• Fraternity Pledge
    Fraternity Pledge Thoughts from Michael R. Ayalon, Executive Director of Sigma Pi Fraternity, International

The NIC, or the North-American Interfraternity Conference, had a great post recently that I want to make sure everyone had a chance to read.

The blog was written by NIC President and CEO, Pete Smithhisler. You can read the full post here: http://www.nicindy.org/blog/the-time-is-now-to-preserve-the-future-of-fraternities/

He talks about the some of the really good things that Fraternities do that many people are not aware of. Pete is also honest about the work that needs to be done to protect the organizations that we love. I would suggest that you read the article and then make sure your chapter removes the behaviors that threaten the future of the fraternal movement, and then educate and/or improve your community.

The NIC is here to advance the fraternal movement. We've seen consistent growth from membership. For the last 5 years, the all Fraternity GPA is higher than the all male GPA. NIC members have contributed 2,763,007 service hours in their communities for 2012 - 2013,a nd NIC members have given $21,346,415 in philanthropic dollars in 2011 - 2012. We need to continue to raise the bar on our contributions to our communities and host institutions, while also owning the problems in our organizations and fixing them.

The time has come to end hazing. I'm going to do everything I can to educate our Greek community on eliminating hazing in our chapters. Here is a recent article on my trip to Purdue University and the presentation to the Greek community over the weekend: http://www.purdueexponent.org/campus/article_80b9a5d6-d916-5567-891b-d2720f58a6cd.html

We must confront our problems head on, and then continue to show the many benefits of being Greek to our host institutions, potential new members, and to our local communities. Our survival depends on it.

11 Past Grand Sages and current Grand Sage Ed Levesque at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Sigma Pi's new Executive Office in Lebanon, TN.

I know what you're thinking. Nobody gets free money to pay for college. Here's the good news. Grants and scholarships are offered based on financial need or merit.

The latest research shows that 2 million students could have qualified for Pell Grants during 2011 - 2012, but they failed to apply for it. From the total 2 million students, 1.3 million would have received the maximum grant of $5,645. It's not just based on need. It's based on a variety of factors like family contributions and how many children in the family are in college and the total cost of the tuition. You certainly wouldn't receive anything if you don't apply.

The United States government gives out Pell Grants of up to $5,550 per year to students who come from families that earn less than $40,000.  Almost every accredited college has a financial aid application called FAFSA (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/) to determine if you are elligible for grants. Also, don't forget to call your University's financial aid office to see what else you might qualify for.

What about the merit based grants and scholarships? Many Universities, States, and Charities give our grants and scholarships without consideration to the student's financial situation. These could depend on your grades, school projects, athletics, or even community service.

Have you considered your employer? Many have programs to fund some or all of your educational pursuits, presuming that it will help you become a better employee and it relates to your field.

Don't forget about the American Opportunity Tax Credit (http://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/ch02.html) where the government will send you a rebate check for up to $1,000 to reimburse you for tuition or textbooks, or reduce your existing tax bill for up to $2,500.  

Michigan State Sigma Pi

Please view the video PiCast below:

 

Happy New Year brothers and welcome back! I always use this time of the year to reflect on the prior year in terms of what worked well and what we need to improve. I also look forward to new projects on the horizon and start planning to accomplish the goals and resolutions for our team. This is the perfect opportunity for you to assess your own chapter (or your career) and decide where you want to take it. If the chapter doesn’t look and function the way you want it to, don’t be afraid to speak up and make the changes needed for it to become your ideal chapter. There is nothing more satisfying.

 

Take time out with the chapter officers and have a retreat. Do your own SWOT analysis of the chapter, which is to determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to your chapter on your campus. What lessons has the chapter learned from mistakes in 2013? What best practices have we developed (either internally or from other chapters in your region) that we need to document for 2014 and beyond? What are the chapter’s expectations for 2014? What are the chapter’s goals for this upcoming year? Have we reviewed this vision with the entire chapter to get their participation?

Once we’ve outlined the chapter’s goals for 2014, let’s take a look at the supporting documents:

 

Chapter budget

Chapter event calendar

Chapter risk and crisis management plan

Short term goals for the chapter (30, 60, 90 days)

Long term goals for the chapter (by the end of the semester, by the end of the year)

 

You’ll have plenty of day to day distractions to take you off course. Be sure to take this time to plan now, and then set aside time at the beginning of every month to review your goals and how far you’ve come in achieving those goals you set. Be realistic in your goals, achieve small levels of success, set greater goals, and don’t forget to (safely) celebrate your successes along the way.

 

 

 

Sign at the new Sigma Pi Headquarters in Lebanon, TN

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About Michael Ayalon

ayalon-headshots-web

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.

Contact Michael:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 615.921.2300

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