Sig Stories Series - My Sigma Phi Experience
Thursday, March 1, 2018
I’ve been out of the University of Michigan for just over two years now and looking back at my college days is a really enjoyable exercise in nostalgia. As a freshman I joined Sigma Phi and had no idea how this simple act would change my college experience for the better. And not just my college experience but even after graduation. I was lucky enough to join Sigma Phi the year that the Michigan chapter hosted 4th of March hosting actives and alumni from all over the US. It helped me with my early foray in networking and inspired me to keep in touch and visit other chapters.
As the college years went by, I was able to meet more and more actives and alumni by participating in other chapters’ rush, pledging and initiations. Two of the more memorable visits I had were to the chapter at Hamilton and the chapter at UNC. These visits helped me not only learn more about other chapters and their culture and bring some ideas back to the Michigan chapter, but also helped with making new friends in other states. An added bonus is knowing I have friends and places I want to visit in the future. During these trips I would talk with the alums to learn their stories about how and when they pledged in the various chapters, and laugh with them about the many shenanigans that went on during their time as actives.
One of the most important moments for me however, was in my senior year, when I was awarded the Viele Scholarship. This was a huge financial award which helped me afford rent and expenses and buy a Sig Badge, one of my most treasured possessions. Receiving the Viele scholarship couldn’t have happened without the wonderful alumni encouragement and support throughout the process. I discovered that Sigma Phi alumni truly want to help out the actives and I am truly grateful for the many who patiently answered all my questions and reviewed several versions of my application for the scholarship. These are the type of connections that foster the bonds of next generation of Sigs and also help to create the ties that bind us all together, regardless of which chapter we came from.
Once I had graduated, work brought me to northern Wisconsin. I knew I wanted to visit the Madison chapter and see if there was any way I could help out the actives while I was visiting in Madison. Along with a few fellow Michigan Sigs in tow I helped participate in the rush and initiation ceremonies and when the initiation was complete, we were glad to provide advice to the newly initiated brothers. Our main advice consisted of three points: to live in the house, participate as much as possible in house activities, and to stay active after they have graduated.
I know there are some Sigs who try to stay as active as possible at nearby fraternity chapters and I hope that all Sigs can take that to heart. If it weren’t for wonderful support from fellow alums, both in person and by email/LinkedIn, I would not be where I am today. I highly encourage all alums to visit a local chapter and/or their alma mater to help encourage and inspire the next generation of Sigs. See if you can swing by your chapter or a nearby chapter - 4th of March is coming up soon! Get involved and stay involved.
Kailash Brodeur M'12
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