Category Archives: The Delta Spring 2014

The Delta of Sigma Nu – Spring 2014

Table of Contents

The Delta_spring 2014_cover_final

Features

College of Chapters

A photo essay captures the College of Chapters experience.

Finding the Scoop in Sochi
Drew Bogs (Ball State) earned the opportunity of a lifetime covering the Winter Olympics in Sochi with his Ball State journalism program.

The Olympic Fangelist’s Dream Job
As BP’s director of Olympic strategy, sponsorship and marketing, George Bauernfeind (Indiana) helps top athletes achieve their dreams to compete on the world stage.

Splitting Lanes
The inside story of how Don Jeanes (Texas State) landed the lead role in a Super Bowl commercial that became an instant classic.

Back Down South
Mark Walsh (College of Charleston) and his journey to the “bottom of the world.”

Letting His Lights Shine
Mike Justak (Ball State) is on a mission to get Parkinson’s patients up and moving.

Departments

From the Editor
Behind the scenes.

More at SigmaNu.org
The latest resources and information available at the fraternity’s website.

Conversation
Readers respond to the fall 2013 issue featuring Bill Courtney (Mississippi) and the Undefeated documentary.

Updates from Lexington
News from the General Fraternity.

Chapter Eternal
Remembering a former congressman and a talented musician.

Chapter News
Dispatches from around the country.

Alumni News

Bookshelf
Michael Kimmel’s Guyland tells the [delayed] coming of age story of young men in America. Plus the latest titles by Sigma Nu authors.

Higher Education
MOOCs: legitimate disruptor or passing fad?

Perspectives on Our Past
Grand Historian Bob McCully (San Diego State) chronicles the history, tradition, and heroes that make the Legion of Honor unique.

Interview
Division Commander of the Year Jamison Keller (Cal State San Bernardino) reflects on his Sigma Nu story and offers best practices for working with fellow alumni.

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A Fraternity of Men, Not Boys

By Scott Smith (Central Arkansas)

Michael Kimmel’s Guyland tells the (delayed) coming of age story of men in America.

Guyland cover_high resIn his book author Michael Kimmel takes the reader deep into the world he calls “Guyland,” mapping out the geography, influences, and behaviors of “guys” in what can be described as a new phase of life. Guyland has firmly rooted itself between the dependency of boyhood and the autonomy, sacrifice, and responsibility that characterizes manhood. It’s not a state of arrested development but more of a new stage where guys, not quite boys or men, hang onto the Peter Pan notion that it’s not quite time to grow up just yet. Guyland is characterized as both the time between adolescence and adulthood and those places where guys gather absent the demands of serious responsibility and outsiders like jobs, parents, kids, and girlfriends.

Stories of guys engaging in extreme behavior just before, during, and immediately following the college years are ubiquitous as are the media and personal accounts of psychological, alcohol-induced, and violent pseudo rites-of-passage. A fraternity-related hazing death has occurred nearly every year since 2000, Kimmel says. Hospital transports for alcohol overdose are a common occurrence Thursday through Saturday nights on college campuses across the country. One in five women will be sexually assaulted while in college, according to Kimmel’s research. He adds that high school students are bombarded with anti-gay comments, with teachers rarely intervening. More than half of college students involved in clubs, teams, and organizations experience hazing, and nearly half experienced it prior to coming to college, according to a University of Maine study by Elizabeth Allan and Mary Madden.

While Guyland is everywhere that males between the ages of 16 and 26 gather, it best describes the population of mostly white, middle-class, college bound/going/recently graduated males living together in groups and working entry-level jobs or not at all. Fraternity houses, dorms, and shared apartments are the predominant domiciles of Guyland’s inhabitants, Kimmel says in his book. This new social space is defined and ruled by The Guy Code – a set of attitudes, values, and traits that describe (inaccurately) what it means to be a man.

