As a parent, you are undoubtedly concerned about your son's college experience and the choices he will make. For your son, making the transition from high school or a community college to a four-year college or university may seem like an imposing challenge. One or more of the following questions may be on his mind
1) Will I fit in and make new friends?
2) Will I succeed academically?
3) Will I be able to get involved in campus organizations and better my leadership skills?
4) Will I find other people interested in the same things that I am?
5) How can I best prepare for my career?
6) Will I feel like a part of the community or just another number?
Fraternities exist as a proven support network for your son as he embarks on this new period in his life. Over 400,000 students across the country are currently fraternity members; of this, more than 15,000 are Sigma Phi Epsilons.
Sigma Phi Epsilon will help personalize your sonâ€™s college experience by developing a scholastic support system, practicing leadership, learning practical financial management skills, faculty interaction, contact with alumni in the community, involvement in serving others, a family-like support system, and by developing interpersonal skills. With all these opportunities available to them, it is no wonder that fraternity members tend to graduate from college at a higher rate than those men not involved in fraternities.
Questions About Joining a Fraternity
Aren't fraternities just like the one shown in the movie "Animal House?"
Unfortunately, after the showing of that movie, fraternity members have been categorized as partiers, irresponsible and abusive. In reality, fraternities are value-based organizations dedicated to the development of character and lifelong friendship. The following code of ethics represents some of the basic expectations of fraternal membership in Sigma Phi Epsilon:
- I will strive for academic achievement and practice academic integrity.
- I will respect the dignity of all persons; therefore, I will not physically, mentally, psychologically, or sexually abuse or haze any human being.
- I will respect my property and the property of others; therefore, I will neither abuse nor tolerate the abuse of property.
- I will neither use nor support the use of illegal drugs.
- I will neither misuse nor support the misuse of alcohol.
- I acknowledge that a clean and attractive environment is essential to both physical and mental health; therefore, I will do all in my power to see that the chapter property is properly cleaned and maintained.
- I will challenge all my fraternity members to abide by these fraternal expectations and will confront those who violate them.
Alcohol abuse is unhealthy and inconsistent with fraternity ideals. All chapters are expected to uphold state, county, and city laws, and university policies regarding the consumption of alcohol. In Sigma Phi Epsilon, members are educated on the issues of alcohol and drug abuse throughout their membership experience. You'll find fraternity members participating in alcohol-free social activities such as moonlight bowling, dinner exchanges, and lip sync contests. Students who choose not to drink will know that it's okay and feel comfortable with their decision.
I'm concerned about my son's grades - what impact would fraternity membership have?
Students often find managing their time difficult when moving from the highly structured high school environment to the freedoms of college. Sigma Phi Epsilon assists by offering scholarship programs which may include study partners, mentors, study hours, and time management workshops. Your son can access the network of fraternity members who already know how to use campus resources like the library, study skills centers, computer labs, and academic advisors. While Sigma Phi Epsilon is concerned about the academic achievements of our members, your son is still ultimately responsible for utilizing the resources made available.
What about hazing?
Sigma Phi Epsilon advocates a four-year membership development program that emphasizes continuous development throughout the undergraduate experience. This program is based on experiential learning, mentoring, community service, and brotherhood activities. This establishes an environment where all members are treated as equals. Sigma Phi Epsilon is the recipient of the Association of Fraternity Advisors "Excellence in Education Programming" award.
Sigma Phi Epsilon is clear and concise in its stance against hazing. Hazing is illegal; therefore it has no place in the Fraternity. Sigma Phi Epsilon holds its members to the highest possible standard, so breaking the laws of the country, state, and university will not be tolerated.
Sigma Phi Epsilon truly believes that the words "hazing" and "fraternity" are not interchangeable. SigEp has, for many years, been breaking the stereotype that fraternities haze. The National Fraternity, through programming and leadership opportunities, has promoted the idea of safe and responsible development. Hazing is the direct opposite of everything Sigma Phi Epsilon represents.
Who is actually in charge of the fraternity?
Undergraduate fraternity members manage the day-to-day operations of the chapter. These men are assisted by their fellow members, a local alumnus who serves as chapter counselor, and a group of volunteers who meet regularly as an alumni board. Frequently, parents such as you serve as volunteers as well. Sigma Phi Epsilon offers support, advice, and direction through a paid professional staff and regional volunteers. Our 270 chapters and 150,000 alumni provide Sigma Phi Epsilon the strength and resources to support our undergraduate brothers. Professional staffs from the college and university are also available to assist and monitor the activities of fraternities.
Doesn't it cost a lot of money to be in a fraternity?
In the first year of membership, a one-time, lifetime membership fee is assessed. After this fee is paid, your son's only expense will be his regular dues. If housing is offered, fraternity lodging and meals are competitive with other housing options. A variety of payment plans is usually offered. Scholarships and loans are offered through the Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation.
