Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lets Change Fraternity Culture Regarding Sexual Assault

As an organization SigEp has focused on the concept of "Sound Mind; Sound Body" for the last several years. That is now part of our core. Our academic progress across all chapters has been amazing since grades became something we measure. SigEp has also made great strides in the areas of diversity and inclusion is a relatively short time.

Now it's time for SigEp as an organization to address another negative stereotype about "Frat Boys" - sexual assault. And by "address" I mean more than scary stories in a risk management presentation.

We need to remember that "Virtue" is also a Cardinal Principle.We are instructed to "behave with decency as befits the day." Even - perhaps especially - when alcohol is involved. Lets work toward actively promoting Virtue as a SigEp quality.

How shall we move toward a culture that does not accept this type of behavior? Can we consciously build an atmosphere in out chapters where "this is NOT what SigEp does" is communicated from the national level, to the local volunteer level, to chapter leadership, and to the members? I asked these questions at the Ft. Worth "Volunteer Drive-In Training" session last week. The response I got was "You are the word junky, How would you craft the message?"

Fair enough. If you complain you get to volunteer. So here is what I think:
  • From the top down, the message about sexual assault should be "This is not accepted SigEp behavior." A balanced man does not assault his date, or his 'new friend', "I plead drunken stupor" is not an excuse. 
  • It's no longer 'cool' to slut-shame someones daughter.  
  • If fighting is a standards board offence, then sexual assault belongs there too. Yes, that would mean you could get penalized or even kicked out. 
  • We get lots of scary cases and 'what ifs' during the inevitable Sexual assault portion of risk management presentations. How about making a positive case for acting like a gentleman? Add more "act like this" to all the "don't do that."
  • Find a way to measure and reward positive behavior. This could be tough since we are talking more about the absence of bad actions, but maybe some of the professionals could suggest metrics.
That should be enough to get the discussion started. Lets hear from you now. Pro, con, too far out, not drastic enough? Have at it.

Here is a link to the article that had the video attached:
Fraternity Culture Linked To College Sexual Assault Problem | KPBS:

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Chapter Size and the "Dunbar Number"

I saw this article in "The New Yorker" and it  got me thinking about chapter size and how 'effective' the college fraternity experience is. The Dunbar number? Generally speaking it is the number of people you call "friends". The article goes into it with more nuance, but lets call it 150 for now.

For years I have maintained (based only on anecdotal observation) that the minimum size of a good chapter is 50 men. Fewer that that and the chapter struggles to fill the operational positions for exec and the support areas.There is also difficulty managing finances (with the inevitable slow- and non-payers). and even fielding competitive intramural teams.

In reading this article I am led to consider whether there is an upward limit as well. Can you really have a full-on 'brotherhood' experience with more than 150 fellow chapter members? Perhaps there s a risk that a 150+ sized chapter will effectively split into multiple "sub-chapters" - groups who stick together and have independent agendas, even to the detriment of stated overall chapter goals and strategic vision. I know there are some 200+ member chapters. How do you keep it real?

Take a look at the article and share your experience and thoughts about it. Did you belong to a large "Sigma Phi Everyone" chapter, or a large chapter of another fraternity? How well did the experience work out. Was your chapter a smaller (100 or less) size? How effectively did you get to know all your brothers and did you work well together?

I'm not purposely leaving out sororities either. However, I suspect that there will be differences based on the presence or absence of a "Y" chromosome. I'd like to hear about it if only to show the contrast. Too many degrees of freedom and the examination gets unwieldy for this non-social scientist.

Lets hear your viewpoint. Comment either on the blog, Google+, or Facebook. I am hoping for some interesting discussion.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Last Week in SigEp Patriot History, Volume 27 / 2014, 08 – 15 SEP


During the U.S. naval blockade of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis, who was the Secretary of the Navy? A SigEp Patriot, that’s who! 

In addition to that Brother, the SigEp Patriots Project (SPP) honors and remembers 19 SigEp Patriots from nearly as many chapters, including one brother who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II.

