How Are Alumni, Parents, and Faculty Involved?

Adult support from alumni, parents, and faculty is critical. Alumni volunteers own and manage the chapter house, are caretakers of the chapter's long-term vision, facilitate career networking and education, and mentor the undergraduate leadership. In fact, a graduate student (called a Resident Scholar) lives in the chapter house to provide academic and personal guidance. SigEp's Parents Club supports the chapter through fundraising and multiple parents events throughout the year. Faculty help to teach the chapter's development program and provide academic mentoring, and SigEp hosts a professor for dinner and discussion every month.

How Does the Fraternity Operate?

SigEp is self-governing and the undergraduates are responsible for day-to-day operations. Every year, the chapter elects a president and six executive leaders to run the fraternity's operations. More chapter members serve as chairmen and lead efforts in specific areas, such as academics, intramurals, community service, and more. Alumni, parents, and faculty serve as chapter advisors, manage the chapter house, and in conjunction with the undergraduates, set the chapter's long-term vision. SigEp national fraternity provides support through a professional staff based in Richmond, Virginia, and a traveling consultant called a Regional Director, who visits our chapter approximately three times per year to assist with guidance and planning. In addition, UNI employs a Greek Life coordinator who advises Greek chapters and their governing councils.

Is It Better to Join Right Away as a Freshman or Wait?

Often, a freshman's first instinct is to "get his feet under him" at college before joining a fraternity. It seems to make sense until you consider the academic, development, leadership, and social support SigEp offers. What's a better way to "get your feet under you" - take advantage of a group of people supporting your integration into all aspects of college life, or try to do it all on your own? SigEps who join as freshmen consistently say that they're thankful they did, and those who wait say they wish they'd joined right away. Read their testimonials and see.

I Like What I See, But What if My Family Has Concerns?

Almost every parent has some concerns about their son joining a fraternity, and we don't recommend joining until those concerns are resolved. Fortunately, there are a number of resources to help. Reading the testimonials on this website often goes a long way toward demonstrating SigEp's value. Also, many parents of current SigEps and SigEp alumni are happy to speak with parents about the Fraternity's positive influence.

Why Should I Join?

Simply put, there's no other student organization at UNI that offers SigEp's combination of academic support, leadership development, personal skills development, community service, and intramural athletics.  To top it off, you'll meet the men who will be some of your best friends for life.

Im on an Academic Scholarship or in the Honors College. Would SigEp Negatively Affect Those Involvements?

No; academics are priority #1. SigEp has a 3.22 average GPA, higher than the all-campus average of 2.98 and higher than all UNI fraternities and sororities. We provide academic skills classes for new members, including time management, speed reading, and academic advising led by Karen Agee, retired Reading and Learning Coordinator at UNI. SigEp has the programs and proven results to help you excel academically and maintain your scholarship or Honors College commitments.

How is SigEp Involved in Campus Activities and Other Campus Groups?

In addition to the 25+ leadership roles in the fraternity, SigEps are involved in over 100 campus organizations, with notable leadership roles in student government (multiple senators and student body presidents in 2009-10 and 2010-11, and 2012-13), the Interfraternity Council (President and Vice-President), residence hall government (Bender Hall President), Student Alumni Ambassadors (President), 4 members of Connecting Alumni to Students, College of Business Professional Readiness Program, and many, many more. SigEp encourages and expects its members to grow their leadership skills outside of the chapter to benefit themselves and UNI.

Whats the Process to Join SigEp?

Fraternity recruitment has two purposes: making friends, and deciding whether SigEp is a fit for each potential member , and whether the potential member is a fit for SigEp.  Recruitment activities are a combination of individual meetings and recruitment events involving a number of chapter members and potential members, and are offered throughout the year, including summer.  
  • Step 1: Informal "Get-to-Know-You"
When you meet most fraternities, they'll try to bring you to a big "rush" event, where there will be a bunch of guys with only a couple you know.  We don't.  We start with an informal meeting - coffee, lunch, something like that - with you and a couple of fraternity members.  Why?  We want to get to know you, your goals, and what you're looking for out of your time at UNI, and discuss how we think SigEp can help you.  Sometimes there's a match, and if that's true for you, we'll move on to the next step.  Sometimes there's not, and that's okay; we only want to bring in members who we can help.  
  • Step 2: Meet the Chapter
If you do decide to explore SigEp further, we'll invite you to a chapter event so you can meet some more of the chapter members.  This is really important, because not only do we want to know that we can help you achieve your goals, we want you to know that you're comfortable with the men in the chapter.  You may not know after one event; it may take a few.  But that's okay, because we want you to be sure.  And if you decide we're not your kind of people, that's okay.  
  • Step 3: Learn What to Expect and How SigEp Can Benefit You
If you decide you like what SigEp can offer you and you like the guys, the next step is to talk specifics.  We want to make sure you're okay with the time and monetary commitment, and that you clearly understand what you'll need to do in SigEp to get the benefits you're looking for.  So if you're really interested in developing your leadership skills, we'll make sure you understand how that can happen.  If you really want to compete in intramurals, we'll go through that.  If you're really interested in career development and networking, we'll cover that...and on and on.  It may take a couple of meetings, but it's very important, becuase you need to know exactly what's expected of you.  Most potential members who get to this point decide to join the chapter, but if you decide it isn't for you, again, that's okay.  
  • Step 4: Decide If It's For You
The last step is make the commitment to SigEp by signing what's known as a bid card, which registers you with UNI as a member of SigEp.  You'll also register online with SigEp headquarters and pay your first semester dues of $335.   Once that happens, you'll go through a ceremony marking your induction into the Fraternity as a full member of SigEp - not as a pledge - and you'll begin the chapter's member education program.  And you'll be a full member of SigEp, starting your journey of brotherhood.

Im a Varsity Athlete. Can I Be in my Sport and SigEp?

Yes. Varsity athletes bring a unique and desirable dimension to SigEp. At the same time, we recognize the time commitment that comes with being a varsity athlete. Most fraternities lump all new members into the same schedule with the same expectations and don't make accommodations for that commitment; but SigEp does. We create a personalized involvement plan for each athlete allowing him to gain value from the SigEp experience while maintaining his athletic commitments.

Can I Hold a Job and Still Be a Member?

Absolutely. Most of our members hold jobs in addition to their studies, SigEp involvement, and campus leadership activities.

What Charitable Groups Does SigEp Support?

What Kinds of Academic Support Does SigEp Offer?

SigEp offers a variety of academic mentoring programs to enhance their performance, including time management, course planning, speed reading, and effective test-taking. We use our faculty advisor, Steve Carigan, to provide monthly "check-in" meetings with our newest members to ensure they're on-track academically. And our undergraduate leadership performs periodic grade checks to make sure our newest members are succeeding.
 
But the most important thing isn't even something SigEp consciously does. It's the extra lift, the extra support you get when a chapter full of your best friends constantly asks how you're doing academically, whether you're on track, and whether you need help. You're not going to get that anywhere else - not from the guys on your residence hall floor, not really from your resident assistant, and not from your professors. Where UNI forces you to seek out help, SigEp brings it to your doorstep.

If I Dont Join at the Start of a Semester, Have I Missed My Chance?

Absolutely not!  It is very common for members to join after the first few weeks of the semester.  Recruitment events are held throughout the year to give students the opportunity to join at a time that works best for them.  Regardless of when a member joins, he receives full benefits immediately.

What Kinds of Events Does SigEp Hold?

SigEp holds a number of events throughout the year, including:
  • Philanthropies such as Snag-a-SigEp-Stud, Feed the Need, and Into the Streets
  • Social mixers with other student groups and sororities
  • Formal and informal date functions
  • Athletic competitions through recruitment events, intramurals, and philanthropies
  • Community service including adoption of Edison Elementary School and work with the Dan Gable Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum
  • Alumni/undergraduate activities including an annual golf tournament, homecoming, and a spring basketball game
  • Parent activities, including fall Parents' Day and spring Senior Send-Off
  • Discussions and seminars facilitated by faculty and community leaders

Am I Expected to Live in the House?

