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3rd in a series of informative articles - Pledge Period

Some might ask the purpose of the no social activities with alcohol during the period of pledge pinning to initiation. So many of the recent deaths, let alone incidents at universities resulting in judicial action were a result of forced alcohol consumption during pledgeship. This has resulted in our university partners equating pledgeship with excessive alcohol consumption and hazing, as I have stated in the recent most article. We must break this linkage and the thought that perception is reality.

By making a stand that we take pledge education so seriously as to make it a priority over social activities with alcohol, we are making a positive step in the eyes of our partners. The chapter can have as many activities at the house without alcohol as it wants and that is encouraged. They cannot have any activities with alcohol during this period, but with the new policies effective 2/1, no events can happen without a licensed, third-party vendor anyway.

As of 8/1, no hard alcohol is allowed at a social function at the house period. Pledges (who for the most part are under 21 anyway) are not allowed to drink anyway and cannot be at an off-campus location where hard alcohol is being served. Actives may use hard alcohol at off-campus locations, but cannot bring it to the house or be intoxicated and be at the house.

Sigma Chi Fraternity is taking a stand. We hold our pledge period to be an important part of a lifetime in Sigma Chi. It is about preparing them for the Ceremonies of Initiation and reconciling them to our values and ideals. Please join me in supporting this new policy.

Brother Ward Enters Chapter Eternal

Ward


Brother Jim Ward, Beta Phi, ‘60, a UA baseball pitcher and rancher, died Jan. 7, 2018 in Abilene, Texas. He was 78. 

Brother Ward won 30 games for the Wildcats between 1958-60, which ranks him fifth in career wins. He won 13 games in 1960 and led the Wildcats to the College World Series, where he was named to the all-tournament team. He also ranks 10th in career strikeouts with 292.

 The Wildcats’ coach, Frank Sancet, Beta Phi ’33 coached Ward and his catcher was All-American Alan Hall, Beta Phi ’60. Several other Sigs played with Ward, including Mike Longo, Linn Wallace, Charlie Shoemaker, John Colyer, Bill Barraclough, Bob Wilson and Jim Geist.

Brother Ward played pro baseball for nine seasons in the minor leagues, running up a record of 88 wins and 84 losses with an ERA of 3.57.

He was inducted into the Wildcats Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.

At that time, Arizona Daily Star sports columnist Greg Hansen noted that Ward was given to finishing most conversations with the two-word declaration:  ‘Bear Down.’ ”

“Isn’t that strange for a man who graduated from college 54 years ago? Bear Down? Still?

“Ward isn’t one to be awed or cling to an old rallying cry unless it has a deep meaning. He routinely shared a dugout at Dodger Stadium with Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. He struck out 16 Oklahoma State batters in the College World Series. He raised cattle. Owned a printing company. Graduated from the UA by taking 21 units his final semester.

“There isn’t much Jim Ward hasn’t seen. His baseball career was delayed while he learned to be a soldier at Fort Ord. His first wife, Nancy, died of cancer 22 years ago. He lost his first ranch, his cattle business, after four years of a Texas drought.

“Can you imagine what it would take to move a man to tears after all that?”

“It was a phone call from (UA associate athletic director) Phoebe Chalk in August,” he says. “I thought, ‘Well, they’re going to ask me for some money,’ but that wasn’t it at all. She said, ‘Congratulations, Jim, you’ve been elected to the UA Sports Hall of Fame.’ ”

Ward broke down in tears.

“I was speechless,” he told Hansen. “I started bawling. My son was in the room, and he said, ‘What’s the matter, are you OK?’ I just couldn’t express myself, but, you know, it’s the greatest thrill of my baseball life.”

“Much like predecessors Lee, Thomas and Baldwin, Ward became a Big Game pitcher.” Hansen wrote. “He went 30-7 in 39 career starts, including a breakout 13-1 season in 1960 when he was itching to pitch against defending national champion Oklahoma State in Omaha.” He struck out 16 Cowboys and beat them 2-1.