In addition to the significant days in our history during this week, it is very important to remember that September is Suicide Awareness Month. Considering making a donation to where two-time Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran and Michigan Eta Brother Captain Justin Fitch, U.S. Army is highlighted speaking to the fact that 22 veterans a day commit suicide.

Please note the upcoming memorial for the North Carolina Beta brother who recently passed away.

09 SEP 1942
Bernard Kumo entered the U.S. Navy on this date. We found his name in an edition of The Journal, however the national headquarters has “Kumko” as his last name. Bernard became a brother at Virginia Eta at the conclusion of his military service, and his return to the University of Virginia where he graduated with the Class of ‘44.

08 SEP 1944
World War II Veteran and Kansas Gamma Brother Second Lieutenant Raymond L. Childers, U.S. Army was released from the military on this date after about 15 months of service.

13 SEP 1944
World War II Veteran and UT Alpha Brother Lieutenant Paul Pratt Reeder, U.S. Navy made the ultimate sacrifice on this date. Brother Reeder was a pilot with VT-22 off of the USS Cowpens (CVL-25) when he was killed in action when his TBM-1C (Avenger) crashed during the bombing of Negros Island, The Philippines. 

He entered the Naval Air Corps in OCT 1941, and was commissioned JUL 1942 in Corpus Christi, TX. Before he was killed Paul had participated in four major battles against the Japanese.

Brother Reeder was laid to rest with military honors at Smithfield City Cemetery in Smithfield, UT, and respect can be paid to him there at Plot C-41-10.

Friday, September 12, 2014

We Remember SigEp Patriots

[My apologies for the late post. This was scheduled to post at 8:30am East Coast Time yesterday - about 20 minutes prior to when the first plane hit the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001]


The SigEp Patriots Project (SPP) honors the lives, accomplishments and sacrifices of the following Brothers by remembering them on the 13th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11. May they rest in peace.

SigEp Patriots Killed in Action Since 9/11:
Texas Rho Brother Kim Orlando, KIA: 16 OCT 2003, Karbala, Iraq
Georgia Delta Brother Bradley “Dad” Arms, KIA: 19 NOV 2004, Al Anbar Province, Iraq
New York Eta Brother Jacob “Puck” Pfister, KIA: 19 APR 2005, Baghdad, Iraq
Georgia Delta Brother Noah Harris, KIA: 18 JUN 2005, Baqubah, Iraq
Florida Epsilon Brother William Wood, KIA: 27 OCT 2005, Baghdad, Iraq
Louisiana Delta Brother Matthew Barnes, KIA: 14 FEB 2006, Qa’im, Iraq
Ohio Kappa Brother Norman Tollett, KIA: 28 APR 2007, Baghdad, Iraq
Tennessee Theta Brother Jonathan Dozier, KIA: 09 JAN 2008, Sinsil, Iraq
Tennessee Kappa Brother Israel “Izzy” O’Bryan, KIA: 11 JUN 2010, Jalula, Iraq
Tennessee Eta Brother Joshua Lawrence, KIA: 08 OCT 2011, Kandahar City, Afghanistan

The following SigEp Patriots were also killed while in the service of our country overseas since the start of the global war on terrorism:
Tennessee Theta Brother Kenneth Ballard, 30 MAY 2004, Iraq
Tennessee Alpha Brother Joseph “Trane” McCloud, 04 DEC 2006, Iraq

SPP pledges that these men and their service will always be remembered.

Anyone interested in additional information about these brave men please drop me an email.

Fraternally and Respectfully,

Brother Ed Jones, NY Eta '96
Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy Reserve
Founder, SigEp Patriots Project

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Last Week in SigEp Patriot History, Volume 26 / 2014, 01 – 07 SEP


The first day of this week marked the 75th anniversary of the start of World War II, a war that would shape the world. The SigEp Patriots Project (SPP) works tirelessly to learn about all of our military brothers, but takes particular interest in the WWII patriots as the VA says they are dying at the rate of 1000 a day. Obituaries are one way to learn about a person. However, I can’t possibly articulate the loss we experience if we fail to learn something about these men and their service from them while they are still alive. A shout out to the men of the California Pi chapter who get it, and are working with the Library of Congress’ Veteran’s History Project to interview veterans living near Stanford University.
WWI U.S. Army
Ambulance Service Patch

01 SEP 1918
This marks the date New Hampshire Alpha Brother Private First Class Charles E. Tayntor, U.S. Army Ambulance Service, Army Medical Corps sailed for France for his World War I service in Europe.

