Remembering Sigma Phi Epsilon | Her Campus:
Remembering Sigma Phi Epsilon
By HerCampus ISU Staff
Photos by: Lindsay Nardini
Since this past Thursday, the Greek Community at ISU has been abuzz with talk about the recent events surrounding the fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon. As unfortunate as it is, Sigma Phi Epsilon will no longer be recognized as a chapter by the Illinois State Greek Affairs office.
Although this unfortunate instance has shed light on the mistakes Sig Ep has made, let us not forget all the accomplishments and achievements of the Illinois Zeta Chapter since it was founded here in 1971.
For example, last year Sig Ep won first place in Chi Omega’s March Madness, had the best GPA on campus, and placed third in Delta Zeta’s Turtle Tugs. They were also voted Best Social Fraternity on campus by readers in The Daily Vidette and their incoming president, Robert Izaguirre, was named SigEp Ruck Scholar. Not only that, but the fraternity had a 100 percent retention rate of their new member classes, which is an outstanding achievement.
All of the men that we interviewed had endless praise to give about their time spent as members of the Sig Ep fraternity. A member since Fall 2012, freshman Kevin O’Connor told us that, “being a part of Sigma Phi Epsilon has made me a better man.” Sophomore and Vice President of Finance Jimmy Hannon went on to say that, “Without a doubt, Sig Ep has been my life up until this point.” The life changing experiences that Sigma Phi Epsilon has offered to the men who have passed through the chapter will unfortunately no longer be able to be experienced by it’s younger members. As freshman (and past Campus Cutie) Eddie Sak explained, “I’ve wanted to be in a fraternity my whole life and the fact that my college career is going to be drastically different than the way I pictured now is really unfortunate.”
Though the men might have been undermined by select members of the Greek community, that didn’t stop a huge portion of others from showing their love and support to the boys. Sophomore Joel Thoms, who served as Phi Coordinator to the fraternity, summed it up well by saying, “We would like to thank those in the Greek community who have supported us, other than the unfortunate group of people who turned us in. We’d like to especially thank those who have been showing us an amazing amount of support whether it’s been through Twitter, Facebook, or by wearing our letters. Thank you guys and we love you guys and I hope you have a great rest of your Greek career because I can say that my time with Sig Ep has been phenomenal.” Sophomore Kevin Gallagher added in by saying, “We just want to thank the whole Greek community, we definitely felt the love you guys have given us and we really appreciate it.”
But the men of Sig Ep have kept a positive outlook on the situation since the unfolding of the events. Trace Linhart, a member since Fall 2012, said it well by saying, “It’s unfortunate what happened but Sig Ep won’t be dead on this campus. Our brotherhood will stay strong and you better bet that you’ll see us all together soon.”
Many of the Sig Ep members also had plenty to say about the way Greek Life is played out here on the ISU campus. Ben Dworkin, a member since Spring 2013, told us “I think it’s pretty ridiculous that people are turning their back on Greek Life over a little fraternity rivalry.” Sophomore Jimmy Hannon also said that, “I just want everyone in the Greek community to take this as a lesson to learn. I feel like Greek Affairs needs to take this into account and change some of their policies.”
Did Sig Ep really deserve to be kicked off campus? That is the question that is being asked by many members in the Greek community. Whether you agree with Greek Affairs’ decision or not, there are deeper lessons for everyone to learn from this incident. Is this a reflection of the depreciating rivalries and disconcerting competitions that occur between fraternities and sororities here on campus? Isn’t the Greek system meant for a community of greater support and collaboration, rather than backstabbing and belittling?
Kevin Murphy, 2012 Vice President of Recruitment and member of the Fall ‘11 pledge class, said, “I hope Greek Life perseveres but at this rate I don’t see much coming from it. We should be trying to save chapters but at this point, it looks like we’re trying to get rid of chapters... as bad as it sounds.”
Being Greek is about unity and embracing the bonds between all brother and sisterhoods no matter what letters you wear. No one, especially members within the Greek Community, should be battling against one another like it has seemed to be the case with this recent Sigma Phi Epsilon incident. We at HerCampus Illinois State believe that this, most importantly, should be a lesson learned.
We would like to give acknowledgement to the men of Sigma Phi Epsilon whose college careers will be forever changed and whose fraternity affiliations have been taken away from them because of this event and the actions of others.
If you would like to contact the ISU Greek Affairs office and voice your opinion on this or any matters involving fraternity and sorority life on campus, feel free to stop into their office, drop off a letter, call them, or tweet to them at any time. This is one of the ways that your voice can be heard on issues regarding the Greek community.
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