Fraternity receives award

University of Wisconsin Platteville’s Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity is on its way to turning 18 and won the Donald C. McCleary Excellence in Member Development Award. Sigma Phi Epsilon won this award for best membership development within their district of Sig Ep chapters which entails the upper north west area of the United States.

“We won the award for having the best opportunities and events for developing our brothers as a whole. We got recognized for all of the great stuff that we do for our guys and we really strive in creating balanced men in our chapter. We do our best to make sure that they succeed and come out as balanced and better leaders than when they initially came in,” Wisconsin Theta’s Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity President and junior computer science major Gabriel Valenzuela said.

SigEp was founded in 1901 at the University of Richmond, formally known as Richmond College, but was chartered in October of 2000 the SigEp at UW-Platteville. The original mentality of the original founders was to be different from other fraternities that were currently established on their campus. The founders thought the other fraternities were not doing enough and decided that they were going to be different with the way they interact and presented themselves on campus. SigEp’s motto is,  “Build Balanced Men as a Whole. The four pillars they stand by are gentlemen, leaders, scholars and athletes while following the balanced man program.

The national headquarters have developed an app called BMP where SigEp members can see where they stand in the chapter and move forward to their end goal of being a balanced man. They can track events to attend on the program and see where they need to go in the balanced man program. The program entails the following steps of development: learning about the chapter’s history, purpose and mission, how to be a mentor and becoming a mentor in the community and among their brethren and developing in different aspects to create a balanced man. These aspects range from religion, culture and social interactions such as etiquette dinners, to political science and nutrition, to make sure that everything comes full circle to create a balance.

SigEp also involves their four current Renaissance Brothers, honorary members of the campus and community, that they deem fit to honor their values and represent them well. They also have faculty fellows who are women that fulfill a similar role to the Renaissance Brothers.

“When it comes to me, about winning the award, I feel really honored. We’re on the smaller side as far as SigEp campuses go and when we won the award it was a really great honor. We were nominated based off of our 2017 term and it was really awesome to be recognized for the good that we do,”  Valenzuela said.

On how SigEp will proceed in the future Valenzuela sees them being continually more involved and integrated on campus.

“Winning the award is a good drive to push everyone to do better and move forward. We can look at the award and say ‘Look what we did’ and know that we’re capable of doing this again,” Valenzuela said.