THE DEVOTIE RITUAL INSTITUTEdata.sae.net/record/spring2016/content/TGI.pdf · THE RECORD SPRING...
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37THE RECORD • SPRING 2016
TGI TRUE GENTLEMAN INITIATIVE
HOW CAN I WARM THEE? THE DEVOTIE RITUAL INSTITUTEBY JAMES IRWIN, CONTRIBUTING WRITER
The 2015 DeVotie Ritual Institute concluded its fith year with more than 250 attendees for the program. Over the course of the event’s history, nearly 1,000 members have traveled to the Levere Memorial Temple to learn more about the Ritual that binds and connects all of us. This program has grown at an impressive rate; for the past three years, we reached capacity before the registration date passed.
The Fraternity Service Center staff is often asked, “What’s the purpose of this program?” or “Why spend time and money on educating members on the Ritual?” or “How does this program relate to the mission of the Fraternity?”
The answer is simple. There is nothing more central to the Fraternity, nor worth the time and money, as educating our members in the Ritual. If a chapter is using the Ritual to educate its members, if a member is living the values of our Ritual, if a member inspires others through their actions driven by the values of the Ritual, then that chapter is more likely to not experience the problems and challenges we see happening to groups across the country.
It is when action is not aligned with our values that we have a problem. The DeVotie Ritual Institute seeks to instill in members a renewed excitement and zeal for the Ritual, as well as to apply what is learned when they arrive at their home chapter. If the fire of the Ritual is truly ignited at a chapter, what an attendee finds at the DRI will inspire him to strive for an even higher goal.
TGI TRUE GENTLEMAN INITIATIVE
This philosophy is not new. In fact, the inspira-tion for the format of the program dates back to the great John O. Moseley:
“In closing, at the 1935 School of Instruction (now known as the John O. Moseley Leadership School), Brother Moseley referred to the fireplace that representa-tives had visited in the Tower Room of the Temple. In addition to serving as a mecca for ΣAEs all over the country, the Tower Room is intended to represent the heart of Sigma Alpha Epsilon geographically, so the room and the symbols that the room bears represent that which is the heart of the Fraternity, its spirit and its philosophy.
With its inscription, “How Can I Warm Thee if Thy Heart Be Cold?,” the fireplace within the Tower Room represents frater-nity. The Fraternity is a warm, glowing, bright fire. We lead many up to that fire, but they are not warmed because they do not bring to the fireplace that which can be warmed. There stands the inviting fireplace, which typifies fraternity life. It is ready to warm that neophyte who stands before it; it is ready to make him happy.
In ancient Rome, there was a central hearth in which a fire was kept burn-ing constantly. Throughout the empire in each individual home, there was an individual fire that also kept burning. There is a hearth in every chapter house that should be kept burning, just as these individual hearths were kept burning throughout the empire.
Unless the fire is kept burning brightly in your own hearthstone, it cannot warm the hearts of our members. When they come to the Tower Room, the central hearth, which is kept burning constantly, cannot warm hearts that are cold.
If the inscription is changed slightly, it applies to keeping the individual fires burning in each chapter house and to the responsibility of each member who attended the training school to keep those fires of principle and of philosophy burn-ing. To these representatives who stand before it, the fireplace in the Tower Room should read: “How Can I Warm Thee if My Hearth be Cold?”
^ The entire congregation for the DeVotie Ritual
Institute floods the
chapel for a group photo.
> Ambassadors Christian
Kennedy from Western
Illinois and Gregory
Smith from Washington
(Washington) lead a
session on the songs of
Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
39THE RECORD • SPRING 2016
If the fire of the Fraternity is kept burn-ing in each chapter, he who stands in the Tower Room will be warmed by that which he finds there.”” – adapted from “Note – First Leadership Training School”
Being held annually at the Levere Memorial Temple, members often experience our building for the first time. Most of the days are spent in ses-sions and seminars, discussing not only the literal meanings of components of our Ritual but also how the Ritual still is applicable today.
The DeVotie Ritual Institute is more than just a lecture. Attendees use critical thinking to take components of our Ritual, like our Oath, and determine what we are promising to do and how those ideals can be used more directly in the chapter. In addition, the program content is unique. Attendees won’t find a lecture on the ety-mology and connotations of our unwritten forms or a lecture on the pre-history of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at a province event or at another Sigma Alpha Epsilon educational program.
Members generally aren’t sure what to expect, and some often think that it will be just a boring lecture on the Ritual in the Temple. What they find
is often just the opposite. In the words of Chris Ellbogen from Wyoming Alpha, “The DeVotie Ritual Institute takes brothers back to their roots and brings them closer to the traditions and prac-tices as originally envisioned by our Founders. This information, coupled with the experience of the Levere Memorial Temple, demonstrates our com-mon heritage and how our Fraternity is different from the rest.”
So what are the direct takeaways, you may won-der? Not only will attendees who participate in the program leave inspired by the Temple and the discussions on the Ritual, they will also network with members from across the country and leave with specific, quick five-minute lessons that they can provide to their chapters during a meeting.
