Monday, August 23, 2010

Sig Ep Returns to Alabama

SigEp returns, offers scholarships
by Taylor Holland


Sean Mittelman Beaux Carriere
In its first year of eligibility to be reinstated on campus, nearly two years after its banishment from the University, the University of Alabama’s chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon is returning.

“Our goal is to be a valued partner in higher education with the University of Alabama, our host institution,” said Sean Mittelman, SigEp’s new chapter development services manager. “We want to honor our host institution and the balanced men who attend it.”

The Virginia-based fraternity, with more than 14,800 members nationwide, returns to Tuscaloosa searching for new members.

“Every fraternity offers a different kind of experience for its members, but we’re here to offer the best,” Mittelman said. “Students come here to get an education, and our job is to make sure that we complement the experience offered by UA and that our values align with that of the institution.”

Gentry McCreary, director of greek affairs, said that in November 2008, the University’s SigEp chapter admitted to hazing its new members and was closed.

“Since the national fraternity closed the chapter before the University took any disciplinary action, no timeline for their return was established,” McCreary said. “We worked with the national fraternity and local alumni to establish the best time to restart the new chapter and Fall 2010 was agreed upon by all parties.”

Mittelman said previous members of the disbanded UA chapter of SigEp are no longer considered members. They will be considered alumni once they graduate.

The fraternity returns offering a Balanced Man Program, which allows students a no pledging, no hazing fraternity experience. Beginning Sept. 15, Mittelman and New Chapter Development Service Manager Beaux Carriere will begin recruiting prospective members. Once students have shown interest in the fraternity, they will go through an interview process with both Mittelman and Carriere.

“Nationally, our fraternity’s goal is to build balanced men,” Carriere said. “We want to start an organization in which we can carry that out.

“We’re committed to a leadership and academic development program that complements the undergraduate experience. Students can be a part of something that makes college life better, not that makes their college life.”

McCreary said the new scholarship will be used primarily as a recruitment tool and that they will use the scholarship applicants as their primary pool of potential members.

As of now, the UA chapter of SigEp will not have housing for the first two years of the fraternity’s existence, according to Mittelman.

“We want to take the most talented people, what we consider the top 10 percent of students, and put them in the best facility,” Mittelman said. “Right now we are looking for the talented people. Once everyone understands our Balanced Man Program, and the fraternity is sustainable on its own, then we’ll move into a house on campus.”

During the 2010-2011 school year, SigEp will offer four $1,000 scholarships to UA men who they feel embody the qualities of a sound mind and a sound body. Applicants are not required to join UA’s SigEp chapter and have until Oct. 1 to apply. Those students selected as recipients of the scholarship will be announced in November.

Students interested in joining the new chapter of SigEp should attend an informational meeting once recruitment begins Sept. 15 or contact Carriere at beaux.carriere@sigep.net. Students interested in applying for the Balanced Man Scholarship should visit www.sigep-bms.com or contact Mittelman at sean.mittelman@sigep.net.