 “My years at Arizona set the foundation for my life,” Ward told Hansen. “I’ve had a lot of adventures, but as I think back, almost nothing was as satisfying as the day I got my degree. My mom and dad were in the audience. They were so proud. I was a Wildcat for life.

All Honor to His Name.

Brother John Colyer Enters Chapter Eternal

Colyer

Brother John Colyer, Beta Phi ‘59, a baseball player at the UA and a businessman, died  June 14, 2017, in Portland, Oregon, at the age of 80.

Brother Coyle was born Jan. 27, 1937, in Phoenix. After graduation from North Phoenix High School in 1955, he attended the UA where he played varsity baseball from 1956-59 under Brother and coach Frank Sancet and joined Sigma Chi, where he became Consul. He received a degree in mechanical engineering.

He served briefly in the US Air Force and then went on to a career in the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning industry until his retirement in 2006.

His wife, Virginia Kay, predeceased him in 2015.  He is survived by four children and seven grandchildren.

All Honor to His Name.

William "Bill" Earl Evans Sr. Enters Chapter Eternal

Earl Evans Sr.

Brother William "Bill" Earl Evans Sr., Beta Phi ’52, who worked in the cattle business in the Phoenix area, died June 21, 2017. He was 88.

He was born on October 15, 1928, in Mattoon, Illinois, and later moving to Tucson, where he attended Tucson High School. Brother Evans attended the University of Arizona, where he joined Sigma Chi Fraternity. Upon graduation, he was commissioned second lieutenant and served 14 months of his time in Korea as a tank commander in the 82nd and 102nd Airborne Division at Indian Patch.

Afterward, he returned to Arizona and entered the cattle business, starting as a feed representative to the numerous feed yards, eventually acquiring his own feed yard east of Scottsdale on the Pima Indian Reservation. He was active in the Arizona Cattle Feeders Association.

Brother Evans was married to Julie Catherine Perry on August 19, 1955. They had five children:

In 1973, he moved his family to Florida to become a cattle rancher. He was chairman of Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida. He died in Lakeland, Florida.

All Honor to His Name.

2nd in a series of informative articles - Pledge Education

You might ask why would Sigma Chi shorten its pledge education program to 4-5 weeks when we just shortened it to 8 weeks two years ago with the implementation of P4B.

Two major issues in play. Some of our contemporaries, when faced with the challenges we all are faced with, have chosen to do away with pledge education prior to initiation and initiate from 72-96 hours after pledging. This is in response to extreme pressure from our university partners to do away with pledge education as they see no value and leading to instances of hazing and forced alcohol consumption. Now we have to fight the battle that since SAE, Sig EP and a host of others (the list is growing by the week) are doing away with pledge education, why shouldn't Sigma Chi?

When faced with alternatives that include doing away with pledge education in general, having to initiate members we barely know, or having to follow pledge education programs run by the university partners, our best course of action was to come up with a timeframe we thought the universities would buy, into. We will condense our award-winning program into a pre-initiation education of values and what it means to be a Sigma Chi combined with a post-initiation education that gives you an education on governance, etc. Brothers, the alternative is no eduction at all prior to initiation. Our problem is that most of these deaths have come from hazing during pledge education. The universities just think that is what pledge education is about. We know better.

The Jordan Initiative committee is working hard to condense P4B and it will roll out in the Fall of 2018. Not enough time to roll out this Spring. We will work to make sure every Sig has memories to last a lifetime and we will aggressively lobby against attempts to make us do away with this program.

We are hopeful that our NIC partners, upon seeing what Sigma Chi is doing, will join us in this effort. We are prepared to share our P4B program with them and help them adopt a value-added program themselves.

There was not any time to vet this with the membership. Confronted with the reality that we would have no alternative but to do away with pledgeship in general, we adapted to meet the challenge. Since Sigma Chi is a LIFETIME commitment, we will double our efforts to recruit and educate values-oriented young men. Your support to this effort is appreciated. Steve.