Updates on Hurricanes Harvey & Irma

Updated 9.8.17

In as many weeks, a second historic hurricane will soon impact the southeast. Irma is set to make landfall early the morning of September 10, at Florida’s southern and southeast coasts. Irma has already caused catastrophic damage throughout the Caribbean region. Many Floridians are in the process of evacuating, while a large swath of the remainder of the south also makes preparations. Our own chapters – Alpha Chi at Stetson, Iota Epsilon at the University of Central Florida, Florida International University, and Theta Omega at Georgia Southern are doing what they can to get away from the path of the storm of otherwise prepare for this extreme weather.

As we continue to learn more, and share updates such as those from J.T. Thompson below, we invite Delta Sigs to use the hashtags #DSPHarvey and #DSPIrma to connect with one another, share resources or needs, and otherwise stay connected with one another throughout these storms and their aftermath. Additionally, we are sharing this info sheet from the American Red Cross on how to stay safe during the hurricane and aftermath.


Updated 8.31.17

Today, we’re sharing an update from J.T. Thompson, University of Alabama at Birmingham ’96, who lives in the Houston Metro area. We want you to hear from a fellow Delta Sig brother.

Dear brothers,

I am reaching out to you as someone who went through the recent tropical system that moved through the Houston Metro area. I wanted to provide you with a personal perspective of what has transpired. I also want to encourage you to get involved, either through financial contributions or hands-on volunteering.

As you know, the city of Houston was devastated by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey, which flooded the city with over 9 TRILLION gallons of water in a 48-72 hour period. A city, which covers over 2,200 sq miles was almost completely flooded. To put it into perspective, this area received enough water in that time period to fill the Great Salt Lake twice!

As of Tuesday night, 15,000 people were in shelters; more than 13,000 had to be rescued; and 18 people lost their lives. I had a chance to see the devastation that the flooding caused as I went out to see who needed help. Places as close as three miles from me were destroyed by the flood waters.

My family and I were lucky. We were spared the flooding, but I will tell you that it came extremely close. The flood control ravine that sits roughly 50 yards from my house came within a foot of cresting. Had it done so, we would have had water all throughout our house. Sunday evening was one of little sleep and angst as we watched the rising water and moved items to our second floor. Now, the sun is out, and hope begins. We as a city will rebuild. However, we can’t do this alone. Our fraternity has always been willing to step up when called upon. Forever repaying the debt to both our organization, our members, and our communities.

Now is that time. I ask each of you to dig down and find whatever you can donate to help those who have lost everything. If you would rather donate to local organizations, I have provided the HQ that will posted on social media. Every little bit helps!

Thank you in advance for your help!

YITBOS,
J.T. Thompson, University of Alabama at Birmingham ’96

Continue Below to See How to Help

hurricaneharvey02.jpg?r=1504198624016

J.T. has included a list of organizations in the region that are providing aid to those impacted by this disaster. You can view that list here. Delta Sig has multiple chapters in Texas, undergraduate and alumni brothers and their family members in and from this region. The Red Cross has upgraded their need for assistance in the region as Urgent, and we encourage all members to help. Alternatively, you may also click this link to donate directly to the Red Cross, you can even choose to have your donation go specifically to Hurricane Harvey assistance. You may notice this link is a Delta Sigma Phi affiliate link – this is solely to track the number and value of donations from our members; we do not receive any compensation for donations made through our link.


Updated 8.28.17

As you have seen in the news, the Gulf Coast of Texas and parts of Louisiana were hit by Hurricane Harvey – a Category 4 storm. With storm surges upwards of 6-8 feet, the initial hurricane was already life threatening. But as the storm has stalled over the region, the people of southeast Texas are facing a week of torrential rain that is predicted to bring in upwards of 36 inches in some areas. This is still a dangerous situation, many thousands have been evacuated, and by the time this event is over, millions will be affected. In Huston, experts are suggesting this may be the worst flood experienced in their city’s recorded history.

Harvey Rescue 1

In 2005, at the height of recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina, Delta Sigma Phi named the American Red Cross as its national philanthropy. Chapters maintain close relationships with local Red Cross operations to create awareness, donate blood, and raise much needed funds for the organization. Our men take pride in having the courage to get involved, taking action to make an impact, and pursuing excellence in service to their communities.

