Written By Andy Huston (Minnesota, ’01), Executive Director
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The start of the academic year began with a healthy dose of optimism while being prepared to address continued challenges associated with COVID-19. The significance of our ΣAM 2030 strategic plan (available at sam.org/sam-2030) has helped focus our limited resources to expand the mission and impact of Sigma Alpha Mu. Our vision is to transform Sigma Alpha Mu into the first choice of collegians seeking a forward-thinking, inclusive fraternity which enhances the university experience and prepares the fraternity member for a fulfilling life.
Sigma Alpha Mu has 46 active chapters plus 3 interest groups. We started the year with 1,398 undergraduate fratres. We projected that chapters would initiate 825 new members this year and our year-to-date results include 846 candidates reported. While it is nice to meet our expectations, it is better knowing eleven chapters recruited more candidates this year than they have in the past five years and a total of 30 chapters improved their results over last year. Supporting chapter growth is a strategic focus of the ΣAM 2030 plan.
The chapters that have taken advantage of chapter coaching and our growth resources have bolstered membership. The efforts to expand our chapter roll are highlighted on page 14. Our vision has been so resonating that we were just selected first overall to return to NYU (Mu Omicron) in the fall of 2023 among all fraternities seeking to restart a chapter.
The fraternity has worked tirelessly to help chapters navigate the myriad of challenges they face. Many chapters did not hold in-person programming for several semesters. For a college student, that is a lifetime.
This fall we launched our on-demand online education to help chapters prepare to safely host events. As a result, we avoided the uptick of conduct cases that we were anticipating earlier this fall. Our team also created an online, train-the-trainer module for our candidate educational program called True MDH. Similarly, we have received fewer reports of hazing or misconduct associated with candidates. Another approach we have taken to proactively root out hazing has been the TRUTH Campaign (more on page 31) which has likely saved at least one chapter this academic year.
We support our undergraduate members following the impacts of antisemitic incidents on campus, anti-Greek advocacy, and strained mental health. It remains a priority to be responsive to these challenging situations. I’ve been inspired by the perseverance of our students in navigating these challenges. Many have creatively mobilized their communities – as we saw with the Sammy SAFE Box campaign at Alabama – which gives me renewed hope for this generation.
Meanwhile, the fraternity has the vision to build more programs and services for the membership at large. To that end, we need your input and feedback on our 12-minute survey at sam.org/alumnisurvey to design programs and services that support the lifelong membership experience of Sigma Alpha Mu. Your participation is critical.
We are so grateful for our alumni. Hundreds of alumni volunteer to perpetuate the organization. Thousands of alumni give back as donors to the Foundation or investors in housing projects. More than 5,000 alumni participated in our Sammy Stories program. As a result, we have over 3,800 stories collected from alumni about their experiences, memories, and the impact of membership in their lives. Many more alumni still bleed purple and white.
It is clear that Sigma Alpha Mu continues to be a positive force in the lives of its members.
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