IN Zeta's Sigma Challenge is intended to help members:
- Understand the history, structure, benefits and values of the national Fraternity and local chapter
- Understand the resources and involvement opportunities available on campus.
- Develop skills necessary to live independently including effective time and stress management skills, as well as test taking and study habits.
- Understand how to maintain a sound body in college.
- Understand the importance of SMART goals and how to achieve these goals.
- Obtain new member mentor and understand how to utilize him.
It is important to note that the Sigma challenge is not a pledging process.
At Valparaiso University, the Sigma challenge lasts approximately six weeks. It is the most structured of the four stages of the Balanced Man Program. Each week of the Sigma challenge is marked by a meeting. The topics of the meetings are as follows:
Introduction to Sigma Phi Epsilon, the Balanced Man Program, and Leadership
This meeting provides attendees with a foundational understanding of Sigma Phi Epsilon’s history, the current status of our national organization, and the fraternity’s expectations of members.
Guests: Fraternity President and Vice President of Member Development
Organizational Structure, training for prevention of sexual assault, and preventing alcohol/drug abuse
This meeting provides members with an understanding of the relationship between the national fraternity and the local chapter, and demonstrates some of the ways that they can be involved in the management of the chapter. Additionally, our no-tolerance policy on hazing, sexual assault, and drug/alcohol abuse is explained.
Guests: Fraternity executive board, a representative from our Alumni Volunteer Corporation, Chapter Counselor
Academic and Stress Management; the Standards Board
The purpose of this meeting is to give an understanding of the dichotomy of achievement and stress, and to learn how the fraternity Standards Board handles policy violations and behavior inconsistent with our ideals.
Guests: Chapter Counselor, and a member of our fraternity standards board
Healthy Relationships & Diversity
In this meeting, we discuss the importance of building relationships with others. New members hear extensively on:
- The importance of finding a mentor
- The impact of big/little relationships within the fraternity
- The importance of bringing a variety of people with different backgrounds and perspectives into your life.
Guests: Professor Hurtado (Guest speaker on inclusion and diversity), a big brother/little brother pair within the chapter, and the new members of Chi Omega Sorority
Professional and Leadership Development
In this meeting, we explain the resources that are available through the fraternity to help brothers build their resume. In particular, brothers learn about Life after College, a component of the SigEp Leadership Continuum aimed at rising juniors and seniors that provides a weekend full of career coaching and interview advice.
Etiquette, a reflection on the Sigma Challenge, and the value of ritual
In this meeting, new members engage in a discussion of both personal and professional etiquette. Additionally, the Chaplain, who directs the chapter ritual, leads a reflection on the Sigma Challenge and prepares members to undergo the second stage of our ritual: the Phi Rite of Passage.
Guest: IN Zeta Chaplain