How SigEp can meet the demand for a better fraternity experience
Dear Brothers and Friends,
We should be proud of our undergraduate brothers. In the past two years they’ve made bold decisions. They shunned pledging and hazing by embracing the Balanced Man Program and took it a step further by resolving to make all of our chapter homes academically supportive environments free from alcohol and other drugs. Both decisions are a clear rejection of the high-risk, stereotypical fraternity experience that has become a much too common reality within Greek life today. Our young brothers have embraced an experience rooted in academic excellence, strengthening of character, healthy relationships and preparation for life after college.
Our undergraduates have defined the SigEp experience of the future, and now it is our job to support them. We must ensure that their chapters have more volunteers to provide counsel and mentoring. We must provide them with relevant learning opportunities that will help them successfully transition from college to the workplace. And we need to raise the funds necessary to make this experience accessible and impactful for our current and future brothers. Because of these priorities, we’ve focused our efforts on the following three areas:
Delivering invaluable education (not provided in the classroom)
Students today spend 90 percent of their time outside of a classroom. It’s in this part of their college experience — the unplanned, unstructured hours — that they discover their passions and plan their futures. For our brothers, much of this time is spent with their chapters — it’s where they build close bonds of friendship and learn how to communicate and work with others, to lead, and to speak in front of a crowd. Our brothers accomplish all of this and more through the Balanced Man Program.
In a digital age where students rely on technology to manage their academic, professional and social lives, our new BMP App helps brothers and chapters plan and implement life-changing experiences.
- Eliminates administrative tasks so chapter leaders and volunteers can spend more time creating transformational experiences for brothers.
- Empowers brothers to personalize and track their own development.
- Reminds brothers of upcoming programs and events tied to their personal goals.
- Illustrates every brother’s progress, making it easy to share and celebrate accomplishments with chapter brothers, alumni, volunteers and parents.
Investing in the next generation of leaders
Students are investing a lot in education, and tuition keeps going up. Over the last 10 years, the average tuition amount has increased almost 28 percent. Still, students are willing to take on alarming levels of debt to get their degree. Roughly 68 percent of the 2015 graduating class left campus with some form of debt, and the average debt amount was close to $35,000.
Despite this investment of time and money, business leaders are expressing concern about how unprepared recent graduates are for the workplace, especially when it comes to “soft skills” like communication, presentation, relationship building, and sales … some of the same skills our leadership programs exist to develop.
Today, only 11 percent of the funding for SigEp’s leadership programs is provided by endowments. The rest is coming from annual, unrestricted contributions to SigEp’s Educational Foundation and undergraduate registration fees.
Our young brothers need our help. They need access to our programs without fear of further financial burden.
SigEp’s National Advancement Council and Educational Foundation Trustees have worked with the staff to establish Leadership Endowments for each chapter.
- Equip the next generation of leaders with the skills and abilities that allow them to address challenging situations with courage and confidence.
- Help young leaders identify their personal leadership styles and strengths.
- Provide more young men the opportunity to attend life-changing programs like Carlson Leadership Academy, Ruck Leadership Institute, Life After College, Grand Chapter Conclave, and our newest program for rising leaders.
- Decrease your chapter’s annual dues to Headquarters when certain program funds are endowed.
Engaging more alumni as volunteers
SigEp volunteers are critical to any great chapter experience, and today there is an urgent need for more volunteer support at our chapters. SigEp’s 200,000 living alumni provide an incredible source of potential volunteers, but our Alumni and Volunteer Corporations (AVCs), district governors, and staff are constantly challenged by outdated contact information, which limits their ability to effectively communicate with alumni and engage them in the important work we do for young men.
SigEp’s new AVC Management Community and Chapter Sites are designed to help our chapters, alumni and AVCs overcome those fundamental challenges.
- Change your mailing address from your parents’ house — finally!
- Promote your chapter with a beautiful, professional website that doesn’t have to be recreated from scratch every few years.
- Stay informed with the latest news about and from your chapter.
- Sign up to volunteer and support our undergraduate brothers.
- Discover easy ways to support chapter scholarships and programs.
- Reconnect with brothers you haven’t seen in years.
We must follow the trail that our undergraduates have blazed as so many SigEps have before them. Our young men have defined what the future of SigEp will be … and I hope you will join me in helping them make it a reality.
Brian C. Warren Jr., Virginia ’04
Chief Executive Officer