GAMMA PHI VALUES
Arguably the most important value of Gamma Phi, and the main reason most current actives joined the fraternity, is the brotherhood that accompanies membership in the Chapter. The members of Gamma Phi are humble, good-humored, and casual, and are positive and friendly to strangers and friends alike. On the other hand, they're also passionate and dedicated at heart and aim to achieve their best in every practice. We regularly develop our brotherhood through formal and informal ways. Our Chaplain is responsible for organizing brotherhood development events, and these events range from casual hangouts on the oval, to movie and poker nights, to full retreats outside of Missoula for larger events with the whole brotherhood. Also, our LEAD Chairman uses resources from our national fraternity to conduct "LEAD" (Leadership, Ethics, Achievement, Development) sessions that cover the spectrum of character and leadership development. Working through these sessions as a brotherhood binds us together as we learn lifelong skills. On top of that, our active involvement in intramural sports and philanthropy events allows us to exercise our competitive edge and serve our community - at the same time every once in a while - at the side of fellow Brothers.
The Gamma Phi Chapter may be the best organization on campus to take on leadership opportunities and rapidly develop leadership skills. Our relatively small Chapter relative to the number of officer positions means that a majority of our Chapter holds some form of leadership role at the moment. All 8 members of the Fall 2013 candidate class currently hold officer positions, and 3 of them are on the executive board. New members can run for an office as soon as they're confirmed as an active member, which means that many members took their first office as a freshman! As with brotherhood, the LEAD Chairman coordinates workshops throughout the school year to advance each member's communication skills, management tactics, confidence, and skills covering the full spectrum of leadership. All of these lessons are designed by our national fraternity, and have been practiced, tested, and refined for almost 20 years. The Chapter also encourages members to take leadership roles in other campus organizations as well. 3 actives hold offices in other organizations - 1 in the Forestry Club and 2 in IFC.
A large part of taking on the Honor of a Knight in Sigma Nu is dedicating yourself to the service of others at every opportunity. The Chapter takes on a wide range of projects and philanthropy events to show our commitment to the Missoula community along with the rest of the world. Recent service projects include a landscaping project at a local elementary/middle school (pictured below), providing event staff at a human trafficking conference and a world culture fair, and participating in Relay For Life and St. Jude's Up 'Til Dawn philanthropy campaign. We have an officer position, the Philanthropy Chairman, dedicated to identifying possible service opportunities for each member and the whole Chapter. We're also working to kickstart our own annual philanthropy event this academic year.
The fraternity is a supplementary organization that's designed to assist all of its members in academic success by providing resources through brothers, past members, and references to academic support on campus. The fraternity is also a distraction, though, and can easily get in the way of academic success if a member isn't mindful of his balance of work and fun. Consequently, the Chapter has requirements for academic achievement to maintain full membership as an active. These requirements include mandatory weekly study hours in the library with Brothers, academic progress reports for each class at least once during the semester, and a minimum semester and cumulative grade point average that's set above the all-fraternity average. The consequences for not meeting these expectations are 2 tiers of sanctions, which progress from limits on social privileges to the removal of voting rights in Chapter, among additional punishments. Sigma Nu aims to have the highest GPA among fraternities in UM's Greek system from semester to semester. And ultimately, the conflict of work and fun is one of the most maturing experiences members take on in the the fraternity. A large majority of actives struggle with balancing the stress of academic success and the availability of a robust social life early in their college career, but that struggle quickly leads to a seasoned understanding of what's truly important to each active - academic success. Sigma Nu's purpose is to guide its members in the direction of success.
Last but not least, and in line with our most prominent value on a national level, are the virtues associated with honor - integrity, honesty, responsibility, respect, and maturity. Every member of the Gamma Phi Chapter is held to the highest expectations with regard to those virtues. Indeed we recruit to those standards, and new members who don't meet our expectations are quickly removed from the program. The Chapter has its own judicial structure in place to hear cases where a Brother is accused of a dishonorable act. The hearings follow the same professional structure as a normal judicial hearing, and Brothers are issued fitting punishments for dishonorable actions. Brothers in the house are expected to hold each other accountable for their actions.