  1. “Boys Don’t Cry”
  2. “It’s Better to be Mad than Sad”
  3. “Don’t Get Mad – Get Even”
  4. “Take It Like a Man”
  5. “He Who has the Most Toys When he Dies, Wins”
  6. “Just Do It” or “Ride or Die”
  7. “Size Matters”
  8. “I Don’t Stop to Ask for Directions”
  9. “Nice Guys Finish Last”
  10. “It’s All Good”

Never show emotion, winning is imperative, compassion is taboo. These axioms govern behavior and are used to evaluate whether guys measure up. Guys inform their views of masculinity in light of the voices of the men in their lives. In the absence of men, they take their cues from other guys. Masculinity is essentially boiled down to performing for and being judged by other men, with the goal of being a “man among men.” The problem is that guys have a skewed internal sense of social norms, assuming that excessive behavior is average when it comes to things like sex, alcohol, and violence. College students regularly overestimate the amount their peers drink and then proceed to increase their own consumption in order to keep up. These misperceptions coupled with the lack of a playbook for becoming an adult leave guys to figure it out as they go along, typically with too much room for error.

Kimmel traces the sociology of Guyland across several spheres, filling out his observations from a four-year survey of over 400 males with a series of national studies, insights from over 30 years of his own research, and telling examples from the inhabitants of Guyland. Guyland covers high school, binge drinking, hazing, sports, media, pornography, the hook up culture, predatory sex and rape, the role of girls in Guyland, and a final chapter of recommendations for turning “just guys” into just guys. Perhaps the best summary of Guyland’s effects is in the rites of passage and initiation rituals guys put each other through. Whether it’s for a fraternity, sports team, club, or some other selective group, guys put up with ceremonial degradation in order to be accepted, liked, and aligned with the in crowd.

Such rituals provide ample evidence that hazing is less about younger males trying to impress their elders, and far more about the sense of entitlement that the older males have to exact such gratuitously violent and degrading behaviors from those more vulnerable than they.

While blaming the media is a poor strategy and lazy scapegoat, the constant barrage of sex, violence, and drugs being pumped from stereos, TV, magazines, and video games cannot be completely ignored. The hyper-masculinity of college and professional athletics, pornography, and virtual outlets guys fill their time with certainly have an impact on the version of manhood they are trying to live up to. Retreating to a fantasyland where they can adopt an avatar – an idealized version of themselves – and employ a skill and control not found in their everyday lives has become less entertainment and more of a daily priority. While many may not agree with Kimmel’s portrayal of the escapist nature of political and sports talk radio, video games, pornography, anonymous message boards, and online gambling, the fact remains that guys spend an inordinate amount of time in these spaces. Certainly there is a reverberating effect of this type of retreat into a “no girls allowed” and no consequences environment.

The typical transition to adulthood is marked by five life-stage events: leaving home, completing one’s education, starting work, getting married, and becoming a parent. Only 31 percent of men under 30 had reached those markers in 2000, compared to 65 percent just forty years earlier, providing further evidence that the transitional moment between adolescence and adulthood has become its own life stage, with adolescence beginning earlier and earlier for each generation and adulthood later and later. Adulthood is no longer marked by a series of experiences but rather a set of attitudes, Kimmel contends. When they are ready to “accept responsibility for their actions,” decide on personal beliefs and values independently of parents or other influences,” and become “less self-oriented, developing greater consideration for others” they then, in essence, feel like adults.

Not all of Guyland is bad, though. The advancing age of marriage, for example, benefits both men and women, giving them additional time to advance their careers and establish their identities before committing to a family. The reality is that most men do not commit rape or sexual assault, drink daily or to excess, think bullying and hazing are acceptable, or feel comfortable treating women as property or objects.

The problem remains that an uncomfortable individual, when faced with a silent majority led by outspoken extremists, has a tendency to go along for fear of being singled out or having his manhood and loyalty to the brotherhood questioned. Most guys do not participate in extreme behavior most of the time, but they know people who do, and most do not say anything about it. Edmund Burke’s famous line, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” perfectly summarizes the result of the bystander role most guys play. Kimmel explains,

[B]eing a real man isn’t going along with what you know in your heart to be cruel, inhumane, stupid, humiliating, and dangerous. Being a real man means doing the right thing, standing up to immorality and injustice when you see it, and expressing compassion, not contempt, for those who are less fortunate (p. 287).

