always a risk of me bringing something home. And we have a now four-year-old, just turned four in April, so that was a big risk for us.


0:43:16.8 Jacob Rudolph: And then George Floyd happened, and the area where my wife teaches is within the third precinct of Minneapolis where that incident took place and all the vast majority of the protests were literally in the front doors, driveways and front porches of where all those protests were taking place for her students. So there was a lot of negativity going on for her kids because of that, and that caused a lot of stress on her side as well. So there were a lot of challenges with that. And in particular, on my side too though, 45 minutes or so, removed from Minneapolis where I work, I work along three major highways, and so when all these protesters and people were coming in from out of state or even within the state, going up to Minneapolis, we're still meeting a lot of challenges in dealing with people who are just becoming a lot more difficult to deal with in our daily interactions with them.


0:44:31.7 Adam Girtz: Yeah.


0:44:32.4 Jacob Rudolph: So I recall one of the big days that the protest took place, I had never seen so many out-of-state people coming through my city that I had seen that day, and people open-carrying guns and doing all sorts of things, and received intelligence that kids, kids, 19, 20 years old, from a couple of cities to the south of us were part of burning down pharmacies and taking pharmaceuticals. And these are country bumpkin kids going up to Minneapolis, and committing arson, and burning down pharmacies, and doing all this stuff, rioting in Minneapolis. And so, it was kind of a rude awakening for some of the folks that are part of the outskirts of the city, but at the same time it really hit home that crime is transient. It's not localized to the inner city, that it moves and people are always moving around, and you're not necessarily safe because you live in an outer ring suburb, or that sort of thing. It's that, people are always moving around and so, crime patterns certainly have changed a lot in the last year and a half, two years.


0:45:58.9 Adam Girtz: Okay. Well, I'm glad to see you've made it through the last year safely. I know that that can definitely be a scary time to be out and around. And like you said, to be, to go out, you're wearing a uniform, wearing a badge. That makes you a very visible person, and somebody who doesn't know you, but just sees that blanket, the badge, the uniform, might make a snap judgment about who you are in that situation. That's a difficult thing to deal with. How does that feel to be in that position? 


0:46:47.6 Jacob Rudolph: It's pretty challenging, especially mental health-wise. It definitely wears on you. I'll just share one incident that was particularly troublesome. The epidemic of drug use has definitely taken off over the last three to five years, and if this story can help anybody who may be dealing with drug addiction, seek some help. I hope me relaying this will help somebody. But last spring, my partner and I were called to a house in a very nice residential neighborhood for a kid who was 20, 21 years old having a drug overdose right when COVID started. And we got there, we hadn't put on all of our PPE, our masks, our goggles, and everything. Got in there, and we were able to start CPR around him and give him Narcan, and reversed his overdose, and he came back to life. And like I said, when we got there, he was totally gone, and we did CPR on him, and gave him the Narcan and he came back.


0:48:16.6 Jacob Rudolph: He was walking and talking to the paramedics. At that point, we weren't able to force him to go to a hospital, and he signed off against going to the hospital, against medical advice, and we found that he had ingested some narcotics laced with fentanyl, which is several hundred times more potent than regular heroin. And we took them, and we thought we had gathered everything that he had. And my partner that night had gone home at the end of his shift at 3 o'clock in the morning, I was working until 7:00 AM, and about 4:30 or so got called back to the residence, because that kid had overdosed again. It was unknown if he had ingested more narcotics, or if the Narcan had just worn off. And we did CPR again on him, gave him more Narcan. Unfortunately, we weren't able to save him, so he ended up passing away. And I had to give the death notification to his family because he was actually a friend that was staying at that house at that time. And the most tragic thing about that is that that was the second person within that family that had died from a drug overdose.


0:49:42.0 Adam Girtz: Wow.


0:49:42.2 Drew Logsdon: Wow.


0:49:43.1 Adam Girtz: That's really hard.


0:49:43.1 Jacob Rudolph: So if anybody out there is having addiction problems, please seek some help and do... Addiction is a very difficult thing to deal with, but seek some help if you can, and do what you need to do to overcome it.


