Friday, February 01, 2008

Texas Tech Sig Eps Plan Etiquette Dinner

Sigma Phi Epsilon is no slouch when it comes to etiquette
While completing the required curriculum that accompanies an undergraduate degree, one Texas Tech fraternity's members are also looking to improve their manners.

The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity will host an etiquette dinner Feb. 4 to focus on basic dining and social manners for life after college.

Patrick McGregor, the president of the Sigma Phi Epsilon, said the idea of having an etiquette dinner seemed classy and informative.

"I am expecting 90 percent of our members to be in attendance, if not more," McGregor said. "I am attending the event for the opportunity to learn exactly what to do in a formal setting, in the event of job interviews and overall etiquette."

McGregor said that after recently sitting in on a formal dinner, he realized how little he knew about etiquette.

"It was just something that was never taught to me growing up," McGregor said, "and certainly something I couldn't appreciate until now."

The dinner will be hosted by Elise McVeigh, the owner of a seminar/manners business called Elise McVeigh's Life Camp in Dallas.

McVeigh, who has five years of teaching experience, said she began giving etiquette seminars after several parents, attending one of her speeches, asked her to hold a summer etiquette camp for their children.

"I got into the profession because it is something I have had an interest in my whole life," McVeigh said. "Having a solid foundation of what is good etiquette is a must for any person trying to make a favorable impression in everyday life."

McVeigh also said she believes the lessons she teaches will aid students in their future.

"University students obviously have a goal of getting a great job after college, and being successful in the world," McVeigh said. "If you do not have good table manners, then success will not come as easily."

The Center for Campus Life at Tech oversees all activities of Greek and non-Greek organizations on and off campus.

Cate Bibb, the panhellenic advisor for the Center for Campus Life, said that etiquette dinners and seminars are big trends at Tech.

"I think college students are beginning to seek out more information on etiquette and proper manners because they realize the need for these skills in the business world," Bibb said. "Generally, college students are becoming more socially conscious."

Brennan Schaefer, a senior member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, said whether you are going out to dinner with your girlfriend's parents or maybe your future boss, etiquette plays an important role in dictating the perception that people form of you.

"My mom and dad made sure that I had good etiquette skills," Schaefer said.

"Most people don't give etiquette two thoughts, but the second you go out to eat with someone who doesn't have good etiquette, you appreciate it."

According to the Center for Campus Life at Tech, etiquette is a large part of fostering student development. For that reason, it is stressed and practiced at alumni networking events, awards banquets, scholarship banquets and ritual ceremonies on campus.

Jason Biggs, the Interfraternity Council advisor for Tech organizations, said that the Sigma Phi Epsilon etiquette dinner is a perfect example of a way to prepare students for life after college.
"I think events like these are of extreme importance as they provide an excellent source of education on topics that are often missed during the typical classroom experience," Biggs said.

The dinner will be held at the Holiday Inn Banquet Room on Avenue Q, with the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority attending as guests for the event.
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