Being in a social fraternity in the 21st century

Why I Joined SigEp

When I came to Drake, I had no intention of joining a fraternity. I grew up in Minneapolis near the University of Minnesota. I understood the culture of Greek life at larger state schools and I knew it wasn’t for me.

At the beginning of freshman year, I had a close group of friends from my hall. I didn’t feel the need to socially branch out any more than I already had.

However, I quickly realized the impact that Fraternity and Sorority life had on the campus and community. My PMAC was in Greek life and most of the Orientation Leaders were as well.  If I wanted to get involved on campus, the best way to do that would be to go through the rush process.

I had some reservations because of the negative perceptions. I wanted to go in with an open mind but I was worried about the hazing and drinking culture.

As I went from house to house, I became increasingly surprised by the quality people that were in fraternities. During rush, the people that I talked to were genuinely interested in getting to know me. They wanted to know what I was studying and my professional aspirations. There weren’t any discussions on drinking or partying.

After having a great initial impression of fraternity life at Drake, it came down to what house would be the best fit. I visited every house during rush week but, early in the process, I knew what house I wanted to be in. That was Sigma Phi Epsilon (SigEp).

There was something different about the people in SigEp. They were exceptional. These men were motivated in the classroom, serious about their future careers, and could maintain a strong social presence on campus.

I wanted to surround myself with these people. I knew they would push me to be the best version of myself. The men in SigEp also cared about each other. I didn’t see that at every fraternity. SigEp had fostered a close community and family environment. The brothers really cared about each other. This was important to me.

Since I joined SigEp, the quality brothers have not changed and the mutual respect has not changed. In the current climate of greek life, it’s important to highlight these positive characteristics. A lot of the negativity in the news about fraternities is warranted, but we don’t always acknowledge the good things that come out of fraternities, especially here at Drake.

Many people are hesitant about joining a fraternity because they are worried that their grades will suffer. In SigEp this is not the case. By surrounding myself with people who excel in the classroom, it has pushed me to become more disciplined and diligent in my studies. Academics has always been a strength of SigEp. In a fraternity of 100+ members, we consistently have one of the highest GPA’s on campus.

Another common reason people don’t join fraternities is because of the pledge process and hazing culture. SigEp is one of the only fraternities that does not have a pledge process. This means that as soon as a brother joins SigEp they are treated equally.

In SigEp, it’s important to give back to the community. Our primary philanthropy is Queen of Hearts which raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This year we raised $15,500.

I currently serve on the Executive Council. I am the Communications Chair. I’m in charge of our social media accounts, any relevant public relations, and secretarial duties including recording minutes at our meetings. My role is important. I communicate the positive events (philanthropy events, house speakers, etc.) that our chapter puts on. Positive publicity is very important for fraternities, especially when schools are looking for a way to kick them off. We regularly document our events and brothers on Instagram. I also had the responsibility of creating our rush video for 2017 fall recruitment.  The social media accounts and video provide positive marketing for SigEp that attracts potential new members in the right way.

Joining SigEp was one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made. It has significantly impacted my college experience. I’ve become a better person academically, professionally, and socially because of my experiences in a social fraternity and specifically in SigEp.