Being a man is about being courageous, honorable, and ethical. Something that fraternity, when done right, is all about. Sigma Nu chapters are ideally positioned to advance this conversation among their membership; whether through LEAD sessions and other intentional conversations on topics like sexual assault, alcohol misuse prevention, values, and ethics, or in developing true mentoring relationships with “big brothers” and local advisor-mentors. Fraternity men and chapters should promote true masculinity – acting as beacons of love, honor, and truth – not a promotion of excessive behavior and delayed development. Guyland is a wake-up call to the realities and effects of the college experience and surrounding years on males. Advisors, fathers, and brothers can benefit from the perspective, analysis, and advice provided by Kimmel.

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Reader Responses

Readers response to the Fall 2013 issue featuring Bill Courtney and the Undefeated documentary.

Capture

Another excellent edition of the best fraternity magazine in the industry!

-Maury Gaston (Auburn)

Just Excellent, both hard and electronic copies. Congrats

-Carl Berry (Idaho)

Rebuilding Moore

Rebuilding Moore spread

When I received the call for materials I  began raising money from my weekly poker table, neighbors, and all five of my kids. I contacted the local chapter (Cal State Fullerton), and despite being on summer break they put me in contact with a recent alumnus who happened to be the assistant manager of a nearby Home Depot. He arranged for a 50% discount on necessary supplies, including eight full “Elmer Pails” and two 5-gallon water coolers full of gloves, trash bags, eye protection, and first aid kits that were then shipped to the chapters involved with tornado relief. I can see the chapters in Oklahoma put them to good use.

My point is it took valuable time and was not really enough. If each chapter were to assemble four pails with the materials the brothers from Oklahoma recommend Sigma Nu could put over 100 pails in the hands of the local chapters within a few days of any disaster. A little coordination can have a big impact on the next big disaster.

-Jerry Schulte (UCLA)

Perspectives on Our Past: Valor in Action

Valor in Action spread

Wonderful story about wonderful men of a wonderful generation by a wonderful author and Grand Historian!

-Maury Gaston (Auburn)

Another great job by Bob!

-Marshall Napper (Louisiana Tech)

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From the Editor

Hard Work Pays Off

Despite a late-season surge, Eli and the Giants fell short of making the playoffs this year, but that didn’t stop another Sigma Nu from stealing the show on Super Bowl Sunday. Whether you watched the big game or not, you could not have missed the buzz about the ‘Puppy Love’ commercial featuring actor Don Jeanes (Texas State).

Earlier this year we had the chance to interview Don near his home in Los Angeles. Don shared with us his path to acting and how his approach to the business side of the industry is rooted in the skills he developed in Sigma Nu and later working an entry-level sales job. As Don’s story shows, there is no substitute for hard work, and when you stick around good things are bound to happen.

Don’s smashing success with two consecutive Super Bowl commercials is also a reminder of Sigma Nu’s widespread influence. No matter where or when, if there’s a major event taking place in the world, there’s a good chance one of our Sigma Nu brothers is involved in a significant way. The Delta_spring 2014_cover_final

Only five days after the Seattle Seahawks won their first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history, the big stage shifted to Russia and the 2014 Winter Olympics. The Sochi Games, like the Super Bowl, are yet another example of Sigma Nu brothers turning up to take prominent roles in major events.

Drew Bogs (Ball State) leads our Olympics coverage with his trip to Sochi covering the Winter Games with his immersive journalism program. Our story about George Bauernfeind (Indiana) provides a unique look at what is involved with sponsoring the athletes looking to fulfill their Olympic dreams.

Rounding out our Olympics coverage is a flashback to the 1956 Winter Games where the U.S. swept the podium in men’s figure skating, led by Sigma Nu Brother Hayes Jenkins (Northwestern).

Whether it’s Don Jeanes scoring a lead role in the top Super Bowl commercial or Drew Bogs landing a scoop at the Olympics, we hope you’ll see in our stories how Sigma Nu brothers positively influence the world we live in.

Yours in Sigma Nu,

Nathaniel Clarkson (James Madison)
Managing Editor

P.S. We’re always interested to hear what our readers have to say. Leave your reactions in the comments section for each story and we’ll publish them with the next issue.

