Sam Fuchs, EA 2020 

As with almost every organization, the Pennsylvania Theta chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon has faced many challenges and changes prompted by this pandemic. Being virtual for much of the past year made normal fraternity operations extremely difficult, forcing many on campus to question “What is going to happen to Greek life because of this?” How would we keep the brotherhood together while our house was closed and we were all miles apart from each other? Thus, we had to adapt, which we did successfully.  

All chapter and executive meetings were shifted to a virtual environment on Zoom and helped the brotherhood come together to support each other during this difficult time. Bonding events were organized over Zoom by our terrific Brotherhood chairmen Zak Ahmad and Tyler McGoldrick in an effort to connect and lighten spirits within the brotherhood. Our philanthropy efforts, which usually relied on in-person events, had to be modified as well to fit into the new virtual model. In the Spring of 2020, we were able to organize a donation match program for racial justice initiatives thanks to the leadership of our philanthropy chairman Luke Beggy and diversity chairman Phillip Tchouriokanov, where we raised $3,100. This past Fall semester, Luke did another phenomenal job in organizing an essentials drive for Project HOME, a local Philadelphia homeless shelter. Brothers and friends mailed in necessary items and financial donations on behalf of the brotherhood, which in the end amounted to over $1,100 worth of goods and donations. Under the guidance of our scholarship chairman, Alex Fey, the brotherhood thrived under the new learning model as our average GPA increased by .34 points year to year in 2020. Going into this semester, we again had to shift all our recruitment efforts virtually, which our Recruitment chairmen William Fallon and Sam Betz did exceptionally well in doing as we welcome a new class of 14 young men to the brotherhood. And finally, but most unforgettably, we took the opportunity with our increased free time to honor the retirement of Steve Saltzman, our beloved chapter advisor for over 30 years. In a fitting ceremony organized and attended by alumni and current brothers, Mr. Saltzman was awarded the Chapter Advisor of the Year Award, Merit Key, and Order of Minerva.  

As I reflect on the past year, I am proud of the way our fraternity responded to the COVID-19 crisis. We focused not only on how to ensure SAE survived this trying time, but also on how we could improve moving forward. And by these efforts, I am happy and grateful our chapter was recognized as a Most Improved Chapter by the national organization at their Award ceremony this past summer. As we look now to the future and towards the end of this pandemic, things are certainly looking bright. Our chapter house is again open as Penn shifted to the new hybrid model, we recently initiated our new round of brothers, and we have a dedicated new Eminent Archon in Aidan Padala who I am confident will continue the progress. This certainly was a difficult time, but seeing the way the brotherhood came together to combat it makes me ever more confident in the strength and longevity of our fraternity. 

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Our Creed: “The True Gentleman”

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