If you’re interested in attending the DeVotie Ritual Institute, please note that there is space in the program for both collegiate and alumni members, though the alumni track is much smaller in scope and attendance. Details on the program and dates for 2016 can be found online at www.sae.net/dri. END
Chapters That Cumulatively Have Sent More Than 20 Members Over The Five Years Of The Program:
North Carolina Omega .................35Ohio Nu ......................................... 34Ohio Theta .....................................33North Carolina Beta .....................29Connecticut Nu-Eta ..................... 25Tennessee Eta................................ 22
Number of Chapters Represented Each Year:
2011 ................................................ 502012 ................................................572013.................................................752014 ................................................ 942015...............................................108
TGI TRUE GENTLEMAN INITIATIVE
ALL THOSE QUESTIONS
ABOUT THE TGEBY MIKE ALLISON, CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Since its inception on March 9, 2014, the True Gentleman Experience (TGE) has become a focal point of the fraternal experience. Many chapters have had an increase in recruitment numbers, a decrease in their health & safety fee and a more positive influence on their campuses and communities.
Recently, both the TGE and thetgi.sae.net had some small changes to make completing the TGE easier for our collegiate members. In addition, the headquarters released a new TGE booklet, which focuses on the bare necessities for completing the TGE properly in its entirety. Our educational website, thetgi.sae.net, has new tracking features so that Member Educators will be able to keep track of all members’ TGE completions digitally.
Here are some questions that we have received from different brothers — many of which touch on the updates surrounding the TGE. If you have questions, contact the Educational Programs Department at the headquarters for assistance. END
I recently was elected my chapter’s Member Educator. Where can I learn more about the True Gentleman Experience?
Congratulations on being elected Member Educator in your chapter. You can read more about the True Gentleman Experience at www.sae.net/tge. We have created a 17-page document to aid Member Educators with their position. This document covers all 4 phases of the TGE and contains the experience course worksheets, which provide sample programs that chapters can use to complete the experiences.
Phi Alpha, Mike
What is the Experience Progress Report, when is it due, and where do I submit it?
The Experience Progress Report (EPR) is the process where you take every member in the chapter and determine if he meets the seven requirements of membership. Everything that you need to know about the EPR can be found in the True Gentleman Experience Guide Book at www.sae.net/tge. The EPR is due sometime after spring grades are released. This date will vary school to school, so we do not have a firm date set. We only ask that you submit the EPR at least two weeks before your fall semester begins. Once the EPR has been completed, you can submit it at www.sae.net/forms by clicking on the experience progress report link.
Our previous Member Educator tracked all of our education by hand on the course worksheets. Is there a better way to track the TGE?
The Fraternity has released many new technical updates on thetgi.sae.net to make tracking the TGE much easier this year. Member Educators now can track all education digitally on thetgi.sae.net using the “TGE Transcript” feature. You can access the “TGE Transcript” link by logging into thetgi.sae.net, clicking the “chapter admin” link in the bottom corner of your profile and then selecting the “TGE Transcript” link in the middle column. Once in the TGE Transcript, you can edit chapter brothers' transcripts as they complete programs, view how many modules each brother still needs to complete and even print out transcripts for the Experience Progress Report. You will need to keep track of only those programs that are completed offline since all online modules automatically write over to members' transcripts as they are completed. Check out the videos under the True Gentleman Experience program on thetgi.sae.net to see some tutorial videos of the transcript feature. This will make your position much easier this semester.
In the Bonds, Mike
Can we extend the 96 hours of the Bid-to-Initiation Phase? Do we have to do the full initiation, or can we do part of it in the beginning of member education and the rest after a couple of months?
Richard, Member Educator
The Bid-to-Initiation phase is a specific process, and it is outlined in the TGE Guide Book. Within the Bid-to-Initiation Phase, and in the following order, your chapter must: report candidates for initiation using the chapter management tools, have candidates claim their www.sae.net accounts and have them complete the Carson Starkey Member Certification Program on thetgi.sae.net. Those three steps must be completed prior to initiation. Chapters must also complete the full Initiation Ceremony as outlined in the Ritual of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
Phi Alpha, Mike
Our chapter is looking to extend bids year-round. Do you have anything that could help us with recruitment? Phi Alpha!
Handing out bids year-round is one of the areas that I do not believe our chapters take advantage of enough. It is great that your chapter is getting ahead of the curve to perfect this change within your chapter. About a year ago, the Fraternity partnered with Recruitment Boot Camp (RBC) to provide our brothers with another opportunity to strengthen their recruitment techniques. All of the RBC resources, webinars and presentations can be found on thetgi.sae.net by selecting “Recruitment Boot Camp” from the dropdown menu.
Phi Alpha, Mike
Have a question or concern about the True Gentleman Experience? Go to www.sae.net/contactus and select “Educational Programs/TGE” from the dropdown menu for the subject field.