Mission 365 Is The Reason I Am a Sigma Chi

January 28, 2010

This is my own personal experience of going through rush and how Mission 365 changed my life.

When I got to college I was unsure about pledging a fraternity and had pretty much made up my mind that I wouldn’t do it. Part of me didn’t think there was a point to go through rush. When there were parties some friends and I would still go to all the different houses and have a lot of fun. Thats all I really saw in a fraternity, was having fun at a party. Members seemed to be really close friends, but I already had really close friends. The deciding factor was that I didn’t think I could keep up my g.p.a. if I was pledging. So when recruitment started that Fall I decided that I wasn’t going to rush a fraternity and would possibly give it a shot in the Spring if my grades were okay.

As the semester went on I hung out at most of the houses on campus and knew a good number of members at each of them. The High School I went to is in the same town as the college I attended so I already had friends in each fraternity. I was attending parties and going to lunch with brothers throughout the semester. I didn’t realize it then, but I was going through recruitment the whole time.

They might not have realized it, but the fraternities were going through recruitment too. How they treated each other was a big deal to me. I was watching their every move, how they interacted with brothers and how they treated their pledges. It stood out when a member praised another member and it stood out more when somebody would bad mouth another member who wasn’t around. Interactions on campus as well as parties played a role in how I perceived each fraternity.

Sigma Chi wasn’t even at the top of my list when the school year started. I knew less guys at Sigma Chi then I did at the other fraternities and nobody from my graduating class pledged Sigma Chi. As the semester went along I began to feel more and more comfortable at the Sigma Chi house. During Christmas break me and a buddy of mine decided we were for sure going to rush in the Spring. We attended parties when the semester started and signed up for rush.

The Fall semester is when most people go through rush and it is much more formal. The Spring semester doesn’t really have many rules so you just kinda hang out whenever you want at the fraternity houses. We had both gotten calls from a couple of houses during rush and hung out at all of em. Hardly anyone really thought me or my friend would pledge Sigma Chi. Mostly because people from our High School rarely did. But I remember towards the end of rush we were talking about it and he distinctly said “I”m starting to think Sigma Chi” and I responded with “Yeah, thats exactly what I was thinking”. I knew it was going to shock some people, but mostly I was excited that we were both gonna pledge Sigma Chi.

If my chapter wouldn’t have recruited me throughout the Fall semester I am pretty sure I never would have become a Sigma Chi. I wouldn’t have had the chance to get to know all the guys and would have ended up rushing the same fraternity as other people I went to High School with. Mission 365 can be very powerful and in my case ended up changing my life.

If you want more information about Mission 365 then please contact Erich Sauer.

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Jacob Cook
http://jacobadamcook.com

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Sigma Chi Recruitment – Becoming a Charter Member

September 8, 2009

This is a guest post by Isaac Chavez from Kappa Xi Chapter at Tarleton State University and is the 2nd guest post we’ve posted about recruitment week. Thank you Isaac for sharing your recruitment experience.

I’m sure every Sigma Chi brother has their own amazing recruitment story.  After all, it’s because we saw something special during rush that we all decided to pledge Sigma Chi over all the other organizations on campus.  Where does a high school senior start? There are the big guys: UT, Texas A&M, Texas Tech… but not to be forgotten were University of North Texas in Denton, St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, and St. Edwards in Austin.  I got some information from a little heard of university – Tarleton State – at a recruitment fair.  They seemed on the up and up, but my academic adviser in high school actually warned me against TSU because of the small minority population and “small minded Texans”.

Being a progressive city boy who hates to be told that I can’t overcome adversity, I decided to check out the campus for myself.  I’m not sure if it was the small town environment, the nice scholarship offer, or the amazing hospitality that first drew me in, but after a campus visit, there was no other choice for me.  Tarleton State University it is.

