The Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute (UIFI) is a five-day intensive leadership program designed to equip sorority and fraternity members with the skills necessary to lead their chapters with conviction and purpose. In the brief interview below, past attendee Aaron Taylor (Longwood) reflects on his UIFI experience and urges other Sigma Nu members to attend the institute.
How did you find out about UIFI?
I found out about UIFI through the campus Greek Advisor on my alternative spring break trip to New Orleans, LA, my sophomore year. He informed me that the Greek life office had scholarships available and encouraged me to apply.
What did you expect the experience to be like?
I expected it to be a cheesy event. I imagined everyone being overly excited, giving it almost an elementary school summer camp vibe. That being said, it wasn’t like that at all. There were a lot of people who were similar to me and that I could relate to. The types of events that we participated in all had a meaning behind it that we could discuss afterward and apply to our respective chapters.
How did UIFI enhance your leadership skills and prepare you to change your chapter?
While the workshops that we participated in were unquestionably helpful, the opportunity to network with my peers at other schools was equally beneficial. There were so many people from so many different schools and organizations that it was impossible to leave without having fresh and innovative ideas to take back to your chapter.
The mentors and group leaders were all very knowledgeable and helpful. They are loaded with ideas and advice on how to make you a better leader and how to make your chapter better.
If a chapter is struggling with philanthropy, for example, you can talk with scores of other fraternity and sorority leaders for ideas to take back to your chapter. I came back to my chapter with a laundry list of ideas on how we can change our events and make them more successful.
Would you recommend the program to other leaders?
I would without a doubt recommend this program to others. It helped put things into perspective for me. The program allowed me to hone my skills and perfect them so that I could be the most effective leader I could be. It also allows you to step and think outside of the box that your chapter is currently in, allowing you to bring back innovative ideas for all areas of chapter operations.
Visit the UIFI page to learn more about the program, including session dates and locations.