A Sweetheart and Her Norman Shield

September 28, 2010

The following is a guest post written by Sigma Chi Sweetheart Summer Beasley. Summer is currently the Sweetheart for the Iota Alpha chapter. You can contact her on Twitter at @SummerBeasley

When I was given my own copy of the Norman Shield I was so excited to read the history of Sigma Chi for myself. I’ve heard many stories about the founders and was told about the standards and values of Sigma Chi just from hearing the guys tell stories. The reason I care enough to read the Norman Shield is because I see how much passion and commitment the Gentlemen of Sigma Chi put into their fraternity. I remember one day, sitting around with some of the brothers and hearing them tell specific stories about their founders and how they wanted to see their fraternity excel. I asked one of them how he knew so much detail and he replied, “Just from loving my fraternity.” I saw something from these gentlemen that stood out from all the rest. The young men don’t only tell people about what they stand for, but rather they push themselves and push each other to try to live up to their ideals. Every fraternity talks about brotherhood, but Sigma Chi lives it. I’ve noticed the Norman Shield is not something memorized to pass a pledge test, but instead it’s something learned at one point and remains in the heart of a Sigma Chi. If you just sit in a room with them you see a group of gentlemen coming together for a common goal, embracing each other for who they are, and pushing each other to live up to their individual potential. Being a friend to these young men, I see it all of the time by witnessing them always having brotherhoods and supporting each other or planting trees and painting over graffiti in our community. It makes me wonder what it is about Sigma Chi that compels them and motivates them.

Receiving the honor of becoming Sweetheart of Sigma Chi, which I still can’t say without a huge smile coming to my face, gave me the desired to learn more about the fraternity. I wanted to know about the founders, the Purpose, the Creed, the Jordan Standard, etc. I’m not really sure how this information will help me as sweetheart, but I know that my love for Sigma Chi grows the more I read and this chapter is constantly making me proud. I hope my knowledge will help show rush guests, new brothers, or anyone I come across my respect and adoration for Sigma Chi and I can represent the Sigma Chi letters honorably. It’s important that now that I am Sigma Chi Sweetheart I should be able to speak about the knowledge I have about the fraternity to others, rather than a superficial understanding. Understanding the root of the Sigma Chi fraternity will help me express my love, appreciation, and high respect for what this organization and this chapter have accomplished for these young men and for our community.

Iota Alpha Sweetheart,
Summer Rose Beasley

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Spike For Mike – Sigma Chi Chapter Fights For Their Brother

August 9, 2010

This guest post is written by the Sigs at the University of Miami. One of our brothers Mike Bakutes has been diagnosed with a tumor and needs our help. http://umiamisigs.com/spike-for-mike

Summer is usually a time filled with relaxation and fun, and provides a much-needed chance to reenergize myself. One of our fellow brothers, Mike Bakutes, did not get to enjoy the peace of mind that usually accompanies summer. Earlier this summer, he was diagnosed with Juvenile Ossifying Fibroma, a rare and aggressive tumor that could quickly spread to the rest of his mouth, and possibly further. As a result, Mike was forced to withdraw from the upcoming fall semester and place himself on medical leave. The surgeries to remove the tumor and the subsequent procedures will extend far beyond this
summer and the fall semester.

Mike is a loyal brother and friend, widely respected by those who have had the chance to meet him. His incredibly optimistic personality has really been put to the test over the past few months, yet he remains confident that he will be strong enough to return for the spring semester. Although he has remained strong, we, as a chapter, could not sit idly by and let him and his family carry the load of this grueling journey. Our chapter came together and decided to put on a charity volleyball tournament entitled “Spike For Mike.” Proceeds from the event will benefit the Bakutes family, to help pay for medical treatments, as well as the Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure, to help find a cure for this destructive disease. While we are doing everything we can to help Mike, we cannot do this alone. We want to invite our fellow Brothers, who are found in all parts of the world, to be those strong arms around Mike. We cannot do this without the help from our fellow brothers.

More information regarding Mike and the tournament can be found at http://umiamisigs.com/spike-for-mike. There is a donation page as well as a registration page for the tournament. Even if you cannot make a donation to our cause, please visit our page to read more about Mike. Remember to keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Thank you very much.

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Sigma Chi Balfour – More Than Just A Leadership Training Weekend

August 4, 2010

The following is a guest post written by brother Matt Colphon discussing his recent experience at BLTW 2010. This was Matt’s first trip to BLTW.