SigEp has a chapter house to provide an organizational "hub" for the chapter, where approximately 4 chapter members live. There is no requirement to live in the house, and many of our most productive members have never lived in the house. Despite the lack of a requirement, there is almost always a waiting list to move into the house.

Whats the Role of Alcohol in SigEp?

Sigma Phi Epsilon does not promote the use of alcohol in any manner whatsoever. It is the fraternity’s opinion that alcohol should only be used in a safe and responsible manner by people of legal age.
   
Sigma Phi Epsilon goes to great lengths to educate its members on alcohol and its effects. Through national programming, Sigma Phi Epsilon helps its members understand the consequences of one’s choices when alcohol is involved. SigEp also promotes risk management guidelines to help chapters and members make smart decisions when it comes to alcohol.

What’s Expected of New Members?

Most fraternities place higher expectations and time commitments on new members. SigEp doesn't. Expectations of new members are the same as every member - attend weekly chapter and educational (Balanced Man Program) meetings, participate in intramurals and community service activities, join a campus organization, exceed the fraternity minimum GPA of 2.8, sit on a chapter leadership committee, and participate in social events as desired. All told, the average new member participates in SigEp activities approximately 5 hours per week.
 
Also, unlike most fraternties, SigEp doesn't have a "pledge" or "associate member" program.  New members are full members right away with all the same rights and privileges as the oldest chapter member.

What About Hazing?

SigEp does NOT haze, period.  It has no place at UNI or any of SigEp's other campuses.
 
There are many reasons we don't haze our new members.  We're not training men for battle, so a heavily disciplined "boot camp" style of development makes no sense.  We're not the military, so yelling and physical drills are not tolerated.  We're not in kindergarten, so we do not watch our new members every minute of every day. We do not believe we need to "tear someone down so we can build them up again," a common justification among hazing organizations.  We take only men of the highest quality to begin with, and help them grow in positive ways.
 
If you have any doubt, consider this.  In the past 4 years, two student body presidents (Adam Haselhuhn and Jordan Bancroft-Smythe) joined SigEp after they were elected.  Why would a senior and Student Body President join an organization where he would be hazed?

What Educational Opportunities Does SigEp Offer?

SigEp is the only UNI fraternity to provide a 4-year membership education program called the Balanced Man Program. The program consists of 4 phases that approximate to the 4 years of college (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior) and cover age-appropriate topics, from UNI orientation and time management as a freshman to financial planning and selecting a wedding ring as a senior. Read more about the Balanced Man Program here.
 
In addition, SigEp nationally sponsors the Leadership Continuum that provides regional, national, and international educational opportunities throughout the college experience. Read more about the Leadership Continuum.

What Time Commitment is Expected?

As with most experiences, the more you invest, the more you gain. SigEp's intent is to offer a variety of academic, development, leadership, athletic, service, and social opportunities for our members - a "cafeteria" approach, with some baseline participation expectations.
 
At a minimum, SigEps attend weekly chapter and educational (Balanced Man Program) meetings, participate in intramurals and community service activities, join a campus organization, exceed the fraternity minimum GPA of 2.8, sit on a chapter leadership committee, and participate in social events as desired. All told, the average member participates in SigEp activities approximately 5 hours per week, while those who choose a leadership role invest more.

What Does It Cost to Be a SigEp and What Does It Fund?

SigEp members pay semesterly dues of $335 to support chapter operations. Discounts are provided for high academic achievement.  When a new member joins SigEp, he receives The Lifetime Responsibility of Brotherhood (the Fraternity's manual), Fraternity Pin, Membership Card, Membership Certificate, and a lifetime subscription to SigEp's alumni magazine, The Journal of Sigma Phi Epsilon.
The remainder of fraternity dues fund chapter operations, including leadership academies, academic and development programs, community service, and social events. In addition, the chapter pays semesterly fees to the national SigEp fraternity and UNI to provide a support structure, insurance coverage, and leadership programming.