Sunday, April 13, 2014

This Week in SigEp Patriot History, VOL 6-14, 07 – 13 April

“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.
~ President Harry S. Truman during a joint session of Congress on 16 April 1945

Greetings from the temporary SigEp Patriots Project (SPP) home office at Fort Bragg, NC. My apologies. The goal for 2014 was to write one edition of this work each week, however, the U.S. military had some plans for me that have been keeping me very busy.

This week, we remember and honor 12 brothers, including two who made the ultimate sacrifice, and one brother who was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Cross (DSC).

10 APR 1926
Service Cross
World War I Veteran and OH Gamma Brother Captain Robert L. Tavenner, U.S. Army died on this date in Columbus, Ohio while serving as an instructor in the Department of Military Science and Tactics at The Ohio State University (OSU). Brother Tavenner was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Ohio Army National Guard in 1917, and subsequently assigned to the 37th Division of the American Expeditionary Force.

Soon after arriving in the European Theater, he selflessly led his men while performing heroic acts for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) – the highest award presented by the U.S. Army second only to the Medal of Honor.

The SPP archives show that Brother Tavenner is one of five SigEp Patriots to be awarded one or more DSCs.

Robert attended the College of Arts at OSU where he was also in the Corps of Cadets. He graduated in 1908.

Respect can be paid to Brother Tavenner at Mound View Cemetery, Mount Vernon, Ohio.

13 APR 1945
On this date, during Operation VICTOR II, World War II Veteran and OK Alpha Brother First Lieutenant Frank M. Pinney, U. S. Army was serving with the 182nd Infantry Battalion of the Americal Division when he made the ultimate sacrifice near Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines.

In MAY 1941, Brother Pinney received a reserve commission in the U.S. Army upon his graduation with a degree in Aeronautics Administration, and was shipped overseas in SEP 1943. He was assigned to the 182nd as the Battalion Supply Officer.

Brother Pinney's Purple Heart Certificate
and a letter of condolence from President Truman
On 13 APR 1945, during a battle on Hill 260, First Lieutenant Pinney volunteered to lead a "carrying party" up Hill 260 in order to refit a rifle company engaged with the enemy and in desperate need of re-supply. While slugging his way up a trail, his party was ambushed and he was and killed instantly by a Japanese machine gun.

For his actions on this date he was posthumously awarded his second Bronze Star.

Frank became a SigEp during his three years at Oklahoma A & M (now Oklahoma State University), where he was also a member of the Pershing Rifles, Scabbard and Blade, and the Aggie Society.

Frank is memorialized alongside other patriotic citizens of Oklahoma on the website for The Oklahoma Veteran’s Memorial Gardens, Oklahoma’s War Dead, World War II Years 1941 to 1945.(

Respect can be paid to Brother Pinney at Rose Hill Memorial Park, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fraternities & Sororities Take A Stand Against Homophobia

This is a sensible, no drama look at several responses to members being honest about their sexual orientation. Several fraternities and sororities are represented.

Thanks to Garry Kief for finding this and sharing on Facebook.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Making those old friends new again

Good press in a student newspaper. Congratulations to the EIU SigEps on winning the Airband and Greek Sing event. Click the link for the full article.

Column: Making those old friends new again - The Daily Eastern News: Opinion:
I can only imagine how members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity felt on Monday morning. After all, they came out this past weekend as victors of Airband and Greek Sing. I’m sure they didn't just high five each other and hit the sack early for a good night’s rest for Monday classes.

These are all assumptions of course, but in case they went out and had some fun, it was completely deserved.

These two events are not just gigs that you cram for over night. I’m not going to start a Rocky pump up speech on how much blood, sweat, and tears members of the Greek community mustered, but give these guys and gals some credit.

Events like these require planning, collaboration, and loads of practice. In order to win, you need to hit every cue, every step, and every note. In this case, is which the members of Sig Ep did this past weekend.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Wall Street pipeline fraternity snubbed by JPMorgan for excessive hazing rituals

SAE fraternity announced their no-pledging directive on the same day JP Morgan decided to stop doing business with them.