For reference, although I’ve been a brother since fall 2007, this is the first experience BLTW experience I’ve been able to attend. So when the opportunity to go came up, I was more than eager to join my brothers to the south, although I had no idea what to expect. At any rate, on Wednesday night we packed up the rental car and set off down the winding roads of Southern Ontario and the eastern seaboard, arrive in Chapel Hill some 14 hours after our drive started. I immediately took note of how beautiful the campus was, with its colonial buildings, luscious courtyards and the Kenan Memorial Stadium in the centre, as though it were a precious stone. I quickly dropped off my bags and proceeded to the opening ceremonies.

BLTW Small Groups

BLTW Small Groups

Nothing could quite have prepared me for what came next. As I entered the hall nearly 1900 brothers surrounded me, all dressed in letter, with some carrying flags of their chapter letters, countries or the white cross. Being from a midsize chapter in a non-Greek school this was by far the biggest show of fraternity pride I had ever seen. From that point forward everything seemed to happen at a surreal pace. Before long we were moving out, breaking out into session groups for the officer positions – Consuls here, Quaestors there – and going to our first group sessions. After a brief introduction to the 200 some other Quaestors attending that weekend, we quickly broke into smaller discussion groups which would be the focus of most of the training.

With 10 brothers and an alumnus each, the discussion groups are really where most of the learning happened during the week. We met for a few hours 4 separate times during the workshop and we discussed everything, from chapter sizes to financial struggles and successes, highlighting the differences and giving each other tips on anything relevant, both in and out of our portfolios. I was astonished to see how some chapters had recruitment budgets bigger than my entire semester’s cash flow, but it was still amazing to see how much of the work and method was the same regardless of size. From all that, I was able to walk away with a new set of tools going into the next school year.

BLTW isn’t all about work though. Tons of other activities happened during our stay. A ritual exemplification was performed, initiating 8 new brothers to the Alpha Tau chapter and demonstrating one of our most significant elements to 1900 active and alumnus brothers. SigFest was another hit, with basketball and football games, corn hole, a Texas Hold Em tournament and a t-shirt exchange attracting and bonding many brothers during the two evenings. And finally, the conclusion of the weekend was an event in and of itself, with major awards being given to chapters and brothers, including the prestigious International Balfour Award and the Peterson Outstanding Chapter Award.

My only regret about this BLTW is that it will be my first, but it will hopefully not be my last. The brotherhood I have built during the 3 short days eclipsed any expectation that I had originally had, and has made my Sigma Chi experience even more amazing than it already was. Hopefully in the future BLTW will be able to come up north to Canada (or at least New York) but other than that I wouldn’t change this experience at all.

In Hoc and Gaurd Well,

Matt Colphon
Waterloo 2011
Quaestor, Theta Psi

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Sigma Chi Sweetheart Ideas

August 2, 2010

This is a guest post written by former Sigma Chi Sweetheart Nikki Bussey. Nikki has previously written about her experience as a Sigma Chi Sweetheart here.

Sigma Chi Serenade their Sweethearts

Serenading the Sweetheart

First, a “Congratulations!” is in order for any lady lucky enough to be chosen as Sigma Chi Sweetheart. Next, you must realize that some work must be done. (Think about it: what is a title if you don’t do your best to keep it?) Now, you are probably asking, “What does a Sigma Chi Sweetheart do?”or “What should she do?” The answer is easy: Do what is best for your chapter and help them to the best of your ability.

It is different for every chapter. If you were chosen to be Sweetheart, you probably already know many things about your guys. The best thing to get started is to ask. For most chapters, there are basic times when they need a little extra help: recruitment, Derby Days, and Founders Day. Each college or university is different in the way it conducts such activities so ask the men what they need and when they need it.
Another important thing to remember: show them how much they mean to you. One way is simple. Men love food. As I have mentioned before I am not the best cook, but I found my way around it, by purchasing food or asking for help. For example, I asked my sorority to assist me in baking for recruitment. For my chapter’s election meeting I brought donuts because I knew they were going to be there for a while. Cards and decorations are another way to show them you love them. Finally, you should hang out with them whenever possible. They understand that you are in school and have a job, but you always make time for them.

As far as what else you should be doing…find ways to constantly promote your chapter. That’s what you are there for! You are the Ultimate Spokeswoman for Sigma Chi. In this modern day of vast media outlets, there are endless ways to do this. Tag your chapter or guys in your Facebook statuses.

Take many pictures and post them to Facebook. Twitter is another great way to get out your message. Twitpic an event they are hosting. Begin a Sigma Chi trending topic. However, you don’t have to use social media to promote Sigma Chi. It can also be something as simple as what you wear. Be sure to wear their shirts or colors to campus events. Any woman in blue and old gold is sure to get some attention!

