After learning that Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) would follow their lead by replacing pledging with single-tier membership and a better fraternity experience, leaders of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity contacted their peers at SAE to offer congratulations and support on the historic news.
SigEp CEO Brian C. Warren Jr said on Tuesday, “SigEp deviated from the norm in the early 1990s when it replaced pledging with its Balanced Man Program. We’re now the largest and most academically accomplished fraternity. The change wasn’t easy, but it has created a fraternity experience where a student’s personal growth and wellbeing is the first priority.”
SigEp hopes that its two decades of experience challenging Greek stereotypes and operating a fraternity focused on the development and achievement of members without pledging will help SAE as they begin to make similar changes. Reflecting on SigEp’s success with the Balanced Man Program, Warren offered, “I hope other fraternities are thinking of doing the same thing. Young men on campuses across the country will have a safer and more rewarding college experience when fraternities implement these kinds of changes.”
Warren noted that although SigEp was not consulted by SAE during the development of what they are calling the True Gentleman Experience, “The similarities between our Balanced Man Program and SAE’s new program are apparent. We take it as a compliment. Others are seeing the success of our Balanced Man Program, and they’re gaining confidence to make critical improvements to their own organizations.”
Like SigEp’s Balanced Man Program, SAE’s True Gentleman Experience calls for more than just the end of pledging. SAE has made commitments to offer a more comprehensive fraternity experience that complements the missions of colleges and universities across the country.
Considering the role fraternity plays in a college male’s life, Warren shared that, “SigEp strives to be a valued partner in higher education. Ninety percent of the college experience takes place outside the walls of a classroom. SigEp and other fraternities can play a very positive and meaningful role in the life of a student when that time is supported the right way.”
Today, SigEp continues to serve as an example for fraternities like SAE, showing that change is possible and that negative stereotypes associated with fraternities don’t have to be the norm. “The fraternity experience can change a man’s life for the better. I see it every day,” said Warren.