By Shanna O’Mara
Sigma Phi Epsilon awarded its annual Balanced Man Scholarship (BMS) to five freshmen to “reinforce the fraternity’s long-lasting commitment to ‘building balanced men’ by helping to recognize exceptional undergraduates,” according to junior theater major Thomas Shaffer.
“The Balanced Man Scholarship is the single best recruitment tool in the fraternity world,” according to Sigma Phi Epsilon’s website.“The BMS is our chapter’s most valuable asset in finding and recruiting great students, strong leaders and well-rounded new brothers. Running the BMS should be a chapter’s first priority when building a list of potential new members.”
Although applicants and scholarship recipients are not required to join the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, that is the natural next step for many of the men.
“Many choose to [join] after they become familiar with the organization,” said Shaffer, one of this year’s Balanced Men chairmen. “We award five students in areas of gentleman, scholar, athlete, leader and overall balanced man. Each of the five winners wins a scholarship of varying dollar amounts and a certificate of achievement.”
This year’s award winners were business administration major Joey Corsentino, overall award; film, TV, and radio major AJ Galda, gentleman award; chemistry major Mario Ramos, athlete award; accounting major RahQuan King-Stubbs, scholar award; and secondary education major Nick Giglio, leader award.
“We had a strong amount of applicants this year,” Shaffer said. “I was incredibly proud of the amount of men we interviewed this year. We had 17 guys both apply and interview for the scholarships.”
In regard to the selection process, each year, the two chairmen and a committee of about five other brothers help interview the applicants over a weekend in November.
“We usually ask a mixture of both serious and comedic questions to ease the applicants during their process,” Shaffer said. “We want them to feel comfortable when they talk to us, and we want them to give us genuine answers. There’s nothing better than having one of the applicants shine on the serious questions and then getting his interviewers to laugh moments later.”
After the interview process, the chairmen and committee spent about four hours before winter recess deciding on the best men for each of the five awards.
“We all have a lot to say, and we all have varying opinions, but we always manage to come together to choose the top five guys,” Shaffer said.