Fraternity develops stronger philanthropy

Sigma Nu brothers have participated in projects this semester with Habitat for Humanity, Real Men Read and the Statesboro Food Bank.

Lauren Gorla

Fraternities are often associated with huge parties, beer kegs and tailgates, but one fraternity at Georgia Southern University is looking to change that perspective entirely.

The members of Sigma Nu fraternity have been working for the past year to remodel their entire philanthropy efforts and set a bar not only for other GSU fraternities, but for themselves as well.

Brian Griffin, philanthropy chair for Sigma Nu, is the main promoter of this change with inspiration coming from his father, a fellow Sigma Nu brother and sufferer of multiple sclerosis.

“I just saw a real need for (more community service) in our chapter, so I decided to take it under my responsibility to revamp the program and really point it in the right direction,” Griffin said.

The remodel began last semester with a benefit concert for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society during which Sigma Nu raised $4,707.05.

Since Griffin’s father is a Sigma Nu, the chapter decided to do a philanthropy project for NMS, Griffin said.

In the past, there has not been a large focus on promoting community service work, but Sigma Nu is now looking to better the community in which they go to school, Jay Arnold, Habitat for Humanity coordinator for Sigma Nu, said.

“We’ve done philanthropies in the past but it really has not been an essential role in the chapter.  Last year we had a grand total of zero community service hours for the whole chapter, and in the past two weeks alone, we’ve completed well over three-hundred (hours) through our Habitat for Humanity workdays,” Griffin said.

This semester, Sigma Nu brothers have participated in projects with Habitat for Humanity, Real Men Read and the Statesboro Food Bank, Griffin said.

“We did it two Saturdays in a row, the second and ninth (of March).  We also had other people go to the Restore, which is a thrift store that Habitat for Humanity runs. They take donations and then they try to sell it.  (Saturday), we worked on leveling the yard and laying out steps so that they could pave the driveway,” Arnold said.

“(Community service) is rewarding obviously, and it helps us with our hours, but it’s really nice because you get out there and you’re working with locals and people who do it for a living,” Arnold said.

Sigma Nu hopes that as community service efforts increase in Greek Life, that fraternities will develop a better reputation beyond partying and drinking, Griffin said.

Griffith said, “It’s important to give back, especially with Greek Life.  We want to set the example of what community service is supposed to look like. We’re really trying to be an example raise the bar for the whole Greek Life community.”