05 SEP 1919
World War I Veteran and Ohio Gamma Brother Captain Robert L. Tavenner, U.S. Army completed his service in Europe with the American Expeditionary Force on this date.

01 SEP 1942
On this date, the same year he became a SigEp, Alabama Alpha Brother William H. Weldon joined the U.S. Navy.

05 SEP 1942
A graduate of the University of Delaware (Class of ’34), Delaware Alpha Brother S. Clifford Dunn entered the Army on this date.

05 SEP 1944
Ohio Epsilon Brother Haldean S. Lindsey, member of the Class of ’34 at Ohio Wesleyan, entered the service of the U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps on this date.

05 SEP 1945
Discharged on this date after nearly 42 months of service was World War II Veteran and District of Columbia Alpha Brother Staff Sergeant Logan P. Crossland, U.S. Army Air Corps (USAAC).

07 SEP 1956
A SigEp Patriot made aviation history on this date.

Bell X-2
Photo Credit Wikipedia

Friday, August 29, 2014

This Week in SigEp Patriot History, Volume 25 / 2014, 25 – 31 AUG


This week the SigEp Patriots Project honors and remembers 20 brothers-in-arms from chapters across the country, including the only Founding Father with military service.

29 AUG 1918
Brother Kerfoot
Photo credit
On this date, Virginia Alpha Brother & Sigma Phi Epsilon Founding Father Chaplain (First Lieutenant) Franklin Webb Kerfoot, U.S. Army Chaplain Corps was killed in a collision of an automobile and a train on the Southern Railway in Chatham, Virginia. Brother Kerfoot had temporarily returned home from Newport News, VA where he was serving as a Baptist chaplain working among the soldiers departing overseas.

He was Class of 1902 at Richmond College and later attended Crozer Theological Seminary. At his memorial service he was remembered as “the most original preacher of his time” and it was stated that God took him to welcome the Soldiers who had “passed on” while on the battlefield.

Respect can be paid to Founding Father Kerfoot at Green Hill Cemetery in Berryville, VA.

30 AUG 1941
Brother Hissem
Just about nine weeks before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Illinois Alpha Brother Joseph M. Hissem received his commission as an Ensign, U.S. Navy Reserve on this date. The Navy trained him to fly and just nine months later he would find himself in the middle of the Battle of Midway – the turning point of the war in the Pacific.

Was he the only SigEp Patriot there? It is unlikely, but he is the only one SPP has found so far. We will keep looking.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

This Week in SigEp Patriot History, Volume 24 / 2014, 18 – 24 AUG

“It may be taken as our position, and the basis of our system, that every man who enjoys the protection of a free government owes not only a portion of his property but even of his personal services in defense of it.” ~ George Washington


Greetings from Afghanistan! This week, the SigEp Patriots Project (SPP) is honored and remember the actions, accomplishments and sacrifices of 21 SigEp Patriots, including two chapter founding fathers, a prisoner of war, and some great news!


19 AUG 1942
On this date in Toledo, Ohio class of ’35 graduate of Ohio Northern University, Ohio Alpha Brother Gerald W. Fling, entered the U.S. Army as a Private and joined the Army Corps of Engineers.

20 AUG 1942
Penn State graduate of the class of ’37, Pennsylvania Eta Brother Jay H. Albere, joined the U.S. Army Air Corps on this date.

21 AUG 1942
New Jersey Alpha Brother Adelphos H. Peters, Class of ’21 at Stevens Institute of Technology, entered the U.S. Navy Reserve on this date. He was originally initiated in to Phi Kappa Pi at Stevens in 1919, and is listed as a charter member of Theta Upsilon Omega when it took over the chapter in 1924. Adelphos became our brother when SigEp established NJ Alpha in 1938.

