Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Yale Daily News - SigEp schooled in fine culture

An article in the Yale paper highlights the cultured side of SigEp there.

Marcus Hooks ’09 brought two vanilla lattes to an interview with the News last Sunday — one for himself and another for the reporter. The vice president of macro development for the Yale chapter of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity knows how to behave like a gentleman.
Macro Development? Is this a new Exec Board office?
SigEp, known on campus as “The Gentleman’s Frat,” launched an initiative this year that brings local merchants into chapter meetings to make presentations on topics ranging from cooking lessons to wardrobe tips. While some Yalies not involved with the fraternity said they are amused at the idea of “gentleman lessons,” Hooks said the presentations are intended to teach the men of SigEp to achieve a “sound mind, sound body,” in keeping with the fraternity’s philosophy of balance in members’ personal lives.
SigEp Brothers have so far received tutorials from a jeweler, who taught them how to pick princess-cut diamonds and distinguish between platinum and white gold, and a clothing saleswoman, who instructed them on how to tie a Windsor knot.
Hooks said the speakers help save the SigEp brothers from social blunders by teaching them proper etiquette.

“Guys want to know how to pull off jewelry without looking like a rapper,” Hooks said.

Gabe Friedman ’10, a SigEp member, said he picked up tips on appropriate attire for professional interviews and formal occasions from Lucy Quagliato, a saleswoman at Raggs, a local men’s clothing store. Quagliato’s presentation dealt with popping collars — whether they are a trendy statement or a fashion faux pas.
The chapter noted increased meeting attendance for the sessions, which would indicate there is interest in learning the "soft skills" of presentation and interaction. However, the reporter seems to be making subtle jabs at the concept that guys might possibly be interested in fashion or jewelry in a "not that there's anything wrong with that" sort of way.

Journalistic bias aside, the article does offer some interesting ideas. Would your chapter benefit from having local merchants give a short information session at a chapter meeting? Would meeting attendance increase? But most importantly, ...who the hell wears a Windsor knot with a popped collar anyway?

Yale Daily News - SigEp schooled in fine culture
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