Delta Sig has multiple chapters in Texas, with undergraduate and alumni brothers from this region, and their family members. The Red Cross has upgraded their need for assistance in the region as Urgent, and we encourage all members to help. You can click this link to donate directly to the Red Cross, you can even choose to have your donation go specifically to Hurricane Harvey assistance. You may notice this link is a Delta Sigma Phi affiliate link – this is solely to track the number and value of donations from our members; we do not receive any compensation for donations made through our link.

We urge you to help today. From our Delta Sigma Phi brothers in the region to all those who have been affected, we wish you Godspeed in the days ahead and during the long recovery process as you weather the storm.

Beta Kappa Chapter Named American Red Cross Partner of the Year

Beakie Powell of the West Alabama Chapter of the American Red Cross works closely with the men of the Beta Kappa chapter. The chapter was recently named the 2016 Corporate Partner of the Year.
“The chapter at The University of Alabama has been a huge asset to the West Alabama
Chapter of the American Red Cross. They have support the Home Fire Campaign over the last two years, installing hundreds of smoke alarms into at risk home and providing important fire safety information to residents.

Through their fundraising efforts they have donated over $20,000 to the local Red Cross chapter. Those funds support the mission of the Red Cross to help individuals in the face of disaster.

The young men of Delta Sigma Phi have been wonderful to work with, each one is a gentleman with high moral character. Their group has given back to the community of Tuscaloosa with their time and respect.

Delta Sigma Phi has been chosen as the Corporate Partner for 2016.”

Recognizing Cameron Carey

Cameron Carey, 2012 initiate of the Epsilon Iota chapter of Delta Sigma Phi at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, has been recognized with the E. Allen James Outstanding Undergraduate Award.

The E. Allen James Award is the highest award the Fraternity can give to an undergraduate brother. On  the award, Tom Cycyota, National President of Delta Sigma Phi, shared “Only one undergraduate brother will receive the E. Allen James Award each year. The honor goes to an individual who truly embodies the mission and values of Delta Sigma Phi, and has consistently gone above and beyond in their service within the Fraternity and their local college community.”

The award is named in honor of E. Allen James, North Carolina State ’65, whose service to the Fraternity has included executive director, member of the Grand Council, and president of the Delta Sigma Phi Foundation. Mr. James was present to bestow his namesake award to Carey.

“I am amazed at the accomplishments of Cam Carey during his undergraduate career at University of Wisconsin, Lacrosse. It is clear Cam put into action the many leadership techniques he learned from participating in Delta Sig training events. His chapter, Epsilon Iota, benefitted, as did his University. It was an honor to present the E. Allen James Outstanding Undergraduate Award to Cam and to know he is currently working for the national fraternity. More brothers across the country will now learn from him.”

Carey graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2016, and now serves as a chapter support specialist for Delta Sigma Phi’s national headquarters.

Delta Sigma Phi Alumnus Recognized

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – June 7, 2016 – Nick Sweetman, a Delta Sigma Phi member and recent graduate of Arizona State University, has been recognized by the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) with their Undergraduate Award of Distinction.

The Undergraduate Award of Distinction “seeks to recognize fraternity men who have found in their experience an outlet for developing as both a leader and a better man. The recipients are those who embody the values of their fraternity and expect the same from those with whom they associate.” Nick is one of five honorees, from a Greek community of currently more than 750,000 undergraduate men.

Sweetman serves as one of two undergraduate representatives for Delta Sigma Phi’s Grand Council and chairs a national committee of undergraduate members. He has been extensively recognized for his leadership within Arizona State’s Greek community, where he has helped spearhead projects such as a mental health initiative, a project to help the local police provide toys to children in need during the holiday season, and most recently, a proposal for long-term Greek housing at Arizona State University. Nick graduated from Arizona State University in May. While at Arizona State, Nick also served as Interfraternity Council (IFC) president.  He was jointly nominated for this award by both Delta Sigma Phi and ASU.

In his nomination for Sweetman, Patrick Jessee, Executive Director and CEO of Delta Sigma Phi, stated “Nick situates himself in every conversation with reasoned, humble leadership and poise.  He comes exceptionally prepared with well-developed critical thoughts, and advocates his concerns with clarity and compassion and without hesitation.  I see him engage his fellow undergraduates with open arms, a huge smile, and a genuine passion for understanding who they are, what they desire, and how we can support them.  It truly astounds me how he’s able to put such energy and time into this role on top of his extensive academic schedule and other volunteer commitments.”

