Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Help Shape The SigEp Conversation

Many of the Alumni and Volunteers for SigEp got this email yesterday. It makes me very proud to be part of this organization to see us held up as a model to emulate. Lets all strive to be worthy of that honor.
Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity
Brothers and Friends,

I hope you had a great summer and that you are eager to begin another successful academic year.

The fall semester is an exciting time for SigEp. In less than 45 days, roughly 3,500 students will join a SigEp chapter on their campus, and their first taste of the SigEp experience will define their expectations for our Fraternity.

In conversations with potential new members, many of us promise a home away from home, a safe environment, and a different fraternity experience that prepares members for life beyond college. We talk about our principles and our programs, about being a partner in higher education, and about leading the Greek community.

Is this an accurate description of Sigma Phi Epsilon on your campus? I hope it is. 

You may have seen SigEp mentioned in The New York Times last week. The president of Cornell University, in response to several fraternity incidents that have led to injury or death at Cornell, wrote an op-ed calling for a fraternity experience, “completely free of personal degradation, disrespect or harassment in any form.” 

President David Skorton cited SigEp’s approach to member development and ourBalanced Man Program as a model for the rest of the fraternity community. What a powerful message to share with potential members and their parents. 

Since the posting of that article, Cornell has called for a reconsideration of its Greek experience, specifically for its new members. I wouldn’t be shocked if other universities follow suit. The University of South Carolina has already called for an evaluation of its fraternity community and there is talk of other universities in the SEC following South Carolina’s lead.

While we can be proud that we have been out in front of this issue for 20 years, we must also recognize the amount of work left to do. We must make sure we are practicing what we preach, and living up to the kind words that have elevated us to the national stage.

I urge you to use this critical time of the year to assess your member development plan and the experience your chapter offers young men on your campus. Make sure we are providing our new members with the right experience, and giving our upperclassmen a reason to stick around. If you’re providing an experience unequaled on your campus, let’s tell people about it. Let’s put more positive stories about Sigma Phi Epsilon in major publications.

We’ve achieved so much over the last 110 years. Still, we have much work left to do, and I’m excited about our potential. Your actions in your chapter will determine the scope of that potential. Let’s continue to rise to the occasion. 

Fraternally,

Brian C. Warren, Jr.
Executive Director

This is being sent to all undergraduates, all volunteers, current national board of directors, past grand presidents and current and past Educational Foundation Trustees.
Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity