Confidence in the leaders of tomorrow
Dear Brothers and Friends,
Fraternity today is at a crossroads. This is something you may have heard before. But I hope you’ve also heard me say that SigEp has a solution that should give our brothers confidence in our future. Our Fraternity is aiming high. Our chapters are recruiting motivated, high-potential students and bringing them into a Fraternity experience that is far removed from the stereotypes we see on television. Thanks to SigEp, our over 14,000 brothers are strengthening their character, developing healthy relationships, and building the leadership and interpersonal skills critical for successful careers and happy lives.
Recruiting for our future
At a time when SigEp needs more heroes and leaders, we must place emphasis on supporting chapter recruitment in order to attract more students who want a different type of fraternity experience. Fraternity recruitment has for decades relied on a rush process that limits the ability of chapters to promote the unique benefits of a SigEp experience, practice communication and sales skills, and recruit from a large, talent-rich pool of potential members. The Balanced Man Scholarship and year-round recruitment practices enable chapters to cast a wide net, reaching students who are interested in the values-based development that SigEp offers.
Your Headquarters staff is vastly increasing our support for the Balanced Man Scholarship around the country. The staff has hired a director of growth who is currently working with more than 20 chapters to test Balanced Man Scholarship and recruitment resources and services that will soon be launched on a larger scale.
These chapters were provided with digital marketing support to help drive applications from incoming students as well as training and support for scholarship interviews. Early results show these efforts have been incredibly successful, with seven chapters receiving a combined 1,553 applications. In most cases, chapters were doubling and even tripling previous totals for applications. This means these chapters have a larger pool from which they can recruit high-quality members. Chapters were also provided scholarship banquet materials that help create an impressive environment for potential new members, their parents and university faculty who attend their banquet.
To improve the new member experience and help retain our newest brothers, we’ve created personalized boxes that now mail immediately after members register with SigEp. The boxes contain a welcome letter from Grand President Chris Bittman, their membership certificate, membership card, Balanced Man pin, and SigEp membership guide “The Lifetime Responsibility of Brotherhood.” With stronger recruitment and a personalized introduction to SigEp, our newest brothers will be better equipped to begin their Sigma Challenge and participate in the SigEp experience.
Two huge steps forward
The Balanced Man Program is the hallmark of the SigEp experience. New members immediately begin a program that equips them with time management skills, speaking opportunities and leadership experiences that will prepare them for success in college and beyond. These crucial and practical lessons are a strong motivator for brothers to stay involved through graduation. Many fraternity men leave their chapter or scale back their involvement in their junior and senior years to prepare for their post-college years. SigEp, however, is designed to keep brothers involved because our experience actively prepares them for their future.
Because of the Balanced Man Program, talented and promising young men are receiving structured programming and mentoring that aren’t often found in a classroom environment. To help keep the Balanced Man Program at the center of our brothers’ day-to-day experience, SigEp launched the BMP App in 2017 after a careful development process. Today, each one of our members is able to carry their own customized Balanced Man Program experience in their pocket. The app guides brothers through each of the program’s four challenges on an easy-to-use app where they can track their progress, interact with chapter brothers and celebrate accomplishments.
Unfortunately, fraternities today have earned a reputation of being organizations that exist to promote alcohol consumption. They’re known in the media and on campus communities as havens for drinking. This summer, SigEp undergraduates took a bold step toward bringing that reputation to an end by voting to remove alcohol and illicit substances from our chapter facilities. This policy shift for many of our chapters will focus our collective experience on things that truly matter for collegiate and lifelong success: academic achievement, professional growth and leadership development.
The Fraternity’s Grand Chapter — a voting body made up almost entirely of undergraduates — adopted this substance-free facilities policy at SigEp’s Conclave this summer. The resolution states, “By August 1, 2018, all chapters adopt a transitional substance-free facilities policy restricting the presence, consumption and use of alcohol to private rooms of members of the legal drinking age,” and “By August 1, 2020, all SigEp chapters shall implement a substance-free facility policy.”
I am proud of our undergraduates for having the foresight and confidence to make such a bold decision. Removing alcohol from our chapter facilities sends a clear message about who we are and what we value.
Our future is bright
This is a trying time for young men on our campuses today, but I believe in the power of SigEp to change the lives of these men for the better. We must recruit quality men and provide them with a safe and healthy environment to grow and learn. With the hard work of our young chapter leaders and the constant support of our volunteer heroes, SigEp’s future is bright.
Brian C. Warren Jr., Virginia ’04
Chief Executive Officer