The Sweetheart position is different for every girl and every chapter. Make it your own. And enjoy your time as Sweetheart. It flies by, trust me.

Nikki Bussey
Sweetheart 2009-2010
Epsilon Kappa Chapter
University of Memphis

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Remembering Sigma Chi Experiences

July 21, 2010
This is a guest post written by James Armstrong who attended Westminster College in Fulton, MO. He was initiated at the Delta Tau Chapter in 1966.

During college, I well remember that we had to study for 4 1/2 hours per night (Sunday – Thursday) throughout my entire Freshman year of college even after we had been initiated. Those were the rules. Of course, scholarship was one of the traits that was a signature characteristic of one of the founders of Sigma Chi.

I have also learned in life that some traits are learned through example and not merely by words. Of course, this whole concept conveys an important part of the meaning of the White Cross. During three consecutive Delta Tau pledge classes graduating from college, there was at least one minister in each of those classes. In my own class, there was one who graduated from Westminster and another pledge brother, who had earlier transferred to another school, who wind up graduating from the U of Wisconsin, where he served as the chapter president.

Personally, I found our chapter at Delta Tau to be a great place to simply spread my wings a bit and get some experience in life. It was a wonderful beginning point in our lives as young adults, where we all learned from one another and we all learned the value of our Sigma Chi experience. We had fun together, we laughed, we played cards, we shot our rifles in the woods, we dated our sweethearts of long ago and, “yes,” we studied hard too and some of us succeeded greatly – – even on a global stage in the business and financial community.

I also remember that two consecutive Chapter Treasurers from the Delta Tau Chapter wind up serving as high-ranking officers of NYSE Companies.  James Hance (Westminster College, Class of 1966, who was initiated in 1963), who ultimately served as the Vice Chairman and former CFO of Bank America, today serves as a Senior Advisor to the Carlyle Group, where his current duties relate to leveraged buy-outs in the financial services sector.  The following year in our chapter, Charles B. Carden (Westminster College, Class of 1967, who was initiated in 1964) served in the same capacity as our Chapter Treasurer.  Today, he is currently on several boards of directors.  Previously, he held a series of executive management or financial management positions, including all of the following:  (1) SVP and CFO for Leaseway Transportation Corp., (2) EVP and CFO for Mariner Post-Acute Network and (3) SVP and CFO for John H. Harland Co.

But, all of us were changed by the experience and even transformed from awkward freshmen, who wondered about ourselves on the first day of class, to young men, who might one day change the world in which we lived. Some of my Sigma Chi brothers were even men, who had that chance, either in the business and financial community or as men “of the cloth,” where their faith commitments would lead other men and women plus boys and girls of all ages to make a commitment of their lives to Jesus Christ as Lord.

Finally, in my own experience, I also found that my preparation for life began in our chapter at Delta Tau where I was initiated in 1966 and where I wind up being elected as both our Corresponding Secretary and our Recording Secretary.  In another chapter during my junior year, I also served as Rush Chairman.  Those experiences collectively led me to a career in the media after graduate school at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.  As an example of my own outcome, ultimately I had the opportunity to represent BusinessWeek Magazine as a National Advertising Account Manager during a time when our magazine was consistently the leading national magazine in the US for advertising pages every year during my 13 year tenure.  Then, 10 years ago, I began my own media representation firm, James Armstrong & Associates, and I also had the opportunity to write a book entitled “Now What:  Discovering Your New Life & Career after 50.”  So, I have been privileged to become a media executive and author.  But, it all started in Fulton, MO at the Delta Tau Chapter of Sigma Chi.

James Armstrong

For Sigma Chi brothers wishing to contact Brother Armstrong, he can be reached at Jim@InboundLogistics.com.  Armstrong was initiated into the Delta Tau Chapter in 1966 and graduated from Westminster College in Fulton, MO in 1969.  For friends and colleagues, who have known him in the past, he can also be found as a member on both Linked In and Facebook.

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My Experience As A Sigma Chi Sweetheart

June 1, 2010

The following was written by Nikki Bussey,  the 2009-2010 sweetheart at the University of Memphis.

My experience as Sweetheart:

I wasn’t the typical Sweetheart. In fact, when I got the call I asked, “Are you sure?” I’m the girl who was more like one of the boys than the girls. I immediately embraced my role, even though I was very worried about the baking… As Carrie Bradshaw would say the only thing I have managed to successfully create in the kitchen is a mess…or a few small fires.

