Sigma Rho Newsletter - September 2014

From: Mike Czmiel '15,  Public Relations Chair
Date: Monday, September 29, 2014
Subject: Sigma Rho September Newsletter

Dear Beta Families,

   With the end of the month quickly approaching, I present to you the Sigma Rho chapter’s September newsletter.  Although it is quite difficult to believe that classes have now been in session for over a month and that the summer has come to a close, we Betas have settled back into 202 E. Daniel and the UIUC campus quite comfortably!

   Prepped and readied for our arrival, the chapter House was a very active one throughout the last week of August and the month of September.  Belongings unpacked and final family goodbyes having being said, over 40 of our brothers were finished moving in by 8/27 and thus ready to commence their return to campus life.  Furnished with brand new fittings in the rooms and common areas—as well as our excellent daily chef, Lance—the transition was made all the more easier and we could then focus on our next major event: initiation.

   Having learned the values and importance of being a “Man of Principle” as well as successfully completing their new member requirements last spring, eighteen men were now ready to join our brotherhood. Cities and majors across the spectrum were represented as Sigma Rho’s Alpha class was officially initiated on 8/26, a milestone of which we are all immensely proud of! But in addition to our own brothers, the chapter House was also loaned to the men of Truman State’s Zeta Xi chapter for their own new member initiation as well. An event we were honored to assist in organizing, we wish the men of Zeta Xi the best of luck with their upcoming year.

Above: New furnishings included an all new dining room- shared meals are an essential part to Beta's brotherhood.

Above:  We proudly present Sigma Rho's Alpha class: Ali Abdou '16, Chris Altidis '16, John Anderson '17, Rohan Bhaumik '16, Adam Davis '15, John Desai '16, Alek Festekjian '17, Darion George '17, Matthew Heffernan '17, Grant Jordan '16, Brad Kosinski '17, Victor Lee '17, Mitch McShane '16, Kevin Morrison '15, Curt Olbrich '17, Harsh Patel '17, Peter Westerfield '17 and Kevin Wu '17.

  Apart from these initiations and additions of new brothers, the chapter also played host to several events for our alumni and administration. In the morning of 9/20, the Chapter’s building association visited to conduct an annual membership meeting regarding overall chapter status, finances and strategic planning for the future. Although already impressed with our progress, chapter President Jack Kalanik ’16 also highlighted to the board that the Sigma Rho chapter GPA was a 3.2879 on a 4.0 scale, translating to being the 4th highest of 48 fraternities, above the all male undergraduate GPA of 3.0600 and above the all fraternity / sorority GPA of 3.2295. Less than just one year after official re-colonization, this is an exceptional achievement the board was thrilled to hear! Further exemplifying how determined we are about our academic pursuits, should a brother have any academic issues we are all here to motivate, encourage and keep one another in check to continue our strong performance. Following the meeting, the day’s tone then shifted to one of camaraderie and recreation as we welcomed back alumni and their families for a BBQ and tailgate preceding the Illinois-Texas game (in which the Fighting Illini triumphed 42-35).

   Looking to continue and build upon our successes and brotherhood, these last two weeks brought about the conclusion of our rush calendar. For those unfamiliar with the term, “rush” refers to meeting and extending invites to potential new members who come to see our house and meet our brothers during several weeks of open house. VP of Recruitment Bill Hilger ‘16 delivered on his promise of creating a strong rush class, successfully signing 30+ members who will now begin learning our organization’s values and importance of being a “Man of Principle” under VP of Education Nihreer Matani ’16. Officially inducted on 9/23, our brotherhood very much looks forward to meeting and assisting all on their path to initiation as well as establishing bonds that will stretch beyond our campus years. After all, we are very excited to see these passioned men learn our principles which we firmly believe help our communities and overall world. As always, however, we are happy to engage potential new members beyond the rush calendar so if you have a recommendation, forward Bill his contact information at the email address below.

With the conclusion of the rush calendar comes our newest rush class - 30+ members strong!
   Though the month seemed busy enough as it is, the Sigma Rho chapter is pleased to state that we will be active team participants in several upcoming philanthropic events hosted within the Greek campus community.  Philanthropy Chair Bradley Berg '16 has us scheduled for several upcoming events: from the “Greeks at Bat” softball tournament with Delta Delta Delta (which benefits St. Jude's) to a basketball tournament with Kappa Alpha Theta, flag football with Pi Beta Phi to the bubble soccer game for our own philanthropy, Weishfest. We are thrilled to join in raising money for some great causes!

   Lastly, I would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to those who reached out to us in assisting with last newsletter’s wish list. Though our budget does allow for a limited amount of extra purchases here and there besides house necessities, we could never have expedited the purchase of an outdoor grill, new washer/dryer set or living room television without you! Future items we are still actively saving for include a pool table, basketball hoop, bike rack and vacuum cleaner, but we are always accepting and appreciative of any general supplies (ie napkins, cleaning supplies or anything you deem necessary) you wish to donate.

Brother Profiles

Curt Olbrich

- Hometown: Frankfort, IL
- Major: Mechanical Engineering
- Roll no. & graduation year: 2205, May 2017
- Why you went Beta:

    "Every man in the fraternity that I met was impressive socially and with his involvement on campus. I also wanted to be a part of re-establishing Beta on campus and working towards making it great again."

-What you hope to accomplish this year:

    "I hope to improve my GPA and become VP of recruitment within the fraternity."

- Best memory of UIUC / Beta thus far:

    "The night of my initiation was a really important night for me as well as a very great memory."


Connor Murray

- Hometown: Vienna, Austria
- Major: Political Science & German
- Roll no. & graduation year: 2174, May 2016
- Why you went Beta:

    "I joined because I wanted to build something. In addition, Beta Theta Pi has a rich history as a national organization and I was impressed by it and welcomed the opportunity to be a part of it."

- What you hope to accomplish this year:

    "I want to be successful in my internship with the United Nations. I also desire to continue to maintain my grades and continue expanding my network on campus."

Best memory of UIUC / Beta thus far:

    "Being ablee to have and meet the alumni and moving into 202 E. Daniel. This house is amazing.



   All in all, I can honestly say that the first official month of our return to campus has been a great success that is showing even more promise for the months to come. And though with this promise comes responsibility and dedicated, hard work, we are more than ready to meet the challenge!
   As always, feel free to contact me for any requested information or questions - I am happy to assist you.
Enjoy the start to your Fall season,

   Mike Czmiel '15

   Sigma Rho Public Relations Chair | 847.942.8071

Other highlighted contacts:
   President Jack Kalanik |
   VP of Recruitment Bill Hilger |
   VP of Education Nihreer Matani |
   Philanthropy Chair Bradley Berg |


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