Re:Dream Project

“To engage, inspire and challenge.” Nathaniel Bozarth, a 2009 initiate of Alpha Upsilon at Kansas State, is launching Re:Dream. We caught up with him prior to the first video, which will air February 29. Check out our Q&A below.


For more information on Re:Dream, be sure to visit their website!
ReDreamProject.org


DSP: What’s the purpose behind the Re:Dream Project?

NB: It’s a 40-part documentary series about the American Dream. We introduce a variety of folks and look at their “version” of the American Dream, and the opportunity obstacles that might prevent those dreams from becoming a reality. Our aim is to create a neutral conversation around what opportunity looks like today, to help jump-start that conversation.

DSP: Cool. How did Re:Dream come about?

NB: I met a guy named Christopher Cook through mutual friends. He did a documentary feature called We are Superman and when I saw it, I thought “damn, this is really good.” So I offered to help him with future projects, because I was passionate about what he was doing. Christopher had started a video production company, Brainroot, and I came on board shortly before KCPT (the PBS station in Kansas City) contracted us to work on Re:Dream. KCPT was fortunate enough to receive a grant from ThinkShift, an initiative of the DeBruce Foundation.

DSP: What motivated you to join Brainroot and help develop Re:Dream?

NB: The goal for Brainroot is to create videos that engage, inspire and challenge. What really gets me going about building story-based documentaries, we bring together folks from diverse backgrounds, diverse political views, etc. I feel that it’s so important, because there just aren’t that many spaces where people can have those conversations anymore. We’re talking about the American Dream, about success, about things that–traditionally–most everyone can agree on. When casting the documentary, we took a sheet of paper and thought of as many schisms as possible, finding those things that separates us. Then we sought out 40 people to fall into those different categories or subsections. We also wanted to draw focus to the simple, common threads that connect us all, showing the core similarities from one American Dream to the next.

DSP: Did your membership in Delta Sig affect the project in any way?

NB: My experience as a Delta Sig helped galvanize me for this project. Delta Sig was a place where we had all different types of people. I remember so many times where people would say, ‘I can’t put my thumb on who Delta Sig is. They have no stereotype.’ That experience boosted interest in a project like this. The sense of inclusion I’ve developed, because of the fraternity, is now a point of pride.

DSP: What networks can people watch your videos on?

NB: This is primarily an online series, so the best place to see the videos is our website, redreamproject.org. We’re contracted by KCPT, so they lead the series. There will be 15 total public media networks, all the way from LA to Rochester, New York, who will promote the series on their digital platforms.

DSP: What’s the time-frame for the project?

NB: Our first video will air February 29, with a new release every week day, for 8 weeks. So with 40 episodes, the series will wrap up on April 22.

DSP: Thanks for your time, and good luck, Nathaniel! We can’t wait to watch.

NB: No problem! We’re also looking to partner with universities and host physical conversations as well. If readers have a school they’d like to recommend or want to help host an event, definitely get in touch.

 

Delta Sigma Phi National President Tom Cycyota Honored

Delta Sigma Phi alumnus and National President, Tom Cycyota, was recognized by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with the 2015 LAS Alumni Humanitarian Award for his work in human tissue donation and transplantation.

Cycyota serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of AlloSource, one of the nation’s largest non-profit providers of cartilage, cellular, bone, skin and soft-tissue allografts for use in spine, sports medicine, foot and ankle, orthopedic, reconstructive, trauma and wound care applications. The company is inspired by its donors to develop innovations that advance the potential of tissue for use in healing patents. In 2014, AlloSource was named Company of the Year by the Colorado BioScience Association.

A 1977 initiate of the Alpha Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Phi at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Cycyota graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. As an undergraduate, he served in a number of chapter leadership positions and after graduation went on to work at Delta Sigma Phi as a member of the national headquarters staff.

Serving as National President of Delta Sigma Phi since 2013, Cycyota has worked closely with Delta Sigma Phi leadership to continue laser focus on Vision 2025, the Fraternity’s strategic plan. During his time as National President, Delta Sigma Phi has experienced increased growth, improved financial stability, and a renewed dedication to communications and transparency.