Does being in a fraternity take a lot of time?
Participating in any worthwhile activity always requires an investment of oneâ€™s time. Research has shown that involved college students are more likely to graduate, and they report greater satisfaction with their college experience. Through his fraternity involvement, you son will learn how to balance his academic work, campus involvement, and social commitments.
How does my son go about joining Sigma Phi Epsilon?
Sigma Phi Epsilon chapters participate in a process known as membership recruitment. Your son has an opportunity to meet undergraduate members and learn what Sigma Phi Epsilon has to offer. Everyone likes to belong; to feel a part of something. Each Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter has its own unique programs and strengths, yet each is primarily based on the development of the "balanced man." Balance suggests that college provides a rich environment to learn, grow, challenge, and self-manage...most of all, a stepping point to adult life.
What is my role as a parent?
Be supportive and learn as much as you can by asking questions of your son as he meets people through the recruitment process. Once your son joins, you will have the opportunity to participate in chapter and campus programs, and if you choose, be active on the alumni board or as a member of the parents' club. To become involved as a volunteer at your son's chapter or another local chapter, please contact: Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity Headquarters, Zollinger House P.O. Box 1901, Richmond, Virginia 23218, (804) 353-1901.
How can your son benefit from fraternity membership?
- He'll have a group of supportive friends to help make the adjustment to college and be friends for life.
- He'll be offered scholastic resources to help him achieve his academic goals.
- He'll be taught leadership skills and offered hands-on opportunities to practice those skills.
- He'll be encouraged to get involved in the campus and the community and exercise his fullest potential.
- He'll be taught the importance of giving of oneself through active participation in community service projects.
- He'll be exposed to career opportunities through interaction with fraternity alumni.
- He'll enhance those "people skills" so essential to happy, productive living.
What is a fraternity?
A fraternity is a group of men who believe and live by the same set of values, and foster a close friendship through those values. These values bind together not only the current chapter members, but members and alumni throughout the country. Fraternity men incorporate these values in all aspects of their lives, never letting go of those beliefs. Sigma Phi Epsilon's values are Virtue, Diligence, and Brotherly Love.
Why does SigEp pride itself on being "different"?
SigEp prides itself on being different because that difference has helped us come to lead the fraternity world. SigEps refuse to be stereotyped as "frat boys," nor its chapters as "animal houses." Sigma Phi Epsilon is dedicated to the idea that a fraternity is much more than a social organization -- it is an institution of higher learning; one that centers around the ideals of allowing one to live his best life.
My son is considering joining a SigEp chapter. What can I expect?
When a young man joins Sigma Phi Epsilon, he immediately finds out he has joined something unique. In joining a Balanced Man Program (BMP) chapter like ours, he instantly becomes a brother. The BMP does away with the "pledge model" of the fraternity experience, and puts an emphasis on continued development throughout college and beyond.
You should expect he will be involved in the chapter, on campus, and in the community. At Missouri Zeta, we are all held to GPA standards, as well as standards for campus and chapter involvement. These standards aim to foster an environment through which we motivate one another to make the most of our college careers. By your son becoming a SigEp, he will be exposed to a life of balance and encouraged to pursue leadership.
What is Sigma Phi Epsilon's perspective on alcohol and substance abuse?
Sigma Phi Epsilon does not promote the use of alcohol in any manner whatsoever.
At SigEp, we go to great lengths to educate our new members on alcohol and its effects. Through the programming of both the University and our national headquarters, SigEp helps its members understand the consequences of one's choices when alcohol is involved. SigEp also promotes risk management guidelines to help chapters and members make smart decisions when it comes to alcohol.
What is the Leadership Continuum?
Sigma Phi Epsilon's Leadership Continuum is a balance of self-development and team leadership skills training composed in four programs: EDGE, the Carlson Leadership Academy, the Ruck Leadership Institute, and the Quest to Greece. Through self-discovery, analysis, and interaction, brothers develop skills necessary to lead balanced lives and to continue leading the fraternity world.
Who are some of SigEp's alumni, and what do they say about the SigEp experience?
Sigma Phi Epsilon has a long tradition of alumni. These men excel in their respective fields. Among them are businessmen, world leaders, renowned artists, and all-star athletes. We have many well known and prominent alumni.
The greatest thing about SigEp alumni is they truly believe in the SigEp Experience. The proof is that our alumni continue to volunteer to help chapters and members. They continually donate money to the Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation for programs and scholarships. SigEp alumni believe that the SigEp experience is a lifetime commitment, and that is why they keep coming back to support the fraternity and its endeavors.
For additional information about the Rush or Recruitment process please visit the NIC sponsored Fraternity Recruitment Website.