The Balanced Man Program is the Fraternity’s award-winning leadership development program. First implemented by Sigma Phi Epsilon in the fall of 1992, the BMP is a self-paced, personal development experience. The premise of the Balanced Man Program is the idea of “Universal respect for self and others.” SigEps are encouraged to live a balanced life based on the foundation of the Balanced Man Concept of sound mind and sound body.
In standing with the notion of a “Universal respect for self and others,” SigEp has eliminated the pledge process completely. The program grants all members the same rights and privileges from day one, which is contrary to the idea of a two-tiered, pledging model. Because we recruit the best men year-round, we can grant them full responsibility as soon as they accept the invitation of membership.
Throughout the four year, single-tiered member development program, the Balanced Man Program builds a bond of lasting friendship that fosters an environment conducive to leadership and academics. Our brotherhood is built through four challenges that evolve through a member’s status in his college career.
Within the Balanced Man Program, SigEps are exposed to leadership, experiential learning, personal development, mentoring, and other positive activities that focus on a core of universal respect and balanced living. Members track their progress through the Quest workbook, which evolves with a member from the day he joins SigEp to the day he graduates. Member expectations are based on experience level in the academic, campus and personal aspects of their lives and link those to the value and ritual of our fraternity.
The cornerstones of the Balanced Man Program center on Mentoring, Community Involvement, Experiential Learning, and Brotherhood, and are not only the foundation for becoming a Balanced Man but also a mature professional.
Mentoring plays an important role in the Balanced Man Program. All members both have mentors and serve as mentors, with the idea that asking someone to be your Mentor allows you to experience many different personalities, interests, ideas, and careers. A mentor is selected for his or her talents, values, and experience. Your mentor may be older or younger, as long as you are able to learn and receive advice from that person.
Your mentor will help you succeed throughout the program and in life, becoming one of your closest friends. The best mentor/menthe relationships involve regular communication, clear expectations, and the sharing of dreams. Mentoring puts brotherhood into action! With over 13,000 SigEp Alumni currently signed up for the Mentors Association Program nationwide, there is no better way to network!
Expectations for community involvement provide experiences meeting and working with many people of different backgrounds and diverse experiences. Through such contact and involvement, you will learn what issues face the community, how to be helpful, and how to work well with others.
The Balanced Man Program takes community service beyond simply cleaning up highways. It emphasizes service learning by truly growing as a person through efforts in the community. Preparation, hands-on-involvement, and personal interaction is key to the service learning experience.
Conducting a service learning project could mean working to feed the homeless, providing day care for children, or tutoring adults in a literacy program. It could also mean building a house, driving an elderly neighbor to the grocery store, or working in an animal shelter.
Service learning and other elements of community involvement are critical to leadership development. Through such involvement, a SigEp will become a balanced individual who has developed empathy for his neighbors, a broader world-view, and a dedication to responsible citizenship for a lifetime.
Every experience in life teaches us valuable lessons. The Balanced Man Program offers a wide range of opportunities for you to learn. Through experiential learning, you are provided with planned structures activities to facilitate these learning experiences.
We aren’t talking about learning in the classroom sense! We are talking about “learning by doing.” Fun learning! Getting outside and participating in a ropes course, a team challenge, developing individual skills, group communication or paint ball games, to name a few. These challenges contribute to leadership development, enhancing your self-awareness, and increasing your self-confidence. Additionally, they will build the bonds of brotherhood by improving chapter communication, motivation, and cooperation.
Men join our fraternity for friendship, brotherhood and fellowship. Through these intangibles they experience personal growth and self-fulfillment through both traditional and innovative opportunities.
The long-standing opportunities are formals, homecomings, retreats, meal sharing, and chapter meetings. The innovative opportunities revolve around experiential learning, community service, inter-Greek relations, alumni networking, mentoring, leadership seminars, and our Grand Chapter Conclave. All align with and attribute to our goal of Building Balanced Leaders for the World’s Communities.
Sound Mind and Sound Body
The ancient Greeks believed that a body’s good health was vital as the vessel of the mind. The mind houses your humanity, and, therefore, an exercise of the mind is just as important as the exercise of the body for full maturing and development. The purpose of a human’s time on earth is to live the best, balanced life and to explore the unexamined facets that make us better men.
SigEp chapters use the balanced man ideal of building a sound mind and a sound body to frame their programming ideas. To help develop the Sound Body concept, chapters do not simply participate in intramural sports, but are also encouraged to sponsor annual physicals that measure cholesterol, blood pressure, and screen for different types of cancer. Many chapters have also begun to educate their members on how to prepare healthier meals, which begins by serving healthier meals in the chapter facilities.
To pursue a Sound Mind, we look to grade requirements and study hours as only the beginnings.SigEp takes the next step by inviting political candidates and university professors to speak to the chapter. SigEp promotes greater diversity understanding by inviting historically African American fraternities and sororities to chapter meetings, and by volunteering at the university’s international houses. SigEp chapters are committed to providing an intellectual atmosphere that benefits themselves, their university, and their community, and strives to center on the Balanced
The Sigma Phi Epsilon Educational Foundation is committed to helping develop the Balanced Man, from avenues such as funding every chapter with free subscriptions to Men’s Journal magazine to providing testicular cancer shower cards. Sigma Phi Epsilon continually exhibits its dedication to helping a man develop not just a sound physical body, but moreover a healthy, lasting vessel for the mind.
You Ask Why?
Since the inception of the Balanced Man Program many issues and questions have developed The following sections explain many of those daunting questions.
Invariably, many questions will come over time as a natural response to change.
Why The BMP?
Q: Why did the Fraternity change anyway?
A: In 1901, twelve men decided that the status quo was not good enough and set out to make a change for the better. As Founder Carter Jenkins put it, “This fraternity will be different.” Their changes resulted in the birth of Sigma Phi Epsilon, and the Balanced Man Program is the fruition of that dream. As the founders addressed changes in their environment, the Balanced Man Program addresses changes in today’s fraternity world. At a time when risk management and regulation have become common concerns, Sigma Phi Epsilon has learned to surpass these problems and focus on the principles of self-improvement and true brotherhood on which it was founded in 1901. Change created Sigma Phi Epsilon. Change propelled by the Balanced Man Program will perpetuate Sigma Phi Epsilon.
Q: Why is the Journey of Brotherhood idea the basis of the Balanced Man Program?
A: Neither brotherhood nor individuals can develop and flourish overnight or through one brief experience. In addition to strengthening fraternal bonds and developing individuals, continuous experiences are critical for a man to appreciate and understand the values and ideals of the fraternity. Brotherhood is not a destination, but a road to be traveled.
Q: Why should a chapter become a Balanced Man Program chapter?
A: The Balanced Man Program offers many unique opportunities for SigEp’s. The program builds a strong brotherhood by developing individual members and group bonds, and by instilling the notion of “universal respect for self and others.” Implementing the Balanced Man Program provides chapters with many advantages:
• Programming for older members that keeps them involved.
• New opportunities for alumni and community members to be involved.
• An organized mentoring program for all members.
• Year-round recruitment opportunities.
• Programming that promotes the development of a sound mind in a sound body
The Balanced Man Program is unique to Sigma Phi Epsilon. Your years within our chapter will be unique. For more information stop by our chapter house, sit down with any brother and learn from their personal experiences.