“Tom’s leadership and guidance has been paramount to the success we have achieved in recent years”, said Patrick Jessee, Executive Director and CEO of Delta Sigma Phi. “His passion for our mission of Building Better Men can be seen in all of the work he does for Delta Sig. He truly is one of our biggest champions.”

In 2013, Cycyota and his wife, Cyndy, made a charitable contribution to the Delta Sigma Phi Foundation to fund the next 10 years of the annual Delta Sigma Phi Leadership Institute, a brick-and-mortar program aligned with achieving the organization’s mission of Building Better Men, based on the central values of Courage, Action and Excellence.

A Founders’ Day Message from Yesterday, for Today

Founders’ Day is a time-honored tradition for Delta Sigma Phi. Each year on December 10, Brothers are invited to pause and reflect on the legacy and values established by the founders of Delta Sig.

In 2011, Brother Marco Henry Negrete, San Jose University, ’10, wrote a powerful take on the importance of Founders’ Day and what the Delta Sigma Phi Brotherhood represents. In recognition of Founders’ Days both past and present, we are sharing his story here at DeltaSig.org:

Dear Meyer Boskey and Charles Tonsor,

When I woke up today I had this feeling in my heart and in my mind. It’s a feeling that I’ve had every morning for over four years now. I woke and I wanted to be better than I was yesterday, a better brother, leader, friend, student, and man. When I look at the challenges I have in front of me, I reflect the lives you lived for inspiration.

I still find it hard to believe that you guys had the strength and determination to build our fraternity as just teenagers. How were you able to create the ritual, in which I try to live my everyday life by, at such a young age? I look at the obstacles that stood in your way and bravery you had to display in order to get our organization off the ground. I can’t imagine the amounts of discrimination and pure hatred others showed to you just for wanting to be be different, for wanting to be better. The pride in me tells me that I could have done it, too! I could have done what you guys did. I could have endured all of that for the sake of our letters. As much as I want to believe that, and as hard as try to convince myself, I don’t think I could have.

I know what it’s like to wear our letters and not fit in. I know what it’s like for others to reject you because of your beliefs. I’ve felt a taste of what you lived through to create a fraternity that refused to be typical,and when I think about my experience and how I overcame it, my thoughts leads back to you. When I did it, I was doing it at one university with a group of strong brothers, alumni, and supporters. When you did it, it was you against the world. You against a world that was so eager to hate, and so unwilling to accept those who saw things differently.

I often wonder what was going through your minds. I wonder how many times you felt like quitting? How many times others ridiculed you and rejected your desire to build a fraternity where culture, harmony, and friendship can build better men? How many times others said you didn’t belong? What did it feel like when some of the early chapters turned their backs and betrayed the oaths they had taken? It would have been easy for you to quit like the others. It would have been been easy to combat the scrutiny with anger of your own, but that would not have been the Delta Sig way. That is not what the lessons from the almighty Sphinx taught you. You saw the need for a better world and believed you could improve it by challenging yourselves to be better.

Its been 112 years since you met in that library at the College of the City of New York to create Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity. Our world has changed a lot since then and so have fraternities. The standards you created in 1899 are now shared by many organizations. What’s even more impressive, is that your strong hopes for our fraternity have grown in your absence, and in your honor. The beliefs you had to create a brotherhood free of segregation now extends to areas deeper than just religion or race. Your belief in basing membership on character still exists, and we still ignore the factors that don’t involve one’s desire to be a better man. Our fraternity now represents men of all colors, classes, religions, and lifestyles. Don’t worry though, we have not forgotten your humble beginnings and strong values.

I want to thank you for challenging generations of men to be better. I want to thank you for inspiring some of the men who inspire me, and for allowing me to inspire others. I want to thank you for helping me continue to grow into the man I always knew I could become. I want to thank you for creating a fraternity with men like me in mind. I’m not just talking about my skin color or my religion, I’m talking about men who want to be better and refuse to be typical. The world deserved better then and it still does now.

I don’t know what your response would be to this letter, and I don’t know what you would say about our fraternity now, 112 years later…

But I hope you’d be proud. Because I am.
YITBOS,
Marco Henry Negrete Jr.

See his original post here.

He Went to Play

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