Written by Alex Hart, Director of Growth
When does life-long brotherhood begin? Graduation, initiation, before you even sign your bid? Recruitment is the lifeblood of Sigma Alpha Mu, the driver of our join culture, and the beginning of brotherhood. Brotherhood doesn’t just happen by putting on the same t-shirt as your friends. It starts simply during recruitment as men begin to build relationships with men.
As the men of Sigma Alpha Mu, we must focus on fostering meaningful connections during recruitment. As the recruitment process is the beginning of relationships that will last a lifetime – the true value of fraternity.
The fraternity has adapted to the pandemic on our collegiate campuses. While social distancing and programming virtually, how have we strategically fostered these connections? This fall, the Founding Fathers at the University of Oklahoma started a new chapter and have realized the value in relationships.
“The relationships I’ve formed were the most important – what I’ve been trying to form the whole time”. Jackson Golden came to OU wanting to join a fraternity, and when we connected with his fellow Founding Fathers he knew Sammy was the right fit. “The guys here that we have are good guys. We all hung out together and just clicked.”
The methods by which we recruit and connect have changed. Large in-person gatherings are no more. Small activities are harder to coordinate with schedules and appropriate social distancing. In-person meetings go without handshakes and include face coverings.
For someone like Brennan Prue, who wasn’t interested in joining a fraternity, that changed when he learned about Sigma Alpha Mu. “This fraternity stuck out as different,” Brennan said. “Everything that’s happened this year, it was a different experience than I expected..” I’m getting to know these guys that I probably would not have met on campus otherwise.” He values these relationships and can already see the benefit. “We’re all from different backgrounds, but we’re able to come together and work as one.”
Though adapting can be challenging, this new normal led us back to generating ways to connect and show care for others. We are intentional in learning about people: When we met someone, where they come from, what opportunities they are looking for, and where they want to end up. With this, we can better communicate the value of joining Sammy.
“I wanted to be involved on campus and make a difference. This is a powerful way to do that. All of us can change the dynamic on campus for interfraternity and sorority relationships,” said Jaxon Cervantes.
Over the course of 8-weeks, 16 men joined at Oklahoma. They restarted the newest iteration of their chapter founded exactly 100 years prior. As Sigma Alpha Mu has grown from the simple relationships of 8 men at the City College of New York, our shared vision endeavors. During a pandemic and time of crisis, these men look to be leaders in the fraternal community on their Norman campus.
Adian Suddler recognized the value in the early stages of his fraternity experience. “We are all ambitious while also capable of just hanging out together.,. I honestly think that’s the perfect combination to have for an organization like this. What’s great, is that I think we all look up to each other and we work as each other’s mentors in addition to being friends.” The value of lifelong brotherhood is established during recruitment when we show care for one another, and it has been reaffirmed here in Norman.