U.S. Navy photo of USS Tilefish (SS-307)
23 AUG 1944
Following his submarine training, World War II Veteran and Utah Alpha Brother Ensign Karl E. Ward, U.S. Navy reported to USS Tilefish (SS-307) stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Brother Ward joined the Navy in ’42 and served aboard the destroyer USS Boyd (DD-544) until MAR 1944 when he received orders to submarine school in preparation for his assignment aboard Tilefish.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Last Week in SigEp Patriot History, Volume 23 / 2014, 04 – 10 AUG


As I sit here on a U.S. camp in Afghanistan, I recall the other day where I was listening to the stories of patriotic Americans who served at this station before me. It served as a reminder as to why I am involved with the SigEp Patriots Project (SPP) - simply, I believe the brothers who serve/served have stories that need to be told, and that their selfless service to the country needs to be remembered. 

Someone has to tell their story, and SPP looks forward to continuing to do so.

This week, SPP honors, remembers and celebrates the lives, accomplishments and sacrifices of a record 32 SigEp Patriots from 27 chapters serving since World War I, including one brother who was killed in action in Vietnam.

05 AUG 1917
The Ohio State University Class of ’08 graduate and Ohio Gamma Brother Robert L. Tavenner was commissioned an infantry Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army National Guard (Ohio) on this date.

07 AUG 1941
Four months to the day when the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor, Pennsylvania Mu Brother Joseph M. Becker entered the U.S. Navy.

04 AUG 1943
On this date, University of Washington Class of ’39 graduate and Washington Beta Brother Ronald S. Green entered the U.S. Army Air Corps.

09 AUG 1943
Pennsylvania Epsilon Brother Arthur C. Palmer entered the U.S. Army on this date. Arthur was a member of the Class of ’25 at Lehigh University.

10 AUG 1945
World War II Veteran and Delaware Alpha Brother Lieutenant Colonel Gerald H. Kadel, U.S. Army was discharged from his WWII service on this date.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

This Week in SigEp Patriot History, Volume 22 / 2014, 28 JUL – 03 AUG


This week the SigEp Patriots Project (SPP) honors, remembers and celebrates the lives and commitment of 20 SigEp Patriots, including two Congressmen, a WWI fighter ace, Vietnam War prisoner of war, and a brother who made the ultimate sacrifice during WWII.

01 AUG 1918
On this date, World War I Veteran & Ace Fighter Pilot, New York Beta Brother Major James Meissner, U.S. Army Air Corps had his fifth air victory. Brother Meissner was flying his SPAD XIII, and a member of the 147th Aero Squadron during the engagement over Fère-en-Tardenois, France, northeast of Paris.

01 AUG 1941
While Europe was embroiled in war, in America, the call to arms had not been issued yet. Even so, Virginia Alpha Brother Allan Brockenbrough stepped forward, and the University of Richmond Class of ’39 graduate joined the Army on this date.

03 AUG 1941
Seventy-three years ago today, California Beta Brother Richard A. Halpern was commissioned an Ensign, U.S. Navy Reserve.

30 JUL 1943
Samuel D. Mock, Pennsylvania Iota Brother and Muhlenberg College member of the Class of ’31, joined the U.S. Navy on this date.

28 JUL 1944
On this date, World War II Veteran and California Alpha Brother First Lieutenant Edward B. Davis, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps Reserve made the ultimate sacrifice for our country when he was killed while engaging the enemy on Guam, Marianas Islands. For his courageous actions on this date, Brother Davis was posthumously awarded the Silver Star.

Respect can be paid to Brother Davis at Section E, Plot 542, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, HI.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

This Week in SigEp Patriot History, Volume 21 / 2014, 21 – 27 July


This week in our history, the SigEp Patriots Project (SPP) honors a brother killed in action during WWII, and celebrates the service of 15 additional brothers. We also welcome a brother home from his tour in Afghanistan and remember “America’s Number 1 Spaceman!”

21 JUL 1918
Another SigEp hero! While it took nearly 27 years, U.S. Army WWI Veteran and Montana Alpha Brother Albert Schak was finally awarded the French Croix de Guerre, with the Decoration Fourrager for his actions on this date in France during WWI.

