Road Trip to Pittsburgh? I think so!
So at this point you’re probably wondering why a road trip to Pittsburgh could possibly have anything to do with Case Western Reserve University. I don’t blame you, but that’s what I’m here for! To sum things up for you, my fraternity, SigEp or Sigma Phi Epsilon (whatever is more convenient), has the opportunity to send a portion of our chapter to the regional Carlson Leadership Academy. Why would I want to spend my weekend in a conference setting; attending lectures, meetings and discussions instead of relaxing in my dorm room? That’s a very good question… But look at it this way, turning down a campus-subsidized trip where I could learn things from other SigEps, hailing from New York all the way down to Virginia, would be crazy. The goal of the conference is to recognize the specific chapters that are doing well (See Picture), while gathering the leaders of every group to compare what works well and what doesn’t work so well.
I started the night off right by choosing the “Importance of Volunteers” breakout session. I thought this would be a perfect choice for me considering I’m the service/philanthropy chair for my chapter. Of course me being the smart person I am, I didn’t read the description and the session was about the importance of volunteering alumni. Of course I didn’t know a single thing about the how alumni play a role in my chapter, I’m only a freshman. However I took a lot from this session, I learned a lot about how things work and I met a few alumni SigEps interested in being more involved with my chapter.
Saturday consisted of a tightly packed schedule starting with a well- equipped breakfast at 8AM, and ending at 930PM with the conclusion of dinner and the awards ceremony. Our chapter was awarded with the Excelsior Award for greatest improvement with recruitment. With the combination of the fall and spring classes, we had 24 new members sign SigEp. When they announced as winners, we were surprised and caught off guard…our group didn’t even realize in time enough to stand up and be recognized. The picture included with this entry is of the entire group from CWRU, with our president holding our award in the middle.
I think the highlight of the weekend for me was meeting guys just like me from chapters all across the northeastern United States. I took several useful ideas and programs I plan on incorporating into my work as service chair and hopefully an executive position in the future. As much as I would have wanted to go, I don’t think it would have been possible for me to go if the travel costs and registration fee had not been subsidized down by CWRU. I could’ve gone even if I had not held any position in my chapter. As many of the older guys and alums say, the skills and processes learn at SigEp translate to their everyday life in the working world.