The bank, which has said it would pay more than $23 billion to resolve regulatory and criminal investigations, has cut ties since last year with about 2,000 clients that could attract scrutiny.  In February, JPMorgan said that it was reconsidering the relationship with SAE to avoid tarnishing its reputation.

A cynic would say "It's all about the Benjamins". A more charitable person might conclude the build-up of unsavory news stories caused misgivings both internal and external. Read the article and decide for yourself.
Wall Street pipeline fraternity snubbed by JPMorgan for excessive hazing rituals | Financial Post:

Brad Cohen, National President of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity, has been championing the elimination of hazing rituals at the 158-year-old fraternity, but faces stiff opposition from traditionalists.Early this month, JPMorgan Chase & Co. stopped managing an investment account for a prominent client: the charitable foundation of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, one of the nation’s largest fraternities.

The bank was concerned about SAE’s bad publicity, according to Anthony Alberico, a JPMorgan vice president who dealt with the foundation. SAE has had 10 deaths linked to drinking, drugs and hazing since 2006, more than any other fraternity.

“If JPMorgan is going to turn us down, who’s next?” said Bradley Cohen, SAE’s national president. “What if universities start saying SAE’s not welcome?”

The snub by the largest U.S. bank validated a startling decision that Cohen, seeking to protect future members, had already reached. On March 7, the same day JPMorgan formally cut ties with the fraternity, the 51-year-old Cohen announced an end to one of SAE’s defining traditions: pledging, the months-long initiation where recruits sometimes fall prey to brutal hazing. The move catapulted Cohen into national prominence and drew criticism from alumni such as Texas oilman-turned-investor T. Boone Pickens. SAE became one of only a handful of 75 national fraternities to eliminate pledging.

“How much longer can we sustain these losses — loss of life, loss of credibility to those who join and drop out because they were lied to, loss of valuable resources and loss of our reputation as leaders and as true gentlemen,” Cohen told SAE brothers this month at the University of La Verne in California during his first public address since the announcement.
In this edition of Training in Ten we begin our series on better understanding the student conduct process.  In part 1 of this series, Student Affairs professionals Dr. Carrie Whittier, Suzette Walden Cole and Brian Tenclinger, Renaissance Louisiana State, talk through both the mission and purpose of a conduct office on a college campus, how a campus conduct process differs from an outside legal process, and whether parents or lawyers can be present and participate in the conduct process. 

The second part of this panel discussion will dive into how students and chapters simultaneously and successfully manage pending criminal or civil litigation while still participating in their campus conduct process and then each panelist will share best practices with our volunteers on how to better support our men and our chapters through a conduct hearing.  This webisode series is a must watch for any volunteer who is directly advising any of our SigEp chapters.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Sigma Phi Epsilon Balanced Man Fellowship to fund soccer field in Uganda | Columbia Daily Spectator

Sigma Phi Epsilon Balanced Man Fellowship to fund soccer field in Uganda | Columbia Daily Spectator:

Vivek Ramakrishnan, CC ’16, is the second Columbian to join a group of balanced men.

At a small ceremony held in Low Library on Saturday, Sigma Phi Epsilon—of which Ramakrishnan is not a member—awarded him a $3,500 Balanced Man Fellowship grant to build a soccer field in the town of Mpigi, Uganda.
BALANCING ACT Mechanical engineering professor Mike Massimino 
was at Saturday's Balanced Man ceremony, where Sigma Phi Epsilon awarded 
Vivek Ramakrishnan, CC ’16, a $3,500 grant to build a soccer field in Uganda. 
“I’m really happy and I’m really relieved to have gotten this grant,” Ramakrishnan said, adding that the money will allow him to purchase the land for the soccer field right away. “The cost of land fluctuates a lot in that region, so if we had to buy the land a year from now it might cost twice as much.”

Ramakrishnan began collecting soccer equipment from around his hometown of Madison, Wis., in high school to donate to organizations that would distribute the equipment in Africa. He eventually started his own nonprofit, Pass It On Soccer, which collects and sends donated soccer equipment from the United States to Uganda.

