Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, many institutions across the nation were forced to close their doors and send their students home for the semester. In conjunction with the closing, many student events were cancelled as well.
At Eastern Illinois University, one major event that was scrapped is its annual Greek Week. The festivities include fraternity and sororities competing against each other in various competitions for bragging rights. At the end of every Greek Week, a ceremony is held to acknowledge the chapters who stood tall above the rest. Along with the recognition of the events, chapters are awarded for their work throughout the entire school year in various areas such as community service and inter-organizational relations.
These awards hold great value in the Greek community at Eastern because not only does it show which chapters withheld the values of Greek life on campus the best, but it encourages each chapter to progress in their efforts of not only making their chapters better, but the community as a whole.
Though students spent the remainder of the semester and what was meant to be Greek Week at home, the office of Fraternity & Sorority Programs decided to announce these awards to celebrate chapters and possibly bring light to these dark circumstances we currently face.
SigEp was the fraternity that took home the most excellence awards this year. These awards include Excellence in Academic Achievement, New Member Educational Programming, Inter-Fraternal Relations, Leadership & Educational Development, and Philanthropy/ Community Service. The chapter’s advisor Christian Sammons was also awarded as the Elise Ramsey Chapter mAdvisor of the Year.
In addition to the chapter awards, brothers received inmkdividual awards and scholarships. Brother Xavier Arroyo was awarded the Dr. Charles & Sharon Eberly Essence of Fraternal Values Award. Arroyo said, “I joined this fraternity because of how important our values of virtue, diligence, and brotherly love were to me.” He also said that he uses the values instilled in him from his family helps him be a righteous fraternal man and that he is glad to use those values in SigEp. “I wouldn’t trade this group for the world. Having this platform is, for me, a recipe for success.”
Brother Brody Donsbach was awarded both an award and scholarship this year. He was awarded Fraternity Individual of the Year from the Inter-fraternity Council and won the Thomas Anthony Grud Memorial Scholarship. Donsbach, regarding his awards, said, “With loading up a full-time school schedule, working a part-time job, and being involved in so many RSOs on campus, it felt good to receive recognition. It was great to be able to help represent the chapter by taking home those awards.”
He also spoke on the chapter awards SigEp won and what this means for the chapter’s future. “We have such a momentum moving after winning some awards last year, to having so many events throughout the year, and to seeing it all pay off by winning those awards will help us continue to strive for greater achievements. These small wins we’ve been getting are just adding up to lead to something greater for us.” He said.
Donsbach also brought up how the chapter’s new executive board has been working hard and producing new and innovative ideas to make SigEp even better for the upcoming school year. He said that although brothers are separated due to the circumstances, the e-board has continued to plan more than ever. “It has been a little tougher amid everything going on, but we’re remaining positive and can’t wait to be back on campus in the fall.”
With the chapter winning so many awards, SigEp was named EIU’s Inter-fratenity Council Chapter of the Year. Tareq Shaheen, Chapter President, said that this is a high achievement for the chapter. “Being recognized for the effort we performed during our academic year has increased our members aspiration and leadership role in the community. Our members are more outgoing and have the urge and desire to win every possible award next year. The real power comes from within our genuine brotherhood.”
It seems as though the Illinois Nu chapter is on an up-rise. Winning excellence awards is just the beginning for the chapter, and they hope to make more of an impact beyond what they have done already.