Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Book: "Guyland" by Michael Kimmel

Chuck Eberly is a longtime volunteer and a person who has strong academic credentials. He sent us an email recommending "Guyland" by Michael Kimmel and noted that our "Balanced Man" program is favorably mentioned. Rather than try to restate what he said, here is his email.
Dear Friends and Brothers,

Please consider purchasing this book. In all my years as a fraternity chapter advisor I have never read anything quite like Michael Kimmel's "Guyland". John Robson, Editor of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Journal for 28 years, and my mentor, used to say that everything published about men and the college fraternity from academic circles was about "white heat" and never about "red heart." He lamented frequently that few understood what was behind young men's behavior. Michael Kimmel's Guyland is such a book.

Please note, in particular, the last entry on the back of the book cover (scroll down the entire document and the book cover will appear).

Would it be possible to advocate this book on the Sig Ep Headquarters website? I quote specifically from the next to last page of the book:

"Sigma Phi Epsilon has embraced a new "balanced man program," which the fraternity developed in the 1990s to combat a culture of "boozing, drugging, and hazing." They've simply and unilaterally done away with the pledge system; new members have virtually all the rights and privileges of brothers. The brothers are presumed to be men when they begin; they don't have to prove their manhood to their peers. Scott Thompson, the fraternity's national spokesman, told a journalist:

New members don't pledge for a certain period of time, get hazed, get initiated, and then show up for parties until they graduate. In the Balanced Man Program, men join, and they are developed from the time they join until the time they graduate. Part of that development focuses on building a sound mind and sound body, a simple philosophy that we took from the ancient Greeks.

Here, in the words of a former frat guy, lies the hope of guys everywhere: that the culture of entitlement can become a culture of integrity—in which guys know that each person's integrity is equal to his own.


Interfraternally,
Chuck Eberly, Chapter Counselor
Illinois Nu of Sigma Phi Epsilon
HQ will have to make their own decision about the book, but we like what we see and what Chuck said. Chuck followed up with this further information:
This is an outstanding book, and I am so very pleased that two Illinois Nu brothers, Jimmy Friesema and Michael Nowak, were selected to endorse the book on the back cover. Jimmy was SigEP Pt in 2006-2007, and Michael was IFC president for two years, during which time he was the first undergraduate Sig Ep to accept a NIC Award of Distinction at the NIC meeting in Washington, D. C., for the best IFC in the nation. He is now a graduate student in Communication Studies at EIU, and a GA in Athletic Fundraising. Jimmy is completing his student teaching in social studies, and plans to graduate in December 2008.
This book is in the "S&P Recommends" panel on the sidebar.