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The State of Beta Sig

 by David Minkoff ’81

Well, I got through my first year as alumni association president unscathed…for the most part.  The semester started off nicely with a full brotherhood meeting held at the Hyatt Place with guest speakers Bob Jubelirer ’59 and Rich Bundy ’93.  Bob approached Grand Chancellor Emeritus, Moss Walden ’83, over the summer with the idea, hoping that “words of wisdom” from a member of the Board of Trustees and Penn State’s Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations would deter the undergrads from doing anything stupid and harming the reputation of Beta Sig.  Bob and Rich were well-received and the evening was very positive.  Unfortunately, a week later, some of the officers did not let the social checkers in the house on two consecutive nights which is one of the new policies of Greek Life Reform.  Fortunately, our ensuing meeting with Student Conduct went fairly well and we were only placed on “probation” for the remainder of the school year.  Since no fraternities were permitted to have parties or socials with beer and/or wine until early November (assuming all trainings and educational programs were completed), social probation wasn’t even a sanction.  When November finally came, our guys decided to keep their parties dry anyway.

Regarding rush and pledging in the fall, if you didn’t know, another one of the University reforms is to limit fall new member activities to students who have completed 14 credits and attained a 2.5 GPA or better.  This basically eliminates freshmen, unless they pack in a lot of classes during the summer or started school the previous spring.  Therefore, Beta Sig did not have a fall class (similar to most fraternities) since we didn’t get much interest from sophomores.  We did, however, win the IM football championship behind the quarterbacking of sophomore Jorge Avila from Panama (second brother from the country)!  Also, instead of having the traditional fall events - Maze Craze and Hawaiian – and risk getting caught having a party with alcohol, the guys took an end-of-semester dated trip to Toronto!!

Spring semester 2018 got off to a good start.  The undergrads took all required trainings, attended the mandatory programs and submitted the required risk management plan, which allowed them to have ten parties/socials with beer and wine.  Remember, the house was just on probation, not social probation.  Spring rush was very successful producing a New Member class of 33, all of which completed the six-week (give or take a few days) program.  See the list of their names and home towns elsewhere in this newsletter.

The highlight of the spring for me was when I learned that Beta Sig was invited to the Greek Column Awards ceremony.  As part of the 2017 Standards of Excellence for Fraternities, we “met standards” in Academics and Membership Development, but “exceeded standards” in Civic Engagement and Community Relationships!  We were the only fraternity to earn two out of four “Exceeds Standards.”  Furthermore, Beta Sig was recognized for increasing its Chapter GPA from 3.07 in the spring of 2017 to 3.24 in the fall of 2017.  The semester culminated with our annual Parents Weekend (a huge success despite being restricted to beer and wine and Mas Tequila Orchestra not being available) and the 13th Autism Speaks U 5K Race/3K Walk on an unusually warm and sunny day which raised just under $40,000.  The brothers then finished out their social calendar with a new event called “Bimmie Masters,” (a play on the Masters golf tournament) and the return of the Hawaiian.

This summer, the house will undergo its normal cleaning and repair work, but the big project will be a remodel of the third floor shower room to include removing the urinal and installing a toilet and sink.  New vinyl siding will also replace damaged wood siding on the upper areas of the wing, and the key fob system will be upgraded as well.

Please mark your calendars, if you haven’t done so already, for Beta Sig Homecoming 2018, which will be held September 14th to 16th (Kent State Weekend).  Mas Tequila Orchestra will be “in the house.”  A registration form is included with this newsletter.  The Founders’ Award dinner did not take place this past spring, but it will return either later in the fall or next spring.

Finally, if you have any questions about Beta Sig and/or what’s happening with Greek Life at Penn State, or if you know of any legacies that are freshmen this coming school year, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Thanks and have a great summer.