Tarleton was far enough from home to spread my wings, but close enough for parental approval.  My adviser was right: but there were only a handful of minorities at TSU.  Guys from the dorm were all talking about Rush, but I had no clue or concept of what they were talking about.  They talked me into it and we went as a group, I guess there is power in numbers.  After checking out Lambda Chi, Kappa Delta Rho, Delta Chi, we came to the Sigma Chi Omega room.  They were smart, didn’t focus on girls, drinking, or partying.  They explained they had the highest GPA among the fraternities.  I felt like there was more substance to their presentation.  It drew me in and it seemed I fit in well with the Sigma Chi Omegas.  They seemed to have more substance than the other groups at Rush.  So, after much contemplation, I rushed and got a Bid from Sigma Chi Omega.

As it turns out they were a petitioning local chapter to Sigma Chi. As a freshman who had just pledged, the terms “petitioning local” meant nothing to me, but I was told things were about to get much better than they are now.  So, after my pledge period and Sigma Chi Omega initiation, I turned into paperwork master.  There’s so much work involved in becoming a Sigma Chi chapter, and we all worked hard to make it happen.  We actually obtained our charter faster than it had ever been done before (at the time) and became the Kappa Xi chapter of Sigma Chi on 9/26/06.  I’m a charter member of the chapter.  My parents came to the banquet put on by the Fraternity/University and instantly became fans.  Thankfully, they paid my Sigma Chi dues thanks to a personal conversation they had with Dick Hester, Grand Consul at the time.

The friends I made will last a lifetime.  They extend all over the USA.  Sigma Chi taught me confidence, taught me composure, and after serving on IFC board, it taught me great negotiation skills.  All of the above helped my professional life and have groomed me into what I am today.  To any gentlemen asking themselves “Should I rush”, the simple answer is Yes! Is Sigma Chi for everyone? No. But we’re smart enough to realize each individual is comprised of different temperaments, talents, and convictions, and if they align with our vision, we welcome you with open arms.

IHSV,
Isaac Chavez
Tarleton State University ’00
Kappa Xi Chapter – #32
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Isaac once again thanks for sharing your story and helping begin a  new chapter at Tarleton State University.

If you’re interested in writing a guest post  about your Sigma Chi experiences then please contact me at:
contact [at] sharesigmachi [dot] com

IHSV,
Jacob Cook


Sigma Chi Recruitment – First Hand Experience

September 1, 2009

This is a guest post by Martin Erbele from Theta Epsilon at North Georgia College and State University. Martin has been gracious enough to share his experiences when he was “rushed” by Sigma Chi.

My recruitment week experience was one that actually started many months before – Our school has deferred recruitment and I was not yet convinced Greek Life was something I was interested in once the Spring came around.  I watched a lot of my friends go off and join different Fraternities and though they seemed to have fun with their pledge brothers, it didn’t seem as meaningful I as I hoped, and I was pleased I chose not to participate.

But about halfway through the Spring semester, I started to grow closer towards a few new friends in a couple of my classes.  I just knew them on a first name basis at first, but my impressions of these guys were reflected on the fact they behaved well, held the door open for women, even dressed nicely.  Most importantly though, was how genuine they seemed and how incredible close they became throughout the semester.

And though I became closer friends with them all, as well as more guys they introduced me to, it was evident they were forming a bond much closer than friendship.

I saw they all wore a small little blue and white pin over their heart and shortly after I met them I asked what ‘Frat’ they had joined.  They told me they were hoping to become Brothers in the Sigma Chi Fraternity – they kindly told me they don’t shorten it to ‘frat’.

And even though I still wasn’t convinced that I would join any Fraternity, Sigma Chi was clearly a different group than the ones I had first hung out with at the beginning of the year.  So with mild, but growing interest, I came to several Intramural games and even a community service event one early Saturday morning.  Furthermore, Several Brothers and the Pledges I had first met told me I had a place to sleep in their apartment just seconds away from campus and I was invited to a few camping trips and school athletic events with the guys too.

All this kindness and inclusion for someone who had repeatedly said, ‘No thanks, I’m not interested’.

Then shortly before the end of the Spring semester, after a week of silence and a weekend where I heard nothing from the guys, my friends came back to class not wearing their pledge pin.  The 5 of them were Brothers.  And if I thought they were tightly-knit before, I was amazed at how they grew closer still.  They were true Sigma Chi Brothers, visibly living the values they had briefly told me about in the Jordan Standard and the Sigma Chi Creed.

