SigEp Blog

Learning to Live Without Gluten

Two months ago I received life-changing news; I am gluten intolerant. At first, adhering to a gluten-free diet seemed like daunting task. Up until this point, I had been an avid late-night snacker, famously known for going on late-night food escapades and sustaining myself on extra large pizzas and chicken wings Thursday through Saturday. Now, I was forced to not only think about what stores are open past 2 a.m. on a Friday but also what foods I was even able to eat.

What is gluten intolerance?

When people think of gluten allergies, more often than not, they think of Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease, unlike gluten intolerance/sensitivity, is an autoimmune disorder in which the body produces an immune response when an individual exposes themselves to gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley). This adverse reaction to the protein leads to the damaging of villi in the intestines and ultimately the inability to properly absorb nutrients.

Gluten intolerance, unlike Celiac Disease, is not an autoimmune disease. However, a recent study carried out by Columbia University confirmed that gluten exposure among non-celiacs still did, in fact, trigger a systemic immune reaction and cause intestinal damaging. The symptoms, therefore, are mostly the same and range from chronic fatigue, gastrointestinal and neurological manifestations, “foggy mind,” and anxiety, to name a few.  While both Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance are issues that have been prevalent for quite some time, in the past 20 years, incidents of both Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance have risen — raising questions about what factors (environmental, dietary, etc.) have changed that may be contributing to this.  

My Experience

For the past year and a half, I had/have been experiencing a number of strange symptoms. I felt constantly fatigued, experienced chronic abdominal pain, and had random twitches throughout my body. It was undoubtedly a relief to get an answer to these issues; however, I was now forced to confront the facts and make a substantial change in my diet, something I had never really thought about.

The transition surprisingly has not been too difficult. Although I am still getting used to the routine (I still often discover that foods I believed I could eat safely are actually not), our health-conscious society has made nutritional information readily available and has produced gluten-free substitutes for any late night snack you can think of. I still crave a chicken parmesan every now and then, but in all honesty, the new diet has kept me eating healthier and feeling great!

Tamio Guild, MSB ’18

SigEp Blog, Uncategorized

Why SigEp?

Everyone is nervous about how they will fit in socially once they get to college. It’s incredibly daunting to go to a new place, with new people, away from home. I can remember wondering how I would find my group of friends, and wondering if I could ever replicate the friendships I had made over my 18 years in New York. I’m happy to tell you, though, that you have nothing to worry about; eventually, you’ll find your niche at Georgetown, whether it’s with SigEp, or one of the other amazing organizations on campus.

When I got to school, I knew I was in Darnall, and I had heard that people in that dorm got really close, but other than that I knew nothing about the social life here at Georgetown. In terms of a larger friend group, I was lost. Would it come together organically? Would I have to seek it out? Where would I find it? I asked myself these questions constantly the first week of school. And then I got an invite to the first rush event. A barbecue on the front lawn. I won’t pretend that I wasn’t nervous. I immediately started talking myself out of going, saying that I wouldn’t like them and that they wouldn’t like me, and that it wasn’t worth taking time out of my day. Luckily, my roommate convinced me to go.

I can say without a doubt that going to that barbecue was the best decision I made at Georgetown. Within minutes I felt a bond among the brothers on that lawn. It was immediately clear how much they liked each other; how much fun they had together. This was the group I was looking for. I decided right there that I had to rush.

I can barely imagine what my Freshman year would have been like if I didn’t rush. I never a reason to be scared about finding friends or finding plans. Whether it’s just a couple guys to play Fifa with, or get-togethers every weekend, I’m never without a place to go. Even more than that, I have made friends now in almost every other group on campus, through my connections in SigEp. I am living with 4 of my best friends next year, all from my pledge class. Sigma Phi Epsilon is a unique group at this school. I can tell you that no matter who you are, it is worth at least giving rush a try; you might just find your brothers like I found mine.