Despite having to step back from running Pass It On Soccer since coming to Columbia, Ramakrishnan said he’s excited to continue his work in Uganda.

This is the second year that SigEp has awarded a $3,500 Balanced Man Fellowship after reforming the program in 2013. The fellowship uses alumni donations to help fund a student-organized philanthropic project each year. Last year’s winner, Josh Fram, CC ’16, used the money to purchase indoor rowing machines for a camp for mentally disabled athletes in his hometown of Lawrenceville, NJ.

Alex Carames, CC ’16 and SigEp’s vice president of philanthropy, said the fraternity received 11 applications for the grant this year.

“It was hard to choose between the finalists because we had so many great projects, but [Vivek’s] ultimately hit the closest to home in terms of our goals and values, and in terms of having the greatest impact on the most people,” he said at Saturday’s event.

“Every single person here tonight knows that these values encourage fraternity men to strive to make a difference in our community,” SigEp President Alexander Felsberg, CC ’15, said at the ceremony. “Every single person who has given this organization their time and effort has seen how it’s changed their lives.”

Felsberg added that he hoped the fellowship would help bridge the gap between the Greek community and the rest of campus.

“This grant is by far one of the greatest examples of the way Greek life has a positive impact on the Columbia campus,” Felsberg said.

This year’s grant is especially significant to the fraternity as it marks the 15th anniversary of SigEp’s chapter at Columbia.

“It really shows how the organization has grown substantially over time,” SigEp alumnus Tom Russell, CC ’09, said. “We give back more with each passing year.” 

“It’s important that frats get a chance to show their good side,” Russell added. “This really helps the fraternity give back to the community.”                         

“Part of the DNA of SigEp is to help others,” Sam Arora, CC ’03, said. “That’s why it’s both remarkable and yet not at all surprising to see such a significant investment going toward helping a community in need.”

SigEp: The Life Arizona State University

Arizona State University (AZ Alpha) SigEp recruitment video
Spring 2014 series of notable videos

SigEp NJ Zeta Rush Spring 2014

Rider University (NJ Zeta) SigEp recruitment video
Spring 2014 series of notable videos

SigEp Official Spring Rush TSU

Truman State University SigEp recruitment video
Spring 2014 series of notable videos

USD Sigma Phi Epsilon Spring 2014 Recruitment Video

University of San Diego (CA BB) Recruitment video Spring 2014
Spring 2014 series of notable videos

Friday, March 21, 2014

Student initiated to fraternity from hospital room

All college fraternities claim to have "Brotherhood." Here is how one Phi Kappa Tau chapter showed theirs.

The Guardian : Student initiated to fraternity from hospital room:

Bethany Foureman , Contributing Writer
March 19, 2014
Filed under Top StoriesWright Life - See more at:

Wright State student Abdelrahman Mohamed spent his spring break recovering after suffering a brain aneurysm that left him hospitalized for two weeks. Unsure of what the post-surgery results would be, his fraternity Phi Kappa Tau decided to initiate him in his hospital room.

On February 11, Mohamed was rushed to the hospital via ambulance after experiencing a severe headache in the dorms.

“I had an unusual pain in my head,” Mohammed said.  “It was so painful that I was on the ground holding my head from pain.  I figured that was not just a headache and something was wrong.”

Upon arrival at Kettering Medical Center, he learned that he had suffered from a brain aneurysm.  The doctors performed surgery, but the procedure failed, leaving him in the intensive care unit.  Following the procedure he was given a 50/50 percent chance of surviving a second operation.

Mohamed is from Egypt and said he found a home away from home when he joined Phi Kappa Tau fraternity at Wright State.  His brothers filled the waiting room during his entire hospital stay.

One of the nurses asked Mohamed how long he had known the boys in the waiting area.  His response was that he had only known them for one semester at school.  The nurse could not believe how close he had become with these guys after just one semester and that he considered them his family.

“It was more than amazing having my fraternity brothers and all the Greeks support, I even introduced my fraternity to the doctors as my family when they asked.  I didn't even call my real family back home because I knew these guys got my back.”

