Every year around this time there are scores of Sigma Pi men who have just fulfilled a dream that was not only their own, but that of many friends, family, and loved ones; graduation. To use a few clichés, walking the stage and receiving a degree of higher learning symbolizes the completion of a chapter, a time to finally cut out the kid stuff and start acting like grown-ups, the end of the best four (or five, or six…) years of our lives. Did you notice a theme there? In many ways, the persona we possess doing our time in college, is expected to come to an end. All too often, our identity as Fraternity men, as Sigma Pi men, goes with it too.
If it hasn’t happened already, there will come a time very soon in your lives when someone new in your life will notice your ΣΠ letters on an old rush shirt, coffee mug, etc. and ask “Oh, were you in a frat of something in college?” At this moment, you are being presented with a distinct choice. One that is very telling of the path you are traveling down currently. Most people will reply one of two ways. Either “Yes, I was in a fraternity in college” or “Yes, I am a Sigma Pi”. It is my belief that those who find ways to stay involved make up the “I am” brothers.
After college, many of us have a full plate just taking on the day-to-day trials that our lives place in front of us. There are still many more who find time to volunteer their support to our great Fraternity. However, there is a third group. One that all too often doesn’t receive the guidance it so desperately is seeking. These are the brothers who wish to remain involved but simply do not know how or where to begin.
If this is you, fear not. I’d like to spend some time briefly introducing you to the various ways you can continue the Quest for Excellence as a volunteer. Whether your schedule allows for you to travel around your area and plan large-scale retreats, or simply pitch in your assistance towards a focus area such as recruitment, there should always be a way for you to get involved.
- Alumni Advisory Board: If you are wondering where the easiest place to get started is, joining an Alumni Advisory Board (AAB) is it. AABs serve under the leadership of a Chapter/ Colony Director, supporting a specific function of the chapter/ colony which can be tailor-made to sit the needs of the group. These advisors can easily work together or independently to foster ongoing alumni relationships and mentoring. Here are some examples of typical AAB roles:
- oAlumni Comptroller: This role mirrors the Treasurer. His duty is to provide training, officer transitioning, and perform periodic audits of the chapter/colony finances to ensure everything is in order.
- oRecruitment Advisor: Were you once the recruitment wunderkind? Does your job involve recruitment strategies or sales? Recruitment is the lifeblood of every undergraduate group, and your help could be what is needed to take them to you next level.
- oService Advisor: Oversees the areas of ACE, Community Service and Philanthropy. Being active on our campuses, in our communities and contributing to financial efforts that make a difference is how we become “exemplary Sigma Pi and Citizens”.
- oFaculty Advisor: By tapping into the resources of the faculty, the men of Sigma Pi can marry their effort to Promote Scholarship, with those of the university.
- oAlumni Relations Advisor: As an undergraduate, did you ever put together what was sure to be an amazing alumni event, only to discover that the alumni weren’t properly informed, or really all that interested in going? Maybe you called in every favor and bribe you could to get every last brother to attend, and yet only three alumni showed up. Something has clearly gone wrong… And that is where the Alumni Relations Advisor comes into play. His job is to network with the alumni base and get them pumped up for your chapter’s events.
- oCareer Placement Advisor: I assume at some point, someone told you that joining the Fraternity would help you get a job after you graduated, right? Well jobs don’t just fall into our laps, especially not these days. That is were the Career Placement Advisor steps in. He has the resume, interviewing, and networking skills and tips to help you land that dream job straight out of school. He also has a relationship with the on-campus career services center to help double down on anything they can offer.
- oNew Member Education Advisor: Not only is this advisor beneficial for enhancing the educational value of the New Member program, but he also stands as the vanguard of the alumni’s defense against hazing.
- Chapter/ Colony Director: (2-3hrs/week) When it comes to alumni support for a specific chapter/colony, the Chapter/Colony Director is the primary point of contact for day-to-day activities. His greatest resource is a handpicked team known as the Alumni Advisory Board. He is able to add/drop AAB members at will and is given several powers by the International Constitution and Bylaws in order to discipline chapters should the need arise. If you are looking for a way to make impactful changes across an entire chapter, or help shape a forming colony, this is the best position for you.
- Province Archon: (2-3hrs/week) These men act as area managers for Sigma Pi, overseeing all parts of the fraternity (colonies, chapters, alumni clubs, etc.) that are within their geographic area. This role requires a bit more supervisory skill than the previous volunteer roles. However, they are able to work hand-in-hand with the Executive Office to make lasting changes on multiple chapters.
- Grand Council: Sigma Pi Fraternity’s Board of Directors. The Grand Council is made up of veteran members of the organization, passionate Sigma Pi’s, and men accomplished in their field. The Grand Counselors serve two-year terms and are elected to their positions at every Biennial Convocation.
Staying involved after you graduate isn’t as easy. You don’t have mandatory meetings and events to attend, brotherhood camping trips to bond over, or all-night study sessions to cram for final exams together. Personally, when I graduated, there was a short period where I wondered if it was time that I merely was a Sigma Pi in college. As fate would have it, the Chapter Director at the time, Brother Tyler Buske (UTSA - ΙΔ) had to step down for personal reasons. I was approached about taking the opening, applied for the position and never looked back! I can honestly say that in the two and a half years that I served as Chapter Director before taking this position on staff, I was able to impact the lives of dozens of Sigma Pi men. What I couldn’t have guessed was the level of personal growth I received in doing so. I could once more feel the bonds of Brotherhood made real in my own daily life and have been able to proclaim boldly ever since that I am a Sigma Pi.
How to Volunteer
To start your volunteer career, visit http://sigmapi.org/volunteer/. *REMEMBER* If there is not a CD or PA positions available near you, or you don not believe you’ll have time to fill these roles, you should speak to your local CD or PA about joining an AAB to contribute and stay involved in any way you feel you can.