Undergraduate Nathan Cole reflects on Thursday’s discussion of SigEp’s place in higher education.
“This Fraternity will be different.”
This statement is not a tagline; it is a lifestyle that over 250,000 SigEp brothers nationwide strive to embody every day.
After a thought-provoking session with Caitlin Flanagan, investigative journalist for The Atlantic, and Dean of Students at the University of Virginia Allen Groves on “The Dark Power of Fraternities,” brothers joined representatives from SigEp’s National Board of Directors and CEO Brian Warren for a discussion on why “The Need for SigEp” is so important as more and more people challenge the importance of fraternity life nationwide.
Topics included the prospect of dry housing and the potential end of pledge programs.
“We have a responsibility to take care of our brothers,” said CEO Brian Warren, Virginia ’04, “and we approach our meetings with that belief.”
A common theme during the session encouraged undergraduate brothers to take leadership in their chapters on controversial issues.
“Hold your peers accountable,” advised Thomas Jelke, Florida International ’90, “because it is hard for 17-25 year old males to change male groupthink.”
Although the Board agreed that fraternities are at a pivotal point in society, they have taken proactive measures to ensure the continued success of SigEp.
“Change takes time,” said Richard Bennet III, Central Missouri ’74, “and we take the time to let people catch up.”
On day two of the 2015 Conclave, conversations like these will surely carry forward as chapter delegates continue to make important decisions on the future of the Fraternity. For brothers in the audience, the Board left them with sound pieces of advice.
“SigEp needs heroes, champions and leaders,” said Christopher Bittman, Colorado ’85. “One guy can make a huge difference; you have to make that difference.”
Nathan is an undergraduate at Baldwin Wallace studying English and public relations. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career in journalism.