Croix de Guerre Medal
The date was 21 JUL 1918, and it was the last stages of the battle of the Marne. Young Albert Schak of Missoula, Montana was a Soldier in an infantry unit inching its way forward during an assault that would result in only nine of the original 250 men capable of going on the next day.

During the battle, a man was shot through the hip. Albert tried to get him to get the man to safe ground, but he was unable and the others were “too busy trying to make their way forward.” So, he drew his .45 caliber revolver, and pointed it at the nearest man. A few others joined that man, and they used a litter to start the trip back to the medical area. Albert followed, and when one of the litter bearers was killed, he stepped in and took his place. Once the wounded man was safely at the aid station, Albert began the journey back to his outfit which was still moving towards their objective.

In an example of how families also serve, Albert’s mother was notified twice that he had died during the war.

After the war, Albert brought his courage, character and leadership to Montana Alpha.

22 JUL 1940
UC Berkeley Class of ’36 alumnus and California Alpha Brother William E. Turpen joined the Army on this date.

25 JUL 1942
On this date, Virginia Alpha Brother Roy C. Parks, Jr. graduated from navigator training as a Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps.

22 JUL 1943
Montana Alpha Brother Theodore Gramm entered the U.S. Army on this date.

22 JUL 1943
World War II Veteran and Arkansas Alpha Brother Captain Clyde M. Mead, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was wounded in action on this date when a bomb exploded thirty feet in front of him and also by high explosive shell fragments during combat near Gela, Sicily.

23 JUL 1943
On this date, World War II Veteran and IL Alpha Brother Corporal Willard Harold Lindeman, U.S.Army Air Corps made the ultimate sacrifice when he was killed in action in New Guinea while serving as a gunner in an aircraft with the 408th Bomber Squadron, 22nd Bomber Group (Heavy). Willard enlisted in the Air Corps in JAN 1941, and after more than a year at the University of Illinois, he left UI for service in the Pacific in SEP 1942.

Respect can be paid to Brother Lindeman at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii, Plot Q, Row 0, Grave 73.

26 JUL 1958
Fifty six years ago yesterday, Korean War Veteran & Ace Fighter Pilot, SigEp Citation Recipient (Posthumously) and Indiana Alpha Brother Captain Iven Carl "Kinch" Kincheloe, Jr., U.S. Air Force was killed when the F-104 (Starfighter) he was piloting crashed near Rosamond Dry Lake, California.
Brother Kincheloe

In 1948, in a bit of foreshadowing, Cadet Kincheloe was able to meet legendary pilot, Chuck Yeager, and sit in the cockpit of the Bell X-1.

The Class of ’49 graduate of Purdue University entered the Air Force through the Reserve Officer Training Corps, and after graduation was assigned pilot training in Arizona where he received his wings and commission in 1950. He was immediately deployed to Korea serving with the 4th and 51st Fighter Wings.

Before the war was over, Brother Kincheloe shot down 10 communist planes during more than 130 combat sorties – making him one of only 12 U.S. Air Force pilots with 10 or more “kills.”

After the war, Kinch became a USAF test pilot, participating in the testing of the Century Series of fighter aircraft. In the mid-1950s, he joined the Bell X-2 program and on 07 SEP 1956, flew the Bell X-2 research rocket plane more than 2,000 mph and to a height of 126,200 feet (some sources list 126,500) – a world record and the first flight ever above 100,000 feet. For this, he was nicknamed "America's No. 1 Spaceman" and would receive the Mackay Trophy the following year.

Brother Kincheloe was selected as one of the first three pilots in the next rocket-powered aircraft program, the X-15, and would have been part of the Man In Space Soonest project.

A year after his death, Kinross Air Force Base (AFB) in Upper Peninsula, Michigan was renamed Kincheloe AFB in his honor. The base closed in SEP 1977. A monument erected honoring him still stands a few miles east of his hometown of Cassopolis, MI – it is an angular stone slab twelve feet high bearing a silver model of the X-2 pointed skyward. In 1992, Kinch was inducted into the Aerospace Walk of Honor, and the Iven C. Kincheloe Award is named in his honor.