Sam Silverman, College Class of ’20

New Student Guide, SigEp Blog

Five Tips for Add/Drop Week

Navigating the first week of college can be difficult. Coming off of NSO, meetings with RAs, and dozens of lectures in the ICC about all of the different aspects of college life makes you feel ready to start class, but there are a few tools for navigating Add/Drop and course selection that make your entire first work seem easier.

  1. Don’t be afraid to shop classes. Huge lectures will be relatively introductory the first week, so if there’s a smaller lecture or seminar you’re interested in that meets at the same time, see if one of your friends is also taking the big lecture and meet up with them afterwards to see what it was like. Going to smaller lectures earlier on is important for getting a seat in the course, because you can often walk up to the professor at the end of the class and request an add/drop into the class, even if it’s full on MyAccess.
  2. Friday recitations aren’t (usually) difficult to change, and can mess up signing up for another class that meets on Fridays. If you want to try and switch recitations to take another course, just email your professor and explain the issue. More likely than not, they’re fine having an extra person or two in a given Friday recitation.
  3. Use the course evaluation tool on MyAccess. Everyone touts RateMyProfessor as the best tool, but often, it’s the most extreme reviews on either end; students that strongly disliked the professor, or students that loved the professor. The course evaluation tool on MyAccess has more data, more questions, and is quantitative. Plus, you can see historicals for all the semesters a given course has been taught. To see it, just click on “Course Evaluation” when you’re on a given course’s page.
  4. If you’re not into the core requirements, cross-list. Regardless of the school you’re in, you’ll find a pretty lengthy list of required courses you’ll need to complete before you graduate. Many of you won’t take major classes until even the end of your sophomore year. If you’re daunted by the core, consider cross listing your requirements to bang two out for the course-space of one. To do so, on MyAccess in the schedule search, select a given core requirement in the “fulfills requirement for” menu, scroll down to the X-List menu, and choose the department or requirement you’d like to double up with. Common cross lists include Theology/Philosophy, HALC/Philosophy, HALC/Diversity, and more.
  5. Don’t be afraid to take electives. Most students will take 12 course majors, maybe a 6 course minor, and require a 14-16 course core curriculum. That still leaves you with 6 courses of free space, and that’s just to fulfill the 40 required courses to graduate, which many students surpass. Some students choose to take all six of those electives later on, but throwing one in your first semester can be a nice way to expose yourself to an area of interest you don’t plan on majoring in.

Eric Jubber, College Class of ’20

Recruitment, SigEp Blog

Rush Guide Fall 2017

Be sure to join our fall 2017 rush Facebook event by clicking here.

SigEp’s recruitment process is atypical for a fraternity. This blog post is meant to show first, how the recruitment process goes; second, what we look for; and third, why it’s different.

Most fraternities follow a simple vote-with majority rule, where after a series of events, all the guys will congregate and simply vote for prospective brothers, deciding whether or not to accept them. Here at Georgetown SigEp, we do things differently. Instead, we have an eight-person recruitment board, headed by the Vice President of Recruitment, and voted on by the whole fraternity. They represent the eighty brothers in the chapter, and decide together on the new class for a given semester. These eight brothers attend every rush event, and work to get to know every rush on a personal level. We’ve found that this is a very effective strategy; these eight brothers can make deeper connections than the entire fraternity, and make sure that every bid we give out is a good fit.

In addition to the Recruitment Board members, the opinion of the entire chapter guides us to our decision as well. We listen to stories from non-board members about specific prospects in open deliberations, so that every brother’s voice can be heard. After an info session and a few rush events, the recruitment board works with the entire fraternity to do first round cuts; a few more rush events happen, and then the recruitment board works together to decide on the prospective class.