0:50:07.6 Adam Girtz: Yeah. We were able to interview Ross Szabo earlier this year about mental health and how, I guess, everybody's been affected this year. And everybody has, I think, taken this year in a different way, and had it affect them in different ways, but that's really hard to hear. That must've been really hard to deal with, especially going back to the same residence, the same person.


0:50:31.4 Jacob Rudolph: Mm-hmm.


0:50:33.9 Adam Girtz: Man, so I think it just goes to show you, I think everybody needs that person or that group of people that's going to be there to support them. And I think, something that's helped me, is to support others, to reach out and to be that support person for someone else has helped me come to terms with the things that I've struggled with in my life as well. I appreciate you sharing that story. As we start to get towards the end here, I did want to ask about one more specific parallel between fraternity groups and law enforcement that we wanted to discuss, which was talking about a code of honor. A fraternity chapter, a law enforcement organization. You have a code of honor. You have a mission statement that you live up to.


0:51:33.6 Adam Girtz: And I wanted to talk about where that, where the line between code of honor and holding your brothers or your peers accountable, crosses the line into a code of silence and maybe protecting one of your own when they do something they shouldn't and face I guess a public outcry or anything else, where does that line come in? And how can a group avoid getting to that place? 


0:52:05.7 Jacob Rudolph: Yeah. So when you're in college, understandably, it's hard... I think it's more difficult to get beyond the fact that when you're dealing with close friends, that you need to really hold people accountable, especially if you're looking at a situation where your really good friend may owe the chapter, for sake of argument, five or $10,000 in back money, owed to the chapter for rent or something like that, but he's your really good friend. What are you going to do? Are you going to send in the paperwork to put a registration hold on his student account or are you just going to let it slide and not possibly let the Chapter Housing Corporation make their mortgage payment because of that missed payment? What are you going to do? That's a difficult choice.


0:53:22.3 Adam Girtz: Yeah.


0:53:24.3 Jacob Rudolph: But at the same time, fraternity is a business operation as well. When it comes to things in law enforcement, like I alluded to you earlier, sometimes the cover-up is worse than the crime. So all of us understand that, am I going to give another cop a speeding ticket? Probably not. Am I going to give my mom a speeding ticket? No, but at the same time, am I going to arrest you for DWI or for domestic assault? Yeah, that's going to happen. Certain things I'm not going to breach my moral character for. I'm not going to risk my job, my mortgage, my family to save you because you did something dumb. It's just not going to happen. And like I said earlier, once you lose your honor and integrity, it's gone and you've lost it and it's probably gone forever. So don't lose something when you're young, that's going to take you years and years and years to get back.


0:54:45.5 Jacob Rudolph: And if you are a chapter officer and you become embattled in a crisis, if it's an overdose or a death or an alcohol poisoning or some serious injury, accident occurs, you need to either choose to cooperate with whoever's investigating that, whether it's the police or campus authorities or whoever, or just invoke your right to silence, and I'm totally in favor of that too. That's your constitutional right, do that, but do not under any circumstances ever, ever, ever, ever lie to cover up what occurred.


0:55:20.8 Drew Logsdon: Yeah, I think the big takeaway I got from there Jacob, and I'm glad you said it, was the cover-up is worse than the truth, and it always will be, right? And I think, when we're chapter officers, it's almost like... I think of it this way, if you were a business consultant, and someone brought you in to consult a business, and that business was lying to me. Like you said, Jacob, I can't trust you. I can't trust that you're going to do the things you need to do to get better, I can't trust that you're going to turn this around, I can't trust that when you say you're going to do X, Y and Z, you're actually going to do it, and so why even bother with work? But if you go into a business and you're consulting them and they say, "Hey man, we are completely backwards on everything." Like, "We recognize our faults and we will own them, and we will embrace the embarrassment and or shame that comes with it, and the comeuppance with it, but we need help." That's who you can work with.


0:56:33.7 Jacob Rudolph: Mm-hmm.


0:56:34.0 Drew Logsdon: And I'm sure, Jacob, you probably see that in your work with the community as well too, right? There are people who want to own their problems, and that's totally different than people who don't want to own them and delay things or what have you, because it never works out in the end either.


0:56:53.7 Jacob Rudolph: No, it doesn't.


0:56:53.9 Drew Logsdon: Yeah.


0:56:56.7 Adam Girtz: Yeah. [chuckle]


0:56:56.8 Adam Girtz: Well, and it's building blocks too, right? It's... If, say, you're talking about a fairly significant thing, like a member that owes multiple thousands of dollars to the organization, that was built one missed payment at a time, right? So it's almost like before you get to $5,000 or $10,000 in debt with the organization that, there was somebody, the treasurer let him off with, "Oh, okay. Well, you can miss dues this time, and you can miss dues this time, and you can miss dues this time." And all of a sudden you're in this deep hole, right? The same might be true for a law enforcement agency, right? Like if you allow someone to fudge paperwork on something small, and it's like, "Well, nobody's ever really going to find out, that's not a big deal." but then all of a sudden there's been built up a pattern of, "Well, if I can get away with this, I can get away with this." And that's where that honor, a code of honor comes in for an organization, right? And that's... I've told my chapters this, right? Like you need to get it right the first time. Get it right every time, and you can slowly or you can very quickly slip into that. That slippery slope, right? 


0:58:15.4 Jacob Rudolph: Yeah, exactly.


0:58:17.2 Adam Girtz: Awesome. Well, Brother Rudolph, Jacob, I really appreciate you coming on.


0:58:23.5 Jacob Rudolph: Yeah, man.


0:58:24.0 Adam Girtz: It's been great getting to talk to you. Very insightful into the... What it's been like this last year for you, and I really appreciate you being vulnerable with us and your sharing some of those stories, those experiences that you've had. It's really valuable for us and for our listeners. So thank you for coming on.


0:58:44.8 Jacob Rudolph: I appreciate it. Thanks for having me. You talked about just briefly, having folks to talk to. My outlet isn't just law enforcement people. Cops, generally tend to migrate towards cops, I got two very good friends who are still from the chapter, Mark Peterson and Matt German, and they're coming over to my place this weekend and we're going to grill up some good steaks, some good Wagyu steaks this weekend and...


0:59:15.3 Drew Logsdon: Nice.


0:59:15.7 Adam Girtz: Nice. Delicious.


0:59:17.6 Jacob Rudolph: Have a good time. So yeah, well I'm looking forward to it, so...


0:59:21.9 Drew Logsdon: Excellent.


0:59:22.6 Adam Girtz: Well, good, it's cool to hear that those bonds of brotherhood lasting through.


0:59:26.0 Drew Logsdon: Yeah. Absolutely.


0:59:27.9 Jacob Rudolph: Exactly.


0:59:28.1 Drew Logsdon: And thank you for your service Jacob.


0:59:30.0 Jacob Rudolph: Appreciate it.


0:59:30.6 Drew Logsdon: In public service, yeah.


0:59:31.3 Adam Girtz: Yeah. Thanks for doing what you do. Yeah.


0:59:34.3 Drew Logsdon: Yeah. Alrighty, well, I think that wraps it up here, Jacob, and we'll talk to you again, hopefully soon.


0:59:40.6 Jacob Rudolph: Sounds great, thank you.


[Transition Music]


1:00:06.7 Adam Girtz: Alright, welcome back, everyone. We hope you enjoyed our interview with Brother Jacob Rudolph. I loved that interview, I was... It was a very interesting topic. I'm a huge fan of the concept of honor and how it drives group behavior, and how you can kind of socially engineer... I would always talk to chapters about how you can kind of hack the code of your group, by setting up what is incentivized, what is... What behavior is checked by the group. Right? And that concept of honor and how it drives us, always has been super interesting to me, so to discuss that with somebody who's experienced a lot of it in a lot of different places, was very interesting. And then just hearing his experience during the last year and a half, two years, was also very, very interesting for me. Drew, thoughts? 


1:01:06.1 Drew Logsdon: Yeah, no, agreed, and I think I was most blown away by him sharing his experience as a law enforcement officer, as a detective, I think... And especially as we talk about the concept of honor, how much... In this world, we have high trust positions. When you dial 911 and you need help, that's a high trust position, and this is apropos, because we're recording this on September 9th, just a few days from the, hard to believe, 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, right? And when you call on those people, those are the people that you have a high trust in, that they're going to come to your rescue, that they're going to run into trouble, run into the fray, and the same thing with doctors and nurses, and there's people out there. It goes on to the people who manage your money, your CPAs, your financial managers, but these high trust positions, really what we can return them as high honorable demand positions, you demand a high sense of honor in these positions.


1:02:18.9 Drew Logsdon: And I think as we talked in the interview a little bit... Sigma Nu, and I've always said this, isn't... Sigma Nu is not the singular solution to a lot of the problems in our nation or our society at large, it is a big piece of that solution though, because we are fundamentally committed to developing ethical leaders and developing men with a high sense of honor. And we need more of that, we need more people who are willing to call strikes, strikes, call balls, balls. You know? Know what's wrong, what's right. And I think more importantly, we're in demand of people who not only choose the right over the wrong, but are willing to address the person next to them when they choose the wrong, and that's significant. And so, I'm not saying that there are not bad apples in every barrel of fruit, but having people committed to honor is a big thing, and it's something we need more of. And I tell you this much, and you guys know this, we all know this, we're young professionals and many of our alumni listening know this. If you're a collegiate student listening to this, the best thing that you can do for your long-term career success, your family success, your personal success, is to have a high sense of honor and be committed to that, because you do something dishonorable, and it's like taking 15 steps back, right? You've eroded that trust, and so how do you rebuild that? But yeah, I thought it was great.


1:03:54.9 Adam Girtz: Absolutely.


1:03:55.5 Christopher Brenton: Yeah. Obviously, didn't get the chance to be a part of the interview, but as I mentioned at the top of the podcast, I think it's really exciting that we get the opportunity to engage with alumni and collegiate members to get them to talk about our values. As a staff member, we do that all day and sometimes maybe to the complaints [chuckle] of those that we interact with, but I think it's really cool when we get to hear from alumni who can connect that thread from what they... With the values that they developed and they really centered on as a collegiate member and how that has impacted their career post-college. So it's really exciting to hear from Jacob and to be able to share his message and kind of fuse his experiences with our listeners'.


1:04:43.2 Drew Logsdon: Yeah, the benefit of the Sigman experience, right, there's... I don't know of any, and I'm sure there are, but there's probably very few college courses out there on honor, right? At least ones that really focus on it for four years, at least.


1:05:00.9 Adam Girtz: Yeah, we might not be the only solution, but I look at it as our... The work that we do, and the work that the Sigma Nus that have come before us have done, have helped to build and maintain a network of young men and then alumni who are dedicated to these central values that we hold, and by expanding that network and that influence and by living those values, I think that's one way that we can affect a lot of people. So I think that's definitely a positive effect organizations like ourselves can have on the greater scheme of things.


1:05:44.9 Drew Logsdon: Yeah.


1:05:45.0 Adam Girtz: Well, wonderful interview, one of many... Of many past and of many, many to come. So thank you guys, thanks for... Thanks for being here with me and recording some bumpers, hanging out, talking about our wonderful, wonderful fraternity.


1:06:07.4 Drew Logsdon: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.


1:06:07.6 Christopher Brenton: Absolutely.


1:06:08.7 Drew Logsdon: And then as... I guess as my last time on this podcast, Adam and Chris, I motion to close, all in favor? 


1:06:18.8 Adam Girtz: Do we have a second? 


1:06:20.1 Drew Logsdon: Do we have a second? I guess we need a second, yeah.


1:06:21.6 Adam Girtz: Do we have a second? 


1:06:22.4 Drew Logsdon: I've been gone all of four weeks and I've forgotten parliamentary procedure. [laughter]


1:06:26.1 Christopher Brenton: Yeah, I second the motion.


1:06:28.6 Adam Girtz: The motion to close has been properly moved and seconded, Brother Drew you have the floor.


1:06:34.6 Drew Logsdon: All in favor? 


1:06:35.1 Adam Girtz: Aye.


1:06:35.9 Christopher Brenton: Aye. [chuckle]


1:06:37.0 Christopher Brenton: Excellent, well guys thank you so much for having me here and I look forward to hanging up here and becoming an avid listener of The Gavel Podcast under your wise stewardship so, alright.


1:06:51.4 Adam Girtz: And closed. Queue gavel sound bite.


1:06:55.0 Drew Logsdon: Yeah. [chuckle] See you all later.


[Outro Music]