When Mohamed entered the hospital he had not yet been initiated into Phi Kappa Tau and was still considered an associate member.  The fraternity got permission from their National President Steve Nelson to initiate him while he was in the hospital.

The initiation took place prior to Mohamed’s second surgery.

“Regardless of the outcome of the surgery, we wanted AB to be a full brother of Phi Kappa Tau,” Phi Kappa Tau President, Andrew Dover said.

When Mohamed found out he was going to be initiated in the hospital, he was thrilled.

“It was so sweet, I could barely remember what they told me but I remember getting so excited that my blood pressure kept getting high and that they had to stop many times so the nurse could come in and fix it up,” Mohamed said.

Mohamed’s second surgery was a success and his family was able to arrive in the U.S. a couple hours after.  He not only received support from his fraternity, but the whole Greek community as well.  Wright State’s Greek community raised $775 dollars to give to the family of Mohamed to relieve some of their travel expenses.

Mohamed also received numerous cards and hospital visits from members of other fraternities and sororities at Wright State.  On March 9, he went around to chapter meetings to thank everyone for their support.

“I want to thank all of you for supporting me, I greatly appreciate it,” Mohamed said at a Kappa Delta meeting. “I also want you to know that if you guys ever need anything, I’ll be there for you.”

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Training In 10 - Balanced Man Program part II

In this week's webisode SigEp's Balanced Man Program Director, Kyle Sutton, Cincinnati '12, continues our series on the basics of the Balanced Man Program. (Click the image to get started)

Last week he covered the Philosophy of the program and this week he walks us through the People and the Process.  

Please be sure to send any questions you have about the Balanced Man Program to

Get your major chapter event in the SigEp Journal

Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity
Is your chapter holding a large alumni event or anniversary celebration?

For our spring issue of the Journal, we want to include as many major alumni events as we can under the "Save the Date" section.
If you have an event that will occur between May 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014, please email by Monday, March 24, with the following information:
  • Name and date of your event.
  • A web address or contact with email for RSVPs or additional information.       
If you would like to have your chapter's alumni event profiled with an article in the Journal or on The SigEp Blog, please email with the contact information for a confident writer who can draft an article and take or obtain photos.
Once you provide confirmation of your celebration date and a contact, we will follow up to provide more guidance on the article and photos.
Celebrations will be considered for the Journal depending on the space and timing of submissions.
The following chapters have a milestone anniversary during the next academic year. If you have information on these events, please let us know at
2014-2015 Anniversaries

Lawrence, Wisconsin Alpha, February 17, 2015
Pennsylvania State, May 8, 2015

Wake Forest, April 19, 1940

Cleveland State, November 21, 1964
Michigan Tech, May 8, 1965
Nebraska-Kearney, May 15, 1965
Thank you!


Jan Brammer
Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Arizona State presidential candidate: Jonathan Cole

Click the link for the full article.

A.S. presidential candidate: Jonathan Cole | The Daily Aztec:
Cole is affiliated with Sigma Phi Epsilon, Rotaract and the Business Honors Program. He is also part of the Student African American Brotherhood, Black Business Society, FratMANers and Sports Business Initiative.
Cole said he has a vision for San Diego State and plans to unify the university by making sure all student voices are heard.

Photo by Monica Linzmeier,  Photo Editor“My biggest goal is reengaging student groups on campus who feel like they have lost their identity with Associated Students,” Cole said. “Those students were a core of A.S. and brought a lot of great ideas. “
In addition to rebuilding bonds with student groups, he also plans to engage other facets of campus, such as ROTC members and athletes, who have not previously been involved with A.S.
Cole said he has shadowed the past three A.S. presidents, which has helped him develop ideas.
He plans to utilize designee positions to boards for campus club leaders to represent their organizations and build a stronger A.S. Cole also wants to establish monthly meetings with departments across campus to encourage student participation.
“In the past, we’ve had these designee spots. They’re really supposed to serve as a liaison for these executive officers,” Cole said. “We just need a little bit more follow up and reflection.”
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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Fraternities continue to follow in SigEp’s footsteps

Embedded video is a VP Communication's dream.
Fraternities continue to follow in SigEp’s footsteps:

