Our organization has experienced the Great Depression, Civil Rights Movement, Organization Management Change, New Initiatives and retention difficulties. Through it all we have adapted and adopted change and overcome various obstacles so we, the Men of Sigma could march on victoriously. My Sigma Light taught me 14 Expectations that Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. expects from its members, but in this letter I would like to highlight and ask that we all focus on two of the 14.
Meeting your financial duties on time and in full
Regard your Fraternity above all else
Our Wondrous Band has marched on through trying times for nearly 100 years. Meeting your financial duties includes but is not limited to: membership dues, chapter dues, regional dues, chapter assessment, risk management insurance, the cost of attendance to Regional Conferences and the Conclave. It has been stated that we Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. have the lowest financial membership count out of all the Divine 9 Organizations (though this is not true). Today we find that brothers are running chapters, wearing letters, hosting parties, partying in letters, participating in step-shows, fundraisers, and other Sigma events and they are not financially recognized Sigmas. I was taught that, “I should be a credit to the organization, and that I should AT ALL TIMES safeguard its reputation with the best in conduct.” Being a credit is not only through my deeds and service to the community but it is through accepting my financial obligation to the Fraternity. It is all of our responsibility to help brothers maintain their financial responsibilities. Some brothers had issues with their intake process, some couldn’t deal with the politics (or BS some call it) “IT IS A NEW DAY IN SIGMA”. The International Leadership is dedicated to bringing you back to active status and showing you the benefits of being financial. We appreciate all the brothers that support our cause with community service and contributions on a local, regional and the National level but we must always remember the operations of our organization depend on your membership dues. To some the brothers that are not financial can be seen as not living up to what they signed up for. I encourage all chapter presidents and chapter members to hold brothers accountable and embark on these non-financial brothers to come back into the fold and pass the true test of a Phi Beta Sigma Man. As we approach our Fraternity’s Centennial, I would like to encourage brothers rather than shame brothers to handle their financial obligations to Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. show them and tell them the benefits of being financial and that “There Is Something Special Going On In Phi Beta Sigma”. With that being said let’s Go Out and Make A Brother or bring 3 brothers back into the fold.
Regarding your Fraternity above all else:
Have you heard this before?
I pledged 9 weeks, 4 days, 16 hours, 10 minutes & 3 Sigma seconds….
We had the most crackin, Sigma Blue Thong Party ever…..
Have you had your WOOD today, ahhh, ahhh, ahhh, ahhh……
Sigma Simply Sexy Party……
Get in the Cutt, you hitting Century Club tonight……
You skated! Me and my line brother was the hardest pledges ever……
Sigma Lingerie or Bathing Suit Party……
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. was insured as a low to moderate risk prior to the Prairie View incident in 2009. Since then and with all of the additional incidents that have followed, we are a HIGH to UNINSURABLE risk organization. What this means is if you heard or know what any of the above statements mean then we are not adhering to the Zero Tolerance ban on hazing/pledging nor are we following the guidelines in our Risk Management Policy.
Brothers, I attended the Serious Sigma Summit leadership training conference in Charlotte, NC on behalf of the collegiate brothers from the Western Region last year and received ear dropping information about the state of our fraternity. It is our duty to “herald and defend our fraternity even against the world” and in order to do this we have to be fully aware of our risk management policy. Brothers, the recommendation on the table was to CEASE all collegiate recruitment since more than 60% of our fraternity’s lawsuits are from collegiate intake. Although the General Board have not conceded to the recommendations of the insurance company or other influential experts we have to make some dramatic and drastic changes in the way we regard our Fraternity or else the decision may be an easy one.
Our next biggest risk with lawsuits/insurance claims are incidents involving open parties and our Sigma Brand. In case you are not apprised of the Risk Management Policy, Open Parties are PROHIBITED from our insurance coverage. If it’s advertised on Facebook it may be deemed an open event. All operated events under Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., should be communicated to the International Headquarters via the Additional Insurance Request Form via fax to (202) 882-1681 Attn: Daryl Anderson, 30 days prior to your event. Each chapter needs to have at least an additional $1,000,000 insurance policy in the event of a tragedy because our fraternity cannot afford the liability of open parties. As we are purchasing policies add Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. as additional insurance on the policy. There have been multiple incidents where Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. is named as the host of such said events when there have been people injured while attending.
Brothers, this is not news to discourage but to encourage everyone; we can do better if we know better. The life of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. is in our hands. Will we fumble and drop the ball or carry it another 100 yards? We have to be the Transformation for the future of our existence.
Christopher M. Colbert Sr.
2nd Vice Regional Director – Western Region
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Omicron Eta Chapter, President