What do we look for? In a sentence, all the brothers in SigEp care about developing themselves as people. There’s no one-size-fits-all, but the we pride ourselves on being social students who are looking to improve ourselves and our community. It’s a little bit of a cliche answer, but it’s true. We have brothers from all manner of different backgrounds, and we have brothers pursue all kinds of different careers. The one piece of advice for a rush? Be yourself. Don’t fake your personality, because we’ll be able to tell. Don’t try and be the loudest one in the room if you’re used to being a bit more shy, and don’t try and “get your time with the board.” If you come to the events, we’ll make the effort to get to know you. Check us out in Red Square during syllabus week, stop by our table at the activities fair, and come to our info session. It can be hard to open up to people, but rush is as much about you making sure that you feel you fit in with us.

SigEp nationally holds the motto “This Fraternity Will Be Different.” At Georgetown, we’re forced to be; we don’t have permission to be university-recognized, so we make our name known in other ways. We’re in the capital of the country, and keep ourselves busy in this kickass city by giving back in different ways. We’re more unique and, to many, the perfect substitute for the typical fraternity that Georgetown doesn’t support.

If you’re interested in rushing SigEp or learning more, check out our recruitment page to meet the board, and look back for updates on our Fall 2017 rush schedule, and as always, reach out to if you’ve got questions.

Eric Menna, VP of Recruitment, SFS Class of 2018


SigEp Blog

Paying It Forward

At Georgetown, no matter what you’re into or what you join, your experience will be defined by the people you meet.  And, clichéd as it might sound, any organization crumbles without the passion, dedication, and support of its members.  For many organizations on campus, the motto is you get out what you put in. As the vice-president of Member Development for SigEp, I can tell you that this is 100% accurate. Rarely, if ever, does any organization commit to its people in the manner we do with Member Development, to helping our members develop their minds, bodies, and life-long friendships.

At the core of MD are “challenges,” based on the amount of time you have spent in the fraternity, which help guide our brothers through their years at Georgetown. We also have weekly “sound mind” and ”sound body” events; in the past these have ranged from inviting speakers to speak to the chapter, to holding dodgeball or basketball tournaments. But what makes MD so special is that it builds upon itself, as it relies upon the wisdom and talents of older brothers to facilitate growth in their younger peers.  In that cycle of leadership and mentorship, brothers often find that their most rewarding moments in SigEp come from “paying it forward,” and learning that their knowledge and opinions matter just as much as the alumni they once looked up to themselves.  No two brothers are the same when they enter or leave SigEp, but regardless of one’s background, MD ensures that brothers graduate with the confidence and network to thrive after college.

I feel incredibly privileged to have had the opportunity to see our MD work from the inside, and I cannot say enough about my experiences.  From our biannual retreat to places like Gettysburg and Antietam, to resumé workshops, to discussions on manhood with Georgetown faculty, we continue to push our members to grow.  We continue, to steal a phrase from the Jesuits, to seek the “magis,” or the more. We’ve had alumni teach us about topics ranging from artificial intelligence to bartending.  In the next semester I look forward to expanding our MD efforts to capitalize on the endless opportunities surrounding us both on campus and in the broader D.C. area.  Part of what makes Georgetown such an incredible school is the access to the museums, monuments, and history, and we do our best to make use of that access. SigEp is in the business of building balanced men, and we do not pretend to be perfect. But for me, to understand the impact MD has, I simply need to look back on the person I was when I entered this fraternity and compare him to the man I am today.  As an underclassman I made a decision to join and to invest in SigEp, and I can honestly say that it has returned that investment for me tenfold.

Sam “MemDev” Bernstein, VP of Member Development, College ‘18

SigEp Blog

SigEp Abroad and at Home

Coming into SigEp, I didn’t really understand how incredible the network would be. I’m not even talking about the nationwide network of SigEps, who may want to hire you, or the alumni we have who want to meet you, but just the guys that are in school, right now. I really appreciated this when I went abroad. Brothers study in so many different places, different continents, countries, and cities, giving you the opportunity to visit many more places than other people (it’s pretty cost-effective to stay with a brother rather than a hotel).

This never hit harder than when I was in Barcelona, visiting SigEps for Halloween. We went to La Sagrada Familia, one of the most beautiful churches in the world, and were just awestruck at the size and grandeur of the building. Myself and a few other brