Fraternity provides ‘balanced man plan’

There are 35 founding fathers, and Shaun Erie is one of them.

The junior speech communications major is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, a recently-chartered fraternity.

“It’s been three weeks and I’ve meet 34 guys that are so different from me,” said Erie, who came to Northern Kentucky University to play baseball.

“It’s one of the most diverse group of guys I’ve ever seen,” Erie said. “We have varsity athletes, SGA senators, editor of the school paper, so many people involved with so many groups on campus.”

The men make up a diverse group because of the recruiting process is different then most fraternities on campus, Erie said.

“Our recruitment process goes through getting to know the person, instead of the person getting to know the members,” he said.

Erie talked about how other ways Sigma Phi Epsilon is different from what many consider the typical party experience.

He said that it was not all about drinking and partying all the time, which is the way many people view fraternities.

Instead, Erie said, his fraternity deals with how to better men in their personal, as well as professional, development throughout their college years by using something the men of Sigma Phi Epsilon call the Balanced Man program.

“This program opened my eyes to completely new horizons and allowed me to see how much more is out there than what I’m already doing,” Erie said.

The program, which consists of four challenges, is sold Erie on joining a fraternity.

The first challenge, the Sigma Challenge, forces a man to become aware of the community and campus around them and the fraternity itself.

Just being a member won’t give you all the answers to being a balanced man, Erie said.

“We don’t feel that just being a member of SigEp is going to give you the awareness and well-roundedness that other organizations will get you,” he said.

Members are also challenged to get involved in another campus organizations and learn about personal and professional development, including resume and portfolio workshops.

The fourth challenge deals with being a mentor to others in the fraternity and helping them through each of their challenges, Erie said.

“Each challenge you complete, you move through a rite of passage through the next challenge,” Erie said.

“It’s like a journey,” he added. “You get out of it what you take out of it.”

The men have already done several events over the past three weeks, Erie said, including going to see the Broadway show, Stomp, and taking ballroom and swing dancing lessons, which Erie said was a fun and different time.

Erie said he is happy he has had the chance to do this. “I’ve met so many great people that I would never have associated with outside of this,” Erie said.

“I’ve finally been able to meet these people and realize it’s not all about athletes – it’s not all about varsity baseball players – it’s about everybody and seeing how many different people are in this group and how many different things they are involved with,” he said.

Sigma Phi Epsilon holds meetings on Wednesday nights in BEP at 9:15 p.m.

“I’m very glad that I did this, I’ve met so many great people,” Erie said. “I’ve finally been able to meet these people and realize it’s not all about athletes.”

Erie said they have an open-door policy and anyone that’s interested can stop by and see what the fraternity is all about.