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Updates From Lexington

The Fowler Fountain

Fowler Fountain (In Color)_low res

By Ben Nye (Arkansas)

The Fowler Fountain has stood watch over the back patio of the Headquarters Shrine for nearly 45 years. Added as part of the expansion of headquarters in 1969, the Fowler Fountain is dedicated to the memory of Northwestern alumnus and Gamma Beta Initiate Paul S. Fowler.

This winter, one of Fowler’s grandsons – – Chris Wolfe of Derry, N.H. – – came to visit the fountain that was dedicated in the honor of his grandfather. Over the course of the visit, several details emerged about the history of the man for whom the fountain is dedicated.

Paul Fowler was initiated at Northwestern in 1922. He was not the first Sigma Nu in the family as he was the nephew of Dr. Ora Fowler, the first initiate of Gamma Kappa (Colorado) Chapter and long-time Division Commander. His undergraduate career included his service as chapter Reporter, involvement with the school’s theatre department and ROTC. Following his graduation in 1925, Fowler moved to London to manage his father’s business, Fowler Packing Co. which was one of the U.K.’s major importers of natural casings. He and his family; Wife Ella; Daughters Alta, Paula and Jean and Son Gordon, lived in the St. Johns Wood neighborhood of London.

When France surrendered to the invading German army in 1940, Fowler sent his family back to the US with an envelope to be opened upon arrival. In it were instructions to contact Sigma Nu and seek their guidance. They were instructed to drive to Lexington from New York City and upon their arrival, a house on White Street was rented and all four children were enrolled in school. This marked the beginning of the Fowler’s 34 years in Lexington.

Paul, who served during World War II, became a dual commissioned officer in the British and US Armies, retiring as major. It is believed that he was the only officer with simultaneous army commissions during WWII. Fowler’s military service consisted of negotiating land purchases for Allied bases as they marched across Europe to Germany.

Following the war, Fowler joined his family in Lexington. Paul and Wife Ella started a real estate company known as Fowler Enterprises, which was located on Main Street in downtown Lexington. Paul Fowler_Headshot

In 1955, Fowler was put in touch with former Executive Secretary Dick Fletcher (Penn State) to assist in locating a potential home for Sigma Nu headquarters. This began a two year correspondence between the two men that included Fowler presenting Fletcher with multiple property options in Lexington. Ironically, Fletcher was unaware of Fowler’s belonging to the roles of Sigma Nu. Fletcher, after an exchange over the phone, learned of his ignorance and was pleased to declare Fowler, “a brother in the bonds.”

Although the final location and sale of the property that became Sigma Nu’s home was credited to another agent – – W.E. Tilson was the agent that located the Smith property – – there can be no doubt that Fowler was vital in assisting Sigma Nu in its search for a permanent home.

In 1958, Paul Fowler passed away – – scarcely four months after Sigma Nu’s move to Lexington. His surviving wife and children sought an opportunity to memorialize his love for Sigma Nu, which presented itself ten years later. Ella Fowler and her children donated the fountain that rests on the Memorial Terrace after Dick Fletcher made a request in The Delta for a donation of a two-leveled fountain.

It is a fitting reminder of a man who found his home in Lexington and in turn helped Sigma Nu return to its home.

Visitors in Lexington

Epsilon Mu Fall 2013

The Epsilon Mu Chapter (Butler) takes a fall pilgrimage.

Gamma Alpha Pilgrims

Candidates of the Gamma Alpha Chapter (Georgia Tech) visiting the Headquarters Shrine.

Matt Young and Ref Crew

Past Grand Chaplain Matt Young (Wittenburg) and his crew of officials visited the Rock prior to working the VMI-Glenville State football game.

Paul Wickler Norwich

Alumnus Paul Wickler (Norwich) returns to the Headquarters Shrine for his first visit in many years.

VT Brothers at Rock

Brothers Hunter Bryant and Tim Hunter (Virginia Tech) stop by for a visit while traveling home for the weekend.

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More at SigmaNu.org

Best Practices Library for Alumni

The Best Practices Library for Alumni is designed to give specific examples of how Sigma Nu chapters have achieved excellence in alumni relations and helps to provide a road map for other chapters to follow in achieving their own excellence.  Many of the most successful Chapter Advisors, Alumni Advisory Board Members, and Housing Corporation Board Members were asked to provide specific practices attributable to their great success and have been included.

