Looking to the Future
The largest chapter meeting that Sigma Alpha Epsilon convenes is our Convention, which takes place every two years. Having just arrived back home from our 161st Anniversary Convention in Boston, I am pleased to say that our largest gathering was a huge success. The venue was incredible, the weather was fabulous and the food was superb. However, the most satisfying part of the event was seeing the Fraternity come together to conduct some important business to further the success of the organization. We elected new leadership for SAE, debated and decided many important law proposals and, most importantly, enjoyed brotherhood and fellowship.
One of the most important outcomes of our Convention is setting the course for the future of our Beloved Order. What is the course for SAE for the next two years and beyond?
Under the leadership of Past Eminent Supreme Archon Steve Churchill and the Supreme Council, the Fraternity embarked upon a three-year strategic plan to refine our mission and engage more volunteer support for our collegiate members. A great deal of the strategic plan has already been accomplished. Nonetheless, there is still much work to be done to further the mission of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
First and foremost, the Supreme Council is committed to the health and safety of our members. Thankfully, SAE has seen a dramatic decrease in our liability claims over the past three years. We believe this reduction is due in large part to the implementation of the True Gentlemen Experience, whereby we eliminated the pledging process from our chapters.
The Supreme Council remains devoted to the ongoing positive fiscal responsibility that SAE has enjoyed for the past several years. With our reduction in our claims history, the Supreme Council has been able to reduce our annual health & safety fees, and we are committed to further reductions so we can continue to pass cost savings to our undergraduate members.
But what other actions will SAE take in the future to ensure our continued success? I would like to share two important points on which the Supreme Council intends to focus during this biennium: reputation and growth.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon has experienced some significant challenges, especially with regard to our reputation at our host institutions and in public at large. I have proposed the formation of the True Gentleman Task Force. This ad hoc committee will have the responsibility of making recommendations on how SAE can improve its image. The task force will be a working committee made up of a wide range of highly qualified undergraduates and alumni volunteers who will be charged with developing substantive initiatives to make SAE the most respected organization in the fraternity world.
The continued growth of the Fraternity is always an important issue for discussion and action. Unfortunately, SAE has struggled with our efforts to expand and colonize or re-colonize at many host institutions around the country. Our goal is for members of the Extension Advisory Committee to work in tandem with the True Gentleman Task Force to address these concerns and place SAE on a more positive path for our return to some of our tombstone chapters and colonization at many of the institutions where we desire a presence. The committee will also be charged with a new duty to make recommendations on how our existing chapters can expand their chapter membership. There are many groups that likely have the capacity to grow in size. While increased numbers is not necessarily the ultimate measure of success, I trust we can all agree there is strength in a larger brotherhood and that increasing our undergraduate population will result in future cost savings for everyone.
I look forward to working on these important initiatives, and I ask for your support. Sigma Alpha Epsilon is a life-changing organization. What we offer to our undergraduates is invaluable and cannot simply be found on any street corner. We provide experiences unlike any other on today’s college campuses. I ask you to join the Supreme Council and me as we continue to pursue the mission of SAE and the vision of our Founding Fathers they created on that fateful night of March 9 more than 161 years ago. Phi Alpha!