The Altruistic Campus Experience, or ACE Project, began as nothing more than an idea of Sigma Pi Fraternity Executive Director Mark Briscoe in fall of 2002 when he re-evaluated the role of the Greek system on our college campuses. Briscoe saw a need that was not being met by any campus organization, and with the help of the staff helped to implement the first international service program specifically to benefit our host institutions.
The ACE Project was presented as a concept to the undergraduate chapter leaders at the 2003 Mid-Year Leadership Conference in St. Louis, and was approved by our membership with great excitement. Between the February meeting and the following summer, the Sigma Pi Executive Office staff labored diligently to complete all of the logistics and set up parameters for the program to insure its success.
It was officially kicked off during the Fraternity's summer leadership school, Sigma Pi University (2003), with a bold announcement that Sigma Pi would lead the way in service for our campuses. ACE started with a bang as the excited members at SPU began brainstorming ideas before they left the event. T-shirts and materials were distributed to everyone in attendance, and advisors were announced for undergraduates to solicit for ideas.
The Altruistic Campus Experience is unlike any other program designed by our organization, and is already a proven success in North America. Since each campus and chapter is different (some public, some private; some large, some small); the project is implemented and evaluated to help the specifically approved needs of each individual campus.
"We are not going to bounce basketballs to raise money for books," former Executive Director Mark Briscoe said. "We are going to really get involved with what our colleges and universities need by volunteering labor where they need it. This program is conducted in the spirit of altruism, and as our campuses improve, we will all share the benefits of a better collegiate experience."
The first step each chapter takes is to gather resources from the Executive Office before scheduling a meeting with an administrative campus official. As we have said, each project is different for each school. Our chapters are encouraged to simply ask the campus what they need and do its best as a chapter to help out. The chapter must meet and be granted campus approval for a project (before they begin work) to insure that everyone can benefit from the experience.
Every member of Sigma Pi Fraternity will become not only an alumnus of the organization, but more importantly an alumnus of their school. The ACE Project is designed not only to help the school, but also to help boost the pride our members have in their campus, and leave a positive legacy for the future. Chapters are encouraged to work hard to promote the project, invite other organizations to help, and get the good news into the local media to promote the campus and encourage others to give back too.
In the first full academic year of the ACE project, (2003-04,) our chapters boosted its esteem in the campus by combining in thousands of volunteer hours of service to help their campus by: organizing cleaning projects, literacy programs, replenishing blood supplies for University hospitals, planting trees, renewing and rehabilitating campus areas, honoring professors, assisting the school with alcohol and other awareness programs, and volunteering for outside charity in the name of the campus.
Each project is different, and specially designed for the modern needs of our campus. As undergraduate members of Sigma Pi Fraternity develop, they will want to take an active leadership role in the ACE Project. The project is perfect in its ideal, as it is a way of helping to strengthen the bonds of the students with the academic arena which trains them to be the best as professionals.
The ACE Project does not replace the philanthropy work our chapters perform for the Red Cross or other chapter selected charity organizations, it is an addition to them. Philanthropy is important in the life of an educated man, because the life experience is enhanced through helping others.
ACE is one of the best ways for any college student to enjoy the benefits of pride, honor and devotion to their alma mater as an undergraduate. As a student lives, studies, and works daily on their campus; they can work with the administration (through the ACE project ) to find a way to make it better. The campus is preparing each student for a career and life, and Sigma Pi Fraternity men give back to them with volunteer labor for the needs we can fill to enhance the collegiate experience. After all, helping our school is a great way for our students to help themselves learn the value of donation to their alma mater.
Sigma Pi Fraternity strives to create great alumni, and cultivate a new generation of leaders among all men on our campuses. For more than a century our organization has been a valued member of the campus community, and we are excited to deepen our devotion to our campuses in the best ways possible to provide our society with well educated, moral and dedicated men. The ACE Project has impacted thousands of people in hundreds of ways already, and we are excited to continue to improve this project and our campuses for generations to come.
Read more by visiting The Essence of ACE
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