Please view the video PiCast below:
As a longtime volunteer for Sigma Pi Fraternity, I get not only my own perspective on the benefits of Fraternity life such as leadership skills and communication skills that I didn't have coming into my local chapter, but I also get the perspective of the many undergraduates that I work with that also benefit from the relationships they built over a lifetime. Instinctively, I knew how relevant Fraternity life is for students today. Now the data from Gallup actually proves what we saw in ourselves and in our chapters.
Here is the link to the Inside Higher Ed article titled "Participants in Greek System Thrive After College, Gallup Finds": http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2014/05/27/participants-greek-system-thrive-after-college-gallup-finds#sthash.os2a8NnM.dpbs
Here is the link to the full video press conference from Gallup announcing the results of their study: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1_SXQmq72A
As Pete Smithhisler stated so well, when someone asks why should I join a Fraternity or Sorority, the answer is because it will make you better. By becoming good partners with higher ed to ensure that more opportunities are made available for our students, and then correcting the issues faced by our college students today, Fraternities and Sororities can continue to produce great citizens who have a higher sense of well being and are more engaged in their work. That's ultimately what our host institutions are trying to build, and it's what we need more than ever as a society.
NIC members have contributed 2,763,007 service hours in their communities for 2012 - 2013, and NIC members have given $21,346,415 in philanthropic dollars in 2011 - 2012. When you couple that with our alumni and their service on an annual basis, we're making a measurable impact together. Our shared values is what makes our brotherhood, and that lasts a lifetime. I'm very proud of our Greek community.
Awards from the annual NIC meeting in Atlanta, GA.
I've just returned from helping to facilitate UIFI at Purdue, and it continues to be some of the best programming that I've seen for the Greek community. Here's the good news. There are still spots open for you or your chapter members to attend in July of 2014!
UIFI is a five day institute that allows fraternity and sorority members to enhance their leadership skills, increase their commitment to their organization, and to understand how they can live their values and get other chapter members to do the same. As a result of this five day experience, the undergraduates will develop a plan on how they can change the direction of chapters on their campus and bring positive change to Greeks as a whole. You'll have fun, it will open your eyes to what our organization are really about, it will challenge you, and it will inspire you. Best of all, you'll have new friends that will go through this experience along with you to hold you accountable to executing your plan.
Check out this video about the UIFI experience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1Y3PNio10U
If you are in a fraternity or sorority and haven't yet gone through UIFI, I would strongly suggest that you do. The spots still open are:
Session 8: July 9 - 13, Session 9: July 12 - 16, Session 10: July 16 - 20, Session 11: July 19 - 23, and Session 12: July 23 - 27.
The location is Indiana University, but it's open to all, no matter which University you go to. To register, click here: http://www.nicindy.org/attend-uifi.html
Chapter 5, UIFI Purdue 2014
All of Purdue UIFI, 2014
Gallup-Purdue just released a study today that will be a major topic of discussion for many years to come. They look at over 30,000 college graduates across the United States and evaluate their engagement at work and overall sense of well being after graduation. The key finding? It matters less on the type of institution, and it matters more on their experience at their University.
You can find more details on the study here: http://www.gallup.com/poll/168848/life-college-matters-life-college.aspx
So, how does all of this relate to Fraternities and Sororities? Two key pieces from the study become very important. "When graduates are emotionally attached to their college or university, they are two times more likely to be thriving in all elements of well-being, and they are two times more likely to be engaged with their jobs." Then you combine that with this piece: "Alumni who participated in school clubs or fraternities or sororities exhibit higher attachment. Twenty-one percent of graduates who they were members of clubs on campus (about 56% of all graduates surveyed) are emotionally attached to their schools, compared with 14% who say they were not members of these clubs. Twenty-two percent of those who were in sororities or fraternities (16% of all graduates claimed membership) are attached, compared with 17% who were not members of sororities or fraternities."
I've always known that I've been very attached to my University because of the local chapter of Sigma Pi who made me what I am today. I received those leadership skills and communication skills by being on the Executive Council of my local chapter. I come back to the University for homecoming and other campus events because of the active fraternity on campus. It anchors me to the University for life.
If I am now two times more likely to have a sense of well-being, and I am two times more likely to be engaged at work, we need to find a way to make sure that more Universities and more students find their way to the unique experience that the Greek system can provide for them. Do we have our share of problems? Yes. I believe the Greeks have a duty to fix the underage drinking problem on college campuses, be a force in hazing prevention for all groups, and come with some real solutions to sexual assaults on our campuses as well.
I believe we are up to the challenge. I'm going to do everything I can to make that a reality. I also believe that my experience as a Fraternity man made me who I am today. I'm glad we have the data to support that for future generations, it will also do great things for people like my son and my daughter one day.
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Michael R. Ayalon serves as Executive Director of Sigma Pi Fraternity, International. 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.
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