Just like many others around the world, the men of Indiana Zeta are in a unique situation amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Since we are not allowed to meet in large groups under current circumstances, we have resorted to virtual forms of communication. I use the word “resorted” because that’s how we all felt toward the beginning of the pandemic: We were, and still are, in an uncomfortable situation that we were unsure of how to navigate, but once we got used to it, we’ve really enjoyed staying in touch virtually.
Indiana Zeta combines SigEp’s Burning Heart Ceremony with our big-little brother reveal. Due to Valparaiso University being closed for the remainder of the semester, we had to cancel our Burning Heart Ceremony, which was scheduled to take place the week we returned from spring break. We now needed a new way to tell our new member class who their big brother mentors were. A witty and humorous crossword puzzle with clues hinting at who each new member’s big brother is was created in place of our big-little reveal. The new members were then encouraged to call their big brother once they learned who he was.
The Balanced Man Program was created in 1996 by Sigma Phi Epsilon National Headquarters. The BMP is a plan of continuous development that consists of activities and meetings within four unique challenges that pushes brothers to develop as scholars, athletes, professionals, leaders, and gentlemen. Each challenge group is having virtual meetings and brothers are still being diligent about completing activities to progress in their respective challenge. In the past month, our new member class has completed the Sigma Challenge and some brothers have recently completed their Phi Challenge. Since we are unable to meet right now, all of the brothers that are completing challenges during this virtual period will get to go through their various rites of passage in the fall.
While we are still carrying out the operations of the fraternity as normally and seriously as we can, brothers are finding fun ways to connect as well. Brothers have been playing video games, Minecraft specifically, together online. There is a gift exchange going on at the moment. Freshman brother Ethan Montenegro created a facilitated a brotherhood fun fact quiz through the app Quizizz a few weeks ago. Small groups of brothers oftentimes hop on Google Meet calls just to stay in contact with one another. There are many fun ways to stay in touch during this time of quarantine; you just have to be a little creative!
Being the resilient young men we are, the brothers of Indiana Zeta have refused to let these tough times destroy our fraternal bonds. As much as we’d all love to be on campus with each other right now, one could argue that this pandemic has brought us closer together by reminding us to constantly reach out to those we care deeply for. Call a friend, hug your mother, and stay safe during this trying time.
With Virtue, Diligence, and Brotherly Love,
Vice President of Member Development
Sigma Phi Epsilon
IN Zeta Class of 2022