Brothers at Southeast Missouri State spoke with a local CBS affiliate about the future of fraternitiesSigma Alpha Epsilon is the most recent fraternity to follow SigEp’s lead and replace pledging with a better fraternity experience.
On Friday, March 7, 2014, Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) became the most recent fraternity to replace pledging with single-tier membership. The news came as part of more sweeping changes that introduced a new, member development program: The True Gentleman Experience.
SAE’s True Gentleman Experience is based on “five cornerstones” that are similar to SigEp’s own philosophical tenets, elements that have been central to the Fraternity’s Balanced Man Program (BMP) since its inception in 1992.
SAE’s True Gentleman Experience is based on “five cornerstones” that are similar to SigEp’s own philosophical tenets.
SAE’s new program, the True Gentleman Experience, is being supported by a 43-page training manual, which introduces the program’s five cornerstones. These cornerstones, and the program at-large, mirror SigEp’s Balanced Man Program, its philosophical tenets, and its own 46-page manual, the Balanced Man Program Guide.

Recent Bloomberg and Insider Higher Education articles recognized SigEp as an early adopter of single-tier membership and continuous development. When SigEp first launched the Balanced Man Program, it represented a drastic departure from more familiar pledge programs as it sought to combat stereotypes associated with Greek life and return SigEp’s focus to its founding values. But in the two decades since the BMP’s launch, many fraternities have attempted to replicate the program.
SAE is the fifth member of the North-American Interfraternity Conference to remove pledging (along with SigEp, Lambda Chi Alpha, Alpha Gamma Rho, and Zeta Beta Tau), but several more, including Beta Theta Pi and Delta Upsilon, have adopted member development programs that share SigEp’s strong anti-hazing stance and emphasis on continuous development. Today, universities are demanding that fraternities evolve and adopt similar programs.
While SigEp’s transition was voted on by undergraduates and has been demand-driven since its inception, news of SAE’s own reform came as a surprise to many members when it was announced on Friday. Response from SAE members on their Facebook page shows that the fraternity will need to work to create buy in with alumni-volunteers and undergraduate brothers who must execute the program for it to succeed.  
One Facebook comment from an SAE alumnus expressed concern about the way the changes were rolled out, “to effectively change national policy without a vote, by effectively enacting a change by what amounts to an executive order... isn't the right way handle things, in my opinion.”
Still, other SAE alumni voiced support for the change, “I am very proud of our council. They had to know this move would be unpopular. This decision took the courage we wanted to see in the leaders of SAE when we elected them.”
SAE’s announcement that it will become the most recent fraternity to move in this direction creates new opportunities for SigEp to lead the Greek community. Many of SigEp’s chapters have already responded to SAE’s announcement with excitement, offering assistance to SAE chapters on their campuses. SigEp’s two-decade head start provides SAE with case studies and resources that will be helpful as they seek to implement a new development model.
Brothers at Southeast Missouri State spoke with a local CBS affiliate about the future of fraternities, a future that looks a lot like what SigEp has been doing for more than twenty years. Vice President of Communications T.J. Weber told reporters, “We call our guys new members as a blatant thing of respect.” He offered encouragement for other chapters on campus who might be considering a similar change, sharing that SigEp’s Balanced Man Program, and its emphasis on equal rights and responsibilities, “gives you more of that feeling of brotherhood.”

A Major Fraternity Bans Pledging

The video founder's day address by Brandon Weghorst, spokesperson for Sigma Alpha Epsilon. He discusses the proposed changes to their membership process.

The Brian Lehrer Show: A Major Fraternity Bans Pledging - WNYC:


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Sunday, March 09, 2014

Training in 10: "Time with the NBD"

Since not all of our volunteers are able to attend a Carlson Leadership Academy or Conclave we decided to bring the "Time with the NBD session" to you! In this  week's edition of Training in Ten, National Board members Daniel McVeigh, Texas Wesleyan '90, and Marshall Miller, Valparaiso ‘14 and special guest host  Seth Irby, Louisiana State '11, answer questions that were submitted by SigEp's members and volunteers.