What a rush!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011
The men of Sigma Nu begin their skit explaining the benefits of joining the fraternity. The group met with 10 different groups of pledges as the groups traveled to different Greek chapters for recruitment.

GREENCASTLE -- The Sigma Nu fraternity founded their DePauw University Chapter in 1890. Their motto is "Love, Truth and Honor."

They have a new house that they are using for the first time for recruitment and they are on their second group of prospective new members.

But for those rushing on Saturday, these facts are either unknown or unimportant. Freshmen like Alex Sroha toured every Greek chapter on campus during the first day of recruitment as they traveled in groups to each house, herded by the Rho Gammas, Recruitment counselors.

For Sroha, joining a fraternity means an active social life, easy access to philanthropic events and becoming a part of campus life.

"The school in general is very Greek and it's a big part of the social life," Sroha said. "The philanthropy stuff they do in the community is another positive."

Fraternity members Brian Allman and Mike Padilla kept the group of about 20 possible future members busy until the rest of the fraternity marched out the door single file, making a line of people from the door to the sidewalk. Each group member walked through the line greeted and welcomed inside the Sigma Nu home by every fraternity member in the line.

After the group grabbed some quick snacks, they quickly filled up all the couches in the house's common room and were treated to an informative, and at times ridiculous, skit involving the different fraternity members. Commander and President Austin Bonta began the skit with an introduction to the house and what it means to be part of the only honor fraternity in the nation.

"Everybody here knows each other in a way that's personal," Bonta said. "We are one of the only fraternities that knows its creed by heart."

Members chanted their creed, explained their social calendar -- confirming that Pluto is not a planet and the Utah Jazz are not very good this year in the process -- and pointing out that the fraternity is anti-hazing.

"We don't have signatures. We don't have house tours with freshmen. We don't even call you guys pledges," Allman said. "You get respect. The idea is we want you to have the best college experience possible.

"From here, until 110 years from now, we will always treat you with respect," Allman added.

Allman also explained the LEAD program, which stands for Leadership Ethics Achievement and Development, exclusive to Sigma Nu.

The purpose of the program is to develop the members of the fraternity into leaders for the future, as well as help them build connections and network with professionals in the field. The program enters a different phase each year, and participating in the program is not required.

"It's about getting you involved in the community and on campus," Allman said.

After the skit the members informally met with the fraternity members and got a tour of the two-story building.

Bonta said he does not expect every member to want to live in the house; it isn't nearly big enough for that. But the house is expected to be a headquarters for fraternity members, a place to go where they can get help with homework, get involved in fraternity activities or just socialize.

People interested in joining the fraternity attended the second round of activities without their group last Sunday. The third round takes place on Saturday, with the final bids and new members accepted on Friday night.

Bonta said he is looking forward to receiving the new members, likening the experience of recruitment and rush to the first three dates with a girl.

"The first round is trying to get to know each other, the second date gets more intimate, and by the third date, you try to make it Facebook official," Bonta said.

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  • You think rush is such a great process that needs to be explored with an open mind, yet are running a video and an article on the website that promote one of 10 fraternities in IFC's rush process at DePauw. If you have any interest in impartiality it would be best to do the same for every chapter, or at least stop idolizing Sigma Nu while making it sound like every other chapter is a bunch of alcoholic cavemen that do not participate in leadership activities and are the stereotypical frat that are just interested in hazing--which is not true at DePauw. All the houses here drink, and all the houses do good things during the day. Sigma Nu is no exception to either of these rules.

    I'm glad my chapter makes the Banner for philanthropy projects around town rather than having a staff writer that is preferential to our house. Along with the multiple leadership development programs offered by our national fraternity and the alumni connections from being a part of the oldest chapter in the country, I think its apparent that every house has a story and this is only going to backfire against Sigma Nu as they reach for publicity when they should have been working towards this since nearly a year ago.

    Like I said earlier, glad my fraternity gets in the paper in recognizance of our accomplishments year round, not by the preference of a newspaper writer during rush.

    -- Posted by anonymous101 on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, at 9:12 AM
  • @anonymous101: Your fraternity tends to get into the paper for its hazing violations as well.

    -- Posted by dpu06 on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, at 11:03 AM
  • Let the past be the past. Years have passed and necessary changes were made following the problems. Every fraternity has issues that come and go, Sigma Nu is no exception to the rule.

    Rush is about focusing on the present and the future.

    -- Posted by anonymous101 on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, at 11:35 AM
  • This story didn't idolize Sigma Nu, it just told it like it is. Sigma Nu, also known as the Legion of Honor, was founded at the VMI on the Honor Principle, that "requires each cadet to conform to the duty imposed by his conscience that each act be governed by a high sense of Honor." There full values Love Honor and Truth

    Sigma Nu was also founded as an anti-hazing Fraternity and works hard to educate undergraduates and alumni about the dangers of hazing and importance of all activities being free of hazing.

    The LEAD Program is Sigma Nu's award winning four year member development program. You can learn more about it here http://www.sigmanu.org/programs/lead/index.php

    This article does not mention drinking or do anything to portray the other fraternities of DPU in a negative light. It simply talks about some interesting things about Sigma Nu.

    -- Posted by Happy Hoosier on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, at 11:47 AM
  • It is tremendous that the Banner Graphic chose to look at the Greek system's more positive side, and I honestly can't think of better stewards for championing that message than these gentlemen. The last responder seems to miss the point of the whole article, which is that Greencastle residents, the local 'public' and representative of broader opinions about Greek life, rarely if ever see the positive side of it. These gentlemen are standing up and providing an honest view of their own experiences, and they are trying to sell the recruitment of new members on the positive aspects of it. I imagine this is quite unexpected for the typical resident of Greencastle (state, maybe even nation), to hear anything good out of the fraternities. As per the comments above, I'd like to see all of the houses stand up and provide an honest assessment of what they stand for AS A RECRUITMENT TOOL. Unfortunately, many of the other houses choose not to--it's not that they don't do great things--it's that they don't pride themselves on recruiting new members on those deeds.

    The community of Greencastle is intricately connected with the University, being composed of folks who are often working at the school (cleaning crews to professors) or in businesses that support the school. In a community so small, every misstep is noticed and every probationary period scars a house's image even if they choose to do great things in the community. It doesn't help when students attend class hungover or tromp through Walmart like clowns, emblazoned with cryptic Greek letters (reminder: those Greek letters are indistinguishable for most people, so we're all lumped together). People will hold the perception that we are all cavemen as long as we continue to act like them:

    1. Social probation: http://media.www.thedepauw.com/media/storage/paper912/news/2009/02/27/News/Beta-...

    2. Reports of Hazing: http://media.www.thedepauw.com/media/storage/paper912/news/2007/09/25/News/AntiH...

    (both reports include the 'longest running chapter' in the nation, by the way)

    Rather than rip down the fraternities that are making a positive influence on Greek Life perception, I'd rather see the caveman image abolished, and the only way that is going to do happen is through encouraging and supporting each house's efforts to maintain, uphold and most importantly live (every minute of every day) their principles. May the Banner Graphic have something positive and encouraging to report from every fraternity some day.

    Congratulations Sigma Nu!

    -- Posted by dynastesbrh on Thu, Feb 3, 2011, at 12:21 PM
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