Baking aside, my time spent as the Sweetheart of the Epsilon Kappa Chapter of Sigma Chi included some of the best moments in my life. It was always easy to love my guys. From the time I was a freshman on campus, the Sigma Chi men were my favorite. They were the leaders on campus, they stood up when women were in their presence, they worked hard and sometimes played hard. They were always the men that all the girls wanted to be with, and many of my friends and my best friend joined Sigma Chi. The more time I spent with them, the more I loved being around them. I know every chapter will say they have the best guys, but we really do. So of course I was more than happy to represent these amazing men.

Last summer began my time as Sweetheart. The summer was filled with sunshine, karaoke, barbeque, festivals, and more. Every Wednesday I would leave my internship at a local news station to drive to their house to help them with summer recruitment. When I worked at my other job, the guys would all come into the restaurant and ask to sit in my section. That honestly meant the world to me. I HATED waiting tables, but having a large group of my guys made the night so much better.

When I actually attempted to cook or bake something, they ate it up and I would receive phone calls, texts, and Facebook messages thanking me for the food moments after leaving it at the house. (They could have been lying because I’m a terrible cook, but it still made me happy.) Another important factor with my guys is their endless support of my career aspirations. Any time I was able to write a story for the newscast or read a breaking news alert text message out loud, they listened to my excited babble and beamed with pride to tell others what I had done.

I could never forget Valentine’s Day. I was picked up and driven to a restaurant where a large portion of the guys had reserved a table for us. They also bestowed me with red roses (because they are my sorority’s signature flower), a box of candy, and a HUGE teddy bear. Easily, it was the best Valentine’s Day of my life. Who needs a boyfriend when you can have a group of 60 plus men who treat you better and love you just as much?

The spring Academic Banquet was filled with a room full of my smart Sigs. Then I was surprised to see a slide with my picture information on their slideshow. They listed everything they were proud off that I had accomplished in college. They supported me all the way to graduation where I received around a million congratulatory text messages, Twitter and Facebook posts. I was more than happy when I was finally able to attend the Spring Sweetheart Formal in New Orleans. I had been asked the past year but was unable to attend. So, this year the guys gave me one final present in singing The Sweetheart song to me. It brought me to tears, and you can ask anyone, I DO NOT cry. I hated to give away my title, of course, but I wish luck to the next girl, and to all future Sweethearts. It is truly a wonderful experience.

How the fraternity could make things better/easier for sweethearts:

I think there should be a Sigma Chi Sweetheart Boot camp: you know, welcoming her to the chapter so all the guys can meet her at one time. This should be done very quickly after she is invited to be Sweetheart. She should be given a copy of the Norman Shield or something similar since she needs to know some things about the chapter. Other than that, I cannot think of anything else.

Nikki Bussey

To further discuss Nikki’s time as a Sigma Chi Sweetheart you can contact her in the following ways:

email: nikkibussey@gmail.com

You Make The Stereotype

April 27, 2010

The following is an excerpt from the blog RudderYaw. The blog is written by a Sigma Chi named Tim Russell. After reading this post I felt like I needed to share it with others, because I think a lot of us have had similar experiences after joining Sigma Chi. Here are a couple of paragraphs that most reminded me of my college experience.

—————– RudderYaw  03/24/2010 ——————————–

As far as “frat boys” go, in college I was mild.  I drank some beer, participated in some pranks, and even wore a toga or two.  However, as measured by the low bar many people have for the Greek system, I may have represented a disappointing alter-paradigm disproving the modern stereotype.

As an undergraduate, I was often confused why my membership in a fraternity was such a polarizing topic to others.  I lost friends who told me I had “sold out”.  I didn’t feel different.  Quite the opposite, I joined Sigma Chi because I was impressed with the organization’s historical commitment to the high ideals of friendship, justice, and learning.  Even now, I anticipate some readers are rolling their eyes.

What some people don’t know about Greek organizations is that most were founded as literary or service societies.  The resumes of most fraternal founders are incredibly inspiring.  Unfortunately, today’s Greeks are known for debauchery and poor academic performance.  Even more heartbreaking is the behavior feeding those perceptions.

As a starry-eyed young man, I didn’t let negative sentiment influence my dedication.  I was committed to a set of guiding principles called, “the ritual”.  A majority of fraternities have rituals, and they are not what you might expect.
You can read the rest of the post here.

Facebook Profile: http://www.facebook.com/timrus

—————– RudderYaw  03/24/2010 ——————————–