The Best Practices Library for Alumni includes resources such as successful habits for alumni advisors, sample alumni event invitations, sample housing agreements, and a sample Alumni Advisory Board governance model.

Social Planning Guide

The new Sigma Nu Social Planning Guide provides a commonsense overview of the Risk Reduction Policy & Guidelines and instructions on implementing risk reduction concepts for social events.  The guide includes explanations of the risk reduction policy, a rationale for determining what constitutes a chapter event, event planning templates, examples for managing alcohol and guest lists, and assorted tips for applying risk reduction and safety guidelines.

Updates to LEAD Phase I

The Fraternity just rolled out an updated LEAD Phase I facilitator manual and online content.  Some of the recent updates include improved readability of printed facilitator notes, inclusion of ethical dilemma scenarios for group discussions, new parliamentary resources added to Session 4, enhanced session wrap up pages with reflection questions, application ideas, and a discussion quote to begin each facilitated session.

These are but a few of the updates added to both the online content and facilitator manuals for Phase I.  Log in to view the online content through the Member’s Area and view the new facilitator manuals on the LEAD page at sigmanu.org.

Becomeasigmanu.org

Looking to refer a prospective member or legacy to the Legion of Honor? Becomeasigmanu.org was launched to provide a platform for potential new members or legacies to learn more about Sigma Nu and to have their name submitted to the chapter that they are interested in. The website also accepts referrals from alumni and friends of Sigma Nu who may be interested in referring someone they know to Sigma Nu.

Becomeasigmanu.org also features the history, famous alumni, and the purpose of Sigma Nu and includes a map of all current chapters. Be sure to check out becomeasigmanu.org and refer a prospective member to the Legion of Honor.

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Chapter Eternal

Former Congressman E. Clay Shaw, Jr. (Stetson) entered Chapter Eternal on September 10, 2013, at the age of 74. Brother Shaw was the former mayor of Fort Lauderdale and went on to serve in Congress for 26 years. Shaw is survived by his wife, Emilie, four children, and 15 grandchildren, according to a Miami Herald obituary.

“Clay cherished his time in the U.S. Congress representing the people of South Florida. He was a devoted family man setting a fine example for our 15 grandchildren. They will always be proud of Clay’s love of country,” said Emilie Shaw in a statement released by the family.

Brother Shaw was born in Miami, Fl., in 1939. He attended Stetson University where he joined the Delta Mu Chapter of Sigma Nu. Shaw went on to earn an M.B.A. from University of Alabama in 1963 and his J.D. from Stetson College of Law in 1966.

Shaw was elected mayor of Fort Lauderdale in 1975, at the age of 36. In 1980 he was elected to serve Florida’s 22nd district in the U.S. Congress. He would serve 13 consecutive terms before retiring in 2008.

During his service on the Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Shaw played a significant role in developing bipartisan welfare reform legislation signed by President Bill Clinton. Shaw later joined the House Social Security subcommittee where he influenced Social Security reform. Among his other contributions, Brother Shaw is also credited with promoting the 1982 Missing and Exploited Children’s Act.

Brother Shaw died after a long struggle with long cancer. He was buried at a family gravesite in Alabama.

Zak McConnel_Fiddleheads_crop

Brother Zak McConnell (North Georgia) entered Chapter Eternal on October 29, 2013, at the age of 26. Zak was pursuing an MBA at University of Georgia in Athens with aspirations of starting a career in the music industry business.

Brother McConnell, a talented mandolin player, founded the Fiddleheads in 2009 while attending University of North Georgia, where he joined the Kappa Chapter of Sigma Nu. Zak and the Fiddleheads were featured in the ISSUE of The Delta following their successful run on the hit TV show “America’s Got Talent.”

“Zak was kind, humble, passionate, compassionate, respectful and intelligent. We have lost someone who was a dear friend, a son, a brother, and a husband. And a world-class musician who played every note of every song with all of the passion that was in his young heart,” according to a statement posted to his band’s website.

Zak grew up playing a variety of instruments, including electric guitar and mandolin. Zak dedicated his musical talents after hearing renowned mandolin player Chris Thile of Nickel Creek. Zak’s family estimates Zak saw Nickel Creek perform 30+ times live in concert.

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