• Fraternity Pledging
    Fraternity Pledging Thoughts from the Chapter Services Department of Sigma Pi Fraternity, International

When I was younger, I asked my youth pastor for the best advice he could offer me. He said to me, “It is simple: once you have made a commitment to someone or something, honor that commitment.” I have witnessed many different types of commitment over the years. I have watched friends of losing sports teams commit to a team even though they might be the laughing stock of the league for decades. I have watched friends who have committed to the military and served multiple tours even after they were no longer required to. I have watched my parents commit to each other for 55 years of marriage and I am amazed that each day they are still in love with one another.

You see, commitment is not just a feeling you have one day, it is a feeling you will have every day for the rest of your life. Commitment is staying through the great times and more importantly the tough times. It is facing adversity head-on even if you already know the results will not be good. Commitment is when you tell someone you will do something and not changing your mind because you might have fun being somewhere else. Commitment is seeing something through from start-to-finish and beyond.

I have witnessed many brothers make a commitment to Sigma Pi as a lifelong membership. I have also witnessed brothers turn their back on that commitment. They may have joined for the wrong reasons, did not see the benefit of membership, did not feel it was a priority in their life or did not want to participate anymore. Why would you take a lifelong oath only to give it up in a few years? If you are going to break your solemn obligation, then what else are you going to break? Your relationships? Your friendships? Your promises?

When you commit to something you stick with it. When you break a commitment to someone you lose a part of their trust. The same will happen when you commit to something in your chapter. When you commit to being at an event and you choose to do something else, your brothers lose faith in you. When they lose faith in you, then you become unreliable. When you are unreliable, then brothers quit asking for you to be involved. At this point, you either choose to change their minds and renew your commitment or you choose to leave and not be a part of the chapter.

So examine how you make commitments to your chapter and in your life. What have you done to help improve your chapter? Can your brothers count on you? Are you in this for now or are you in this for life?

I want to leave you with a quote from Kenneth H. Blanchard, “There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses-only results.”

As I sat in my hotel late at night on March 17th, I remembered that it was not only St. Patrick’s Day; it was also my grandfather’s 85th birthday. I ran to my phone and hoped he was still awake. Thankfully, in spite of my forgetfulness I was able to wish him a happy birthday and catch up on how he and my grandmother were doing. Later in the conversation, he asked me how my travels were going and if I felt I was making a difference. My response to him was simple: My purpose is to make a difference for the better in the lives of the young men I work with.

Lately, it seems that Greek life is being portrayed overwhelmingly in a negative light; news articles depict fraternity and sorority members as self-interested, morally bankrupt, and indifferent to the good of the community in which they live. However, we often do not have the ammunition to successfully fight back and defend our organization because we have lost sight of our purpose. If you do not believe me, take a look around the next time you say your creed in chapter meeting. How many of your members simply mumble or look at others when they forget the next phrase? It is surprising and, moreover, it is disturbing that the very words we choose to live by have been forgotten and are said without conviction and without meaning.

My challenge to every Sigma Pi member is to ask yourself this question: Why you are investing time and effort in something, if you are just going to go through the motions without a purpose? Set goals, whether you are a brand new member, committee chairman, or executive officer, to accomplish for yourself and your chapter by the end of this semester. When you are planning your next community service or ACE project, remember that the project is designed to give back to your host institution or community, not an excuse for you to party. When that alumnus donates his time or money, he does it so that you may experience the same opportunities he had and to demonstrate that giving back to the organization is the right and moral thing to do. Be thankful for that.

The final words I want to leave you with refer to back to my grandfather. When I think of what it means to be an ethical, morally strong, intelligent, and outstanding citizen, I think of my grandfather. My purpose in life, no matter what path I lead, is to strive to be a man of his character and resolve, and if I do that I will have lived a fruitful life. With that purpose in mind, I strive to make Sigma Pi the best it can be and encourage young men to become the change they wish to see. Find your purpose and your Sigma Pi experience will continue for a lifetime.

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This past weekend 430 undergraduate brothers and 520 total Sigma Pi Fraternity members gathered in St. Louis for the 13th annual Mid-Year Leadership Conference (MYLC). The annual conference focuses on training newly elected officers and developing their leadership skills to lead our chapters on a quest for excellence. Most chapters sent four officers to attend, the President, Vice President, Treasurer and Recruitment Chairman. In all 119 of 122 chapters and colonies sent students to the conference.

Read more: 2014 Mid-Year Leadership Conference


There are many things that you can do to prepare yourself for a new leadership position.  You can read a book, talk with your campus advisor, find a mentor within your chapter that has previously served in the position or even simply Google “student leadership”.  In my experience as a student leader and a campus administrator, I have found that the best way to prepare for a leadership position is to attend a leadership conference. 

Read more: Attending Leadership Conferences

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About Chapter Services

The Chapter Services Department consists of five Regional Directors that oversee each active chapter in Sigma Pi.  This blog consists of thoughts from the Regional Directors, as well as Assistant Executive Director Jason Walker. Founded in 1897, Sigma Pi Fraternity is the leading, international men's collegiate fraternal organization which provides training, guidance and innovative opportunities for Leadership Development, Social and Personal Development, Academic Achievement, Community Service and Heightened Moral Awareness for its brothers throughout their lives.

Contact Jason Walker:

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Tel: 615.921.2300

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