Deciding whether or not fraternity life is for you can be quite confusing since so much of greek life has to be lived in order to be understood. To assist you in your decision we have provided answers to some of the most common questions about greek life, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and the recruitment process.
What is Greek life all about?
Greek life at Carnegie Mellon is different from many other schools. People decide to join greek organizations for many reason, however the most common reason is for the community. While at a college as intense as Carnegie Mellon it can be hard to balance academics and social life. Joining a greek organization gives you a place to call home, and friends who will do everything in their power to help you thrive during your time at CMU. Many brothers come to refer to the chapter house as their home, and on breaks they are simply going “back to their parent’s home”.
Additionally, greek life gives you numerous leadership opportunities. Keeping a house of 70+ guys running smoothly is tremendously complex and offers real life experience to supplement academic learning. Greek life at CMU also allows you to participate in Greek Sing, the largest philanthropic event on campus, as well as Booth and Buggy, two of the staples of Carnival.
What is Rush?
Rush is a period when fraternities open their doors to non-members over the course of several weeks (usually at the start of the semester) and host special events to give interested individuals a chance to get to know brothers and visa-versa. The rush period culminates with the offering of bids-of-membership, or “bids”, in which the fraternity extends invitations to those individuals they have met during the rush period that they believe would make good brothers. The bid may then be accepted, declined or deferred (deferred bids expire at the end of the semester).
SigEp is different from other fraternities in its rush process in two ways. The first is that in addition to the Fall and Spring rush, which happen at the beginning of the semester, we also have “mini-rush” in November. This shortened rush period allows individuals who weren’t sure about joining a greek organization some time to get to know what function they serve on campus without having to wait a full semester to decide to rush.
Additionally, unlike other fraternities which have a pledge process, once you are offered and accept a bid, you are immediately a brother of SigEp with full rights. As a result, when we extend a bid it means we are confident that that individual will be a good brother.
How do I pick a Fraternity?
It is generally a good idea to visit a number of fraternities during the rush period. Each fraternity has its own culture, and picking the right fraternity is about finding a group of people who you want to spend your time with.
What sets SigEp apart?
SigEp is one of the most active fraternities on campus. We have brothers who are HOCs, OLs, OCs, CAs, RAs, in student government and are involved in pretty much every aspect of campus life. Additionally, we excel at booth, which we have placed first in for three years running, and buggy, in which we are the fastest fraternity on campus, during the spring carnival season.
However, more than anything else being a SigEp means being passionate about living your life to the fullest. Whatever our passion is, and we have brothers from every college on campus, we use it to enhance the lives of our brothers and the campus community. We do not allow each other to settle for less than our best, and we do not allow ourselves to sacrifice living rich lives for being great academics, or visa-versa.
How much does SigEp cost?
One Time Cost:
- National dues – $275
- Chapter Dues – $600
- Mealplan – $900 for 15 meals per week
Freshman save $1255 per semester by switching off the campus mealplan. SigEp also offers inexpensive housing located on the Greek quad (located on Forbes and Morewood).
Do I have to worry about pledging or hazing?
No. As a balanced man chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon we believe in equal rights and responsibilities for all brothers. To force newer brothers to do humiliating or dangerous tasks does not respect their rights as a brother and is not tolerated.
Additionally, unlike almost every other fraternity which forces potential brothers, or “pledges”, to take on the duties in the house that older brothers do not want to perform, we ensure that the only obligation for your first few months in the house is to get to know brothers and learn what it means to be a SigEp. Once you accept your bid of membership you are a full brother with full rights, and as a result hazing and pledging have no place in our fraternity.