It only took a few days before I realized that I had seriously misjudged this group of men.  Sigma Chi was not your stereotypical ‘Frat’ – they were men of value and honor.

I spent the entire summer going to baseball games and grilling out.  I was fortunate to meet nearly all the Brothers who I found were all very different and diverse, but all treated each other and me so well.  I took the Brothers up on the offer to stay at their apartments more and more often.  It was one of the seemingly shortest summers I can remember just because I was enjoying myself so much.  I was so caught up I realized, I had never officially said anything other than the ‘No thanks, I don’t to join’ I had vowed during the Spring.

So in the Fall, again our school follows deferred rush, I told the Recruitment Chairman that I changed my mind, and if I was lucky enough to receive an open bid, I would gladly accept it.

A few days later on a very informal bid acceptance day, I got a call from the Greek Life Office.  Inside an envelope with my name on it were a few bids.  Ms. Ledford, the Greek Life Coordinator said I could take a few hours to decide which one to take.  I actually cut her sentence off a bit in excitement, but told her I didn’t need to think about it.  I’m rushing Sigma Chi.

I feel really fortunate.  Sigma Chi has made my college experience.

Martin Erbele
North Georgia College and State University
Theta Epsilon Chapter, Fall ’07, #572
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First off, I want to thank Martin for sharing his story and I also want to thank the brothers who continuously rushed Martin even when he said he wasn’t interested. Because they practiced Mission365 they were able to initiate a brother who has already accomplished some great things for Sigma Chi. In Hoc fellas.

Since becoming a member of Sigma Chi Martin has

  • Attended Balfour,
  • Attended Horizons twice
  • Met the grand executive board several times
  • Held an executive office

If you’re interested in writing a guest post  about your Sigma Chi experiences then please contact me at:
contact [at] sharesigmachi [dot] com

IHSV,
Jacob Cook


Rush/Recruitment Week: The Life Blood of Sigma Chi

August 20, 2009

The 2nd most important week for any Sigma Chi Chapter is quickly approaching and may have already started for some chapters. The week that follows months of hard work and preparation can become a huge boost or major let down to your chapter morale…. Recruitment Week. I say it is the 2nd most important because it is hard to argue against Initiation Week.

The events, schedule and actions during recruitment week are different for every chapter. Some may only have 3 days of campus sanctioned recruitment, your chapter may only be allowed to “rush” potential members during certain hours of the day and night, and some chapters may have a full week “free for all”. No matter how your recruitment week is setup it is crucial for every chapter to be as productive as possible.  This doesn’t mean that you have to give out the most bids or get the most pledges either.

Quality Over Quantity
I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity mostly because I’ve seen what happens when your main priority is the # of pledges you get. Sure its great at first going around campus telling everyone how Sigma Chi got the most pledges because most people on campus use that to measure how well you did during rush. The problem with worrying about your numbers and getting all these guys, is that you have “all” these guys. If you don’t do your due diligence and make sure you are getting quality guys, then you end up with a fraternity that has a lot of guys who don’t make your chapter better. This only makes things harder for your quality members to make your chapter successful.

The Standard

Every Sigma Chi knows what I mean when I say “The Standard”. The following are the minimum requirements to pledge Sigma Chi as stated in the Jordan Standard.

  • A Man of Good Character…….
  • A Student of Fair Ability…….
  • With Ambitious Purposes…….
  • A Congenial Disposition…….
  • Possessed of Good Morals…….
  • Having a High Sense of Honor and
  • A Deep Sense of Personal Responsibility.

So make sure during recruitment week that you use “The Standard” while getting to know potential members. That’s what it’s there for.

Sharing Ideas
I wrote this post hoping it could serve as a central hub for Sigs to share their recruitment ideas, thoughts, events and questions. I encourage all Sigs to post comments with ideas for rush events or ask any questions you have about rush week.

Remember that recruitment week can take your chapter to a new high or if not given the proper attention can bring a chapter down. So I encourage all Sigs to participate in their recruitment week, do the best that you can and let’s add some more quality guys to the 200,000+ that we already have.

IHSV
Jacob Cook