• Pledging Fraternity
    Pledging Fraternity Thoughts from Chris Carter, Director of Communications of Sigma Pi Fraternity, International

habitatforhumanityrestore

The Executive Office staff of Sigma Pi Fraternity, International took some time on Tuesday, December 9, 2014, to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity at their ReStore location in Lebanon, Tenn.

According to their website, Habitat for Humanity ReStores “are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price.  Habitat for Humanity ReStores are proudly owned and operated by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and proceeds are used to build homes, community, and hope locally and around the world.”

"Community service is a big part of being a member of Sigma Pi," said Executive Director Michael Ayalon (Epsilon-Omicron, Buffalo ’97). "Through our volunteer involvement in Habitat for Humanity, we have a greater appreciation of the blessings we have in life, a stronger connection to the Lebanon community, and a stronger desire to help others. We look forward to even more opportunities to serve."

In all, 17 members of the Executive Office staff volunteered three hours each, totaling 51 total hours of service.

Kim Schick, Wilson ReStore Manager, had this to say about the efforts of the Executive Office Staff: “To all the wonderful volunteers at Sigma Pi that helped us move over 500 extremely heavy doors; your group did more in one day then what we could have done in 3 months!  We have been selling these doors like crazy, now that the public has access to them.  It was as if we won the lottery the day Mr. Ayalon called and said there was a group of fraternity members and staff that wanted to volunteer here.  All of us here were thanking God that day.  Honestly, we had no idea what we would have done without all of your efforts.  Thank you, thank you, thank you; we are so fortunate to have you in our community.”

For more information about Habitat for Humanity ReStore, visit their website at www.habitat.org/restores.

Imagine if Sigma Pi was known as THE fraternity to join if you want the best job in your field after college. What would happen if you showed up to classes in Sigma Pi letters and the professors automatically knew they could count on you to be one of the most engaging and intelligent students in class?  What if the Sigma Pi house was the safest place on campus for women to hang out because you were known for chivalry all around the world? What if your fraternity could teach you how to buy a house on your own by the time you are 25 or how to have enough money saved to be able to retire early?

Last semester, the Fraternity engaged Phired Up Productions to conduct research on the membership experience of members, former members, and new members of Sigma Pi Fraternity. The goal with this research is to inform current Fraternity practices and turn those into better practices and to create a template for a membership development initiative to pilot later this year.

In total, over 1000 alumni men ranging in age from 22 to well into their 80s responded to our survey.  Over 600 undergraduate new members and existing members responded from all types of chapters from all over the country. Our response rate was amazing and we want to thank all of you that participated.

We learned a lot about what we do well and what we need to improve. Many undergraduate men (87%) feel highly favorably about their fraternity experience. Brotherhood, connection, and fit are the primary reasons why people join Sigma Pi and why they stay in Sigma Pi.  Men have a strong connection with big and little brothers and pledge classes and find that many of the resources Sigma Pi has in place already work well for them. Men that lead the chapter sought out the experience to lead and enjoy the experience. The connection local chapter members have with alumni and advisors is somewhat strong but with the International Organization- from a staff and volunteer perspective- needs some improvement. We need to do a better job of engaging alumni as many cited that Fraternity beyond college years did not seem relevant to them. Of utmost importance is that many alumni are willing to re-engage with the Fraternity but need to be asked to do so in a specific and direct way that is less time intensive that the current offerings.

Alumni men don't necessarily feel like they need developmental programming, however they are willing to be mentors to undergraduate members. Our undergraduate members spoke loud and clear that career and life mentorship and development (in addition to brotherhood and life long connection) was precisely what they wanted to get out of Fraternity. This is the place where Fraternity education and membership development can be most relevant.

Character development, professional development, life planning, and career engagement are likely to be some of the cornerstone of new developmental programming and we are going to ask our alumni (many of whom we have never asked before) to help us more with undergraduate education.

Our staff is in the process of reviewing all of the feedback you gave us about what we are doing well and what we need to work on. We are listening to what you are telling us. We are reading all of your words. We are also engaging a committee of undergraduate men to work on membership development initiatives this month.

Our Fraternity has the information and power to make history as THE place where the BEST men are even better. We want you to be better for having been a member of our organization.

Can you imagine the impact our organization could have on the world if every single member focused every single day on truth and justice, chivalry, scholarship, character, and diffusing culture? We are in the relationship business, the values business, the life bettering business at Sigma Pi Fraternity - we hope to have this come to light more in our daily practices, interactions with chapters and alumni, and in all of the future work we will do developing our members.

Below are some great links that members of Fraternity and Sorority Life should check out:

Dr. Colleen Coffey-Melchiorre wrote a great piece about the system that Phired Up developed for keeping and engaging the members that your chapters work so hard to recruit.  Phired Up's "Retained and Engaged" focuses on relationships and purposeful connection, and delivers a message to fraternities and sororities through Keynote & Training Workshops, through coaching partnerships, and through their Online Classroom.

Fraternities (including Sigma Pi) at Indiana University shared powerful statements against sexual assault, as young men were challenged last week by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to take a stand against sexual violence and work to stop it wherever it occurs.

The White House also announced the "It's On Us" Campaign, which asks for everyone to take the pledge to stop sexual assault. This pledge is a personal commitment to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault.  It is a promise not to be a bystander to the problem, but to be a part of the solution.

Ross Szabo, CEO of the Human Power Project, provided three great reasons why Fraternities and Sororities are a great place to address mental health.

Wesleyan University is requiring all on-campus fraternities to become co-educational and begin admitting females within the next three years, or they will be shut down. 

Clemson University opted to halt all social and new-member activities on campus after the death of a student and a "high number" of reported incidents involving fraternities.

The Grand Council of Sigma Pi approved the charter for the Jersey Shore Alumni Club

Whenever you shop online, you could also be donating to the Educational Foundation. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the Sigma Pi Educational Fund whenever you shop on AmazonSmile.

Don't forget to read up on the new Sigma Pi chapter accredidation program, the Standards of Excellence

Gremlin

It's that time of year.  Yes, you're heading back to school.  Yes, college football is back.  But I'm talking about that time of year that you dread: buying textbooks for your classes.

We're trying to make it easier for you.

Sigma Pi has recently partnered with Gremlin Books.  Have you ever bought something and wondered if you could have bought it cheaper somewhere else? Well now you don't have to wonder! Within seconds, Gremlin can scour the internet for you, you can find it by entering Title, Author, Keyword, or ISBN.

This partnership with Gremlin Books gives our members a platform for finding the textbooks you need at the lowest prices available, with student savings averaging around 50% and sometimes as high as 80%.

Check them out, and save money on books this semester!

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About Chris Carter

Chris CarterChris Carter serves as Director of Communications of Sigma Pi Fraternity, International. Founded in 1897, Sigma Pi Fraternity is the leading, international men's collegiate fraternal organization which provides training, guidance and innovative opportunities for Leadership Development, Social and Personal Development, Academic Achievement, Community Service and Heightened Moral Awareness for its brothers throughout their lives.

Contact Chris:

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Tel: 615.921.2300

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