SigEp is one of the few national fraternities that places significant voting power in the hands of undergraduate members. Every two years at Conclave, delegates from each chapter discuss and vote on legislation that will shape the Fraternity’s future. At our 53rd Conclave, delegates adopted several changes that will make a lasting impact on the Fraternity. The following are some of the most significant and memorable pieces of legislation passed this year.
New minimum GPA set at 2.6
To help ensure that SigEp continues to maintain and further its culture of academic excellence, a new minimum eligibility standard was adopted for all members. Undergraduates wishing to join SigEp must now have at least a 2.6 college GPA or a 2.7 high school GPA. Once a brother, he must maintain a 2.6 GPA each term to remain in good standing. You can view the minimum eligibility standards guide here.
SigEp’s Ritual was adopted in 1907 to give brothers a guide for living our cardinal principles. Since then, many revisions to the Ritual have been made in an effort to keep the ceremony relevant to new generations. The Brother Mentor Rite of Passage, a newer addition to the Ritual, was adopted in the early 1990s to focus on the meaning of the Fraternity’s letters and challenge upperclassmen to stay involved. This year, delegates furthered this effort with the adoption of a revised Brother Mentor Rite of Passage and a more unified ceremony.
The improved Ritual and Guide provides a more clear understanding of SigEp’s “lifetime responsibility of brotherhood” while strengthening ties to the original 1907 Ritual.
Focus on veterans
Delegates recognized the significant impact student veterans and future servicemen make at SigEp chapters, and authorized the appointment of a task force assigned to recommend enhancements for membership recruitment and development programs for these brothers. The task force will report their findings at the 2015 Conclave in Nashville, Tenn.
A single philanthropic and service-learning partner
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, “the nation’s largest network of youth mentoring agencies,” was named as SigEp’s single national philanthropic and service-learning partner. While chapters may support any philanthropy they wish, delegates voted to consolidate national efforts in order to make a larger impact.
Big Brothers Big Sisters’ focus on helping “children realize their potential and build their futures” aligns well with SigEp’s own mission of Building Balanced Men. This partnership will provide opportunities for undergraduates to engage with their communities while making a positive impact on the lives of young men across the country.
Expanding the quality and reach of programs
More undergraduates learn essential life skills from SigEp than ever before, but a lack of funding restricts access to Fraternity programs for thousands of brothers each year. To expand the quality and reach of these vital programs, delegates voted to raise undergraduate fees and called for a renewed focus on fundraising, noting the rising cost of higher education and mounting student debt.
The Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation and its staff have served as both fundraisers and stewards of funds since 1943. To expand these efforts in the most effective, cost-efficient way, delegates asked the Fraternity, its larger volunteer base and the Headquarters staff to assume responsibility for fundraising and advancement of programs. This change allows the Foundation to focus on financial and legal oversight of dollars raised.
The 2013 Conclave delegation also established the SigEp National Advancement Council, a committee of volunteers charged with sharing the SigEp story, mobilizing volunteers and increasing financial support to SigEp’s programs. Since he has previously led SigEp’s Fraternity and Foundation Boards, Garry C. Kief, Southern California ’70, was asked to serve as the Council’s first chairman.