His awards include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, three Distinguished Flying Crosses and four Air Medals. In 1987, SigEp posthumously awarded him the SigEp Citation.

Brother Kincheloe was laid to rest in Section 2, Site 4872-1, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.

23 JUL 1962
On this date, Pennsylvania Eta Brother Daniel A. Augustyniak graduated from Penn State and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, U.S. Air Force.

22 JUL 2004
U.S. Army Veteran, Operation Iraqi Freedom & Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran, and Alabama Alpha Brother Wallace J. Paschal II was promoted to Colonel, U.S. Air National Guard (Florida) on this date.

26 JUL 2004
Korean War Veteran and TX Delta Founding Father Sergeant Leslie “Les” G. Bains, U.S. Marine Corps, 71, died on this date in Clayton, New Mexico. Les volunteered for service in the Marines during the Korean War. Following his military service, he attended the University of Houston, and was the second brother initiated at TX Delta (Chapter Number: 152-0002). He remained an active alumnus to both.

Les was a pilot, and member of the Civil Air Patrol, as well as the Masonic Lodge of Bandera, TX.

Respect can be paid to Brother Bains at Forest Park East Cemetery, League City, TX.

24 JUL 2009
U.S. Navy World War II Veteran Charles E. Farkas, Sr. died on this date at the Kline Hospice House in Frederick, Maryland. Charles was a brother of Lambda Tau Delta (LTD), and member of the Class of ’42 at Cleveland State. He is our brother because that LTD chapter became Ohio Nu.

Respect can be paid to Brother Farkas at the Veterans Garden of Honor, Resthaven Memorial Gardens in Frederick.

25 JUL 2010
Four years ago on this date, U.S. Army World War II & Korean War Veteran, Mississippi Beta Brother General William E. “Bill” Callicott, Mississippi National Guard (Retired) (Mississippi State University ’48) died in Memphis, Tennessee.

Bill was a lifelong resident of Senatobia. After WWII, he attended Mississippi State, and graduated with the class of 1948. The Korean War next dominated Brother Collicott’s life, and in 1960 he began 16 years of service to the people of Mississippi by serving in the State House of Representatives. Later he would serve three terms as the Mayor of Senatobia.

Bill eventually retired as owner of the Callicott Insurance Agency, a business his grandfather began in 1915.

Respect can be paid to Brother Callicott at Bethesda Cemetery in Senatobia.

22 JUL 2012
World War II Veteran of D-Day and MO Alpha Past President Lieutenant Commander Charles “Charlie” W. Kenworthey, U.S. Navy Reserve (Retired) died on this date in San Antonio, Texas. He was 87 years old. He attended the University of Delaware majoring in mechanical engineering before his WWII service. On D-Day, Charlie was a petty officer aboard a landing craft for the Normandy invasion.

After the war, he graduated in 1949 with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri where he was president of MO Alpha. Brother Kenworthey then received a direct commission in the Navy Reserve, and served as commanding office of a Public Affairs Unit, before retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Respect can be paid to Brother Kenworthey at Sunset Memorial Park, San Antonio, TX.

* We just learned that U.S. Army Korean War Veteran Nebraska Beta Brother William C. Whited passed away 07 JUL in Colorado.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and chapter brothers of Brother Whited. SPP pledges that you and your patriotic service will always be remembered.

* Welcome Home! Operation Enduring Freedom Veteran and Texas Upsilon Brother First Lieutenant Beau McNeff, U.S. Army Reserve is back with his family in America after a successful tour in Afghanistan! While deployed, Beau managed to donate hundreds of volunteer hours at the USO on FOB Fenty. Near the end of his tour he was also welcomed in to the SigEp NUTS! McAuliffe Society.
* On Saturday, Illinois Nu Brother Chris Kimball graduated from the U.S. Army’s three week Airborne School. Congratulations, Chris!

SPP would like to thank brothers Adam Seiler, Cory Butler, Dave Huiett and Charles Eberly for their assistance this week.

Fraternally and Respectfully,

Brother Ed Jones, NY Eta ‘96
Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy Reserve
Founder, SigEp Patriots Project