Congratulations on your son’s membership in Sigma Phi Epsilon. Please use this resource page to learn more about the many opportunities the Fraternity can provide your son. You can also learn more about volunteering or philanthropic opportunities. For general inquiries, please click here.
When your son decided to become a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp), he made one of the most important decisions of his college career. He chose an organization that is committed to his success during all of his college years.
When he joined SigEp, you became a part of his experience as well. This resource is aimed at helping you understand his involvement in our Fraternity and our goals for his college experience. Sigma Phi Epsilon’s goal is to give him the opportunities to excel in academics, leadership, athletics and social skills.
SigEp was founded in 1901 on the Cardinal Principles of Virtue, Diligence and Brotherly Love. Since that time we have been leading the way in the Greek world. In 1959, SigEp was among the first to remove race restrictions to membership. In 1991, we led the way again by creating a non-pledging membership model, the Balanced Man Program (BMP), and in 2015 our undergraduates voted to adopt the program across all our chapters. Just this past summer, in 2017, our undergraduates enacted a policy that will make our chapter facilities alcohol and substance-free by 2020.
The college years are some of the most formative times in a young man’s life. The national Fraternity’s work focuses on educating, training and supporting our chapters to provide a safe and positive fraternity experience. The experience we provide is meant to complement a man’s education and prepare him for life after college. Through SigEp, men strengthen their character, build leadership and interpersonal skills, and learn to develop healthy, lifelong relationships that are essential to a successful and fulfilling life.
SigEp’s Balanced Man Program was created to replace pledging and hazing with mentoring and development opportunities that instill purpose and perspective our young men can rely on for the rest of their lives. It reinforces academic excellence, empowers them to lead with integrity, promotes physical health and mental wellness, and prepares them for successful lives and careers.
Your son will also have the opportunity to attend our regional and national leadership events, designed to enhance the local chapter programming that helps him grow throughout college. Whether he attends the Carlson Leadership Academy to learn leadership techniques he can take back to his chapter, Life After College to help him prepare for post-college life, the Ruck Leadership Institute to teach him to lead positive change, or the Tragos Quest to Greece for an overseas personal growth experience, he has many options to attend programs that will prepare him for the rest of his life.
The Fraternity’s Headquarters staff of over 50 brothers and other professionals based in Richmond, Va., works to facilitate these programs and educate our young brothers on how to have a positive, safe fraternity experience that helps them develop.
The SigEp experience has the potential to be life-changing for thousands of young men on campuses across the country. Your son is now a part of that experience and he should have high expectations for his growth and development during college. Likewise, SigEp has high expectations of its members — specifically, that they always strive to keep themselves and others safe.
Our undergraduate brothers have a history of making decisions that better facilitate safe environments for our members. In 2015, undergraduate delegates voted to end pledging, abandoning a tiered membership system that can create unnecessary risk. The Fraternity adopted the Balanced Man Program, built on equal rights and responsibilities for all members. In 2014, SigEp developed Live Your Oath with Alpha Delta Pi Sorority to educate our brothers about sexual assault prevention. And, in August of 2017, our undergraduates once again took a bold step when they voted to make all of our chapter homes alcohol- and substance-free by 2020.
SigEp brothers are only able to achieve our mission of Building Balanced Men when health and safety are priorities. We expect members to comply with a zero-tolerance policy for behavior that doesn’t align with our values — things like hazing, sexual assault, alcohol abuse and illegal drugs. We hope that you will reinforce this expectation with your son. If you or your son see or experience any of these behaviors, please contact Fraternity Services Director Joe Toth at email@example.com or call our crisis hotline at 800.767.1901.
Sigma Phi Epsilon is not able to monitor or supervise the daily activities of each member and our chapters as a whole. However, we can provide education and resources to the chapter so they can make better decisions for their safety. On our Member Safety page, you can find SigEp’s Risk Management Policies and Procedures as well as some useful resources that can help your son foster a safe and healthy environment for himself and his brothers.
SigEp thrives when our brothers are committed to safe and healthy living. Thanks to the support of committed parents and volunteers, thousands of young SigEp brothers are able to grow and develop safely. They hone lifelong skills and build friendships for life. We hope that you will discuss this with your son and ask him to be a leader in creating a positive environment on his campus.
We Need You
As your son grows throughout his college experience, we hope you can continue to be involved with his development in SigEp.
SigEp undergraduate chapters are primarily focused on providing the best possible experience for our members. But as one of our Past Grand Presidents, Phil Cox, Indiana ’84, often said, “Behind every great chapter is a dedicated group of volunteers.”
Men and women who volunteer provide important support to undergraduate SigEps, and our highest-performing chapters have strong bases of volunteers. Our local volunteers provide mentorship to the undergraduate chapter leaders, engage other chapter alumni to support this endeavor and manage the assets of the AVC. They come from many walks of life and different ties to the Fraternity.
When John Buhr’s son joined SigEp at the University of Cincinnati, John was excited for him. Soon after his son joined, the chapter needed someone with a truck to pull their float for the homecoming parade. John volunteered and drove over to the chapter house to help the brothers.
Little did he know that this simple act would lead to a much deeper involvement with SigEp. John began helping the brothers with projects around the chapter house, and eventually he joined the chapter’s AVC. He began reaching out to other parents who would visit the chapter house, bringing them in to help with the house and to make sure the chapter stayed safe.
John became like a father figure to many of the undergraduates at the chapter. He was impressed by how the brothers took care of each other, and he saw that SigEp was doing a lot of good for the undergraduates and the community. Eventually, the chapter initiated him into the Fraternity as a brother.
Whether you live in the same city as your son’s chapter or a few hours away, I would encourage you to consider finding an opportunity to volunteer. Opportunities are available for men and women in many different capacities that benefit both your son and his chapter brothers. If you’d like to explore volunteering with SigEp, you can reach out to our Volunteer Services team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SigEp works hard to provide the positive experience we’ve told you about in these messages, but we cannot deliver it to our undergraduates without the support of volunteers, alumni, and parents. If you’re not able to volunteer, you can get involved financially through the Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation, which supports our mission of Building Balanced Men through undergraduate scholarships and leadership programming on national and local levels.
We want to remain connected with you as we support your son’s success during and after his undergraduate career. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about how SigEp is redefining fraternity for our brothers’ benefit, and I hope you’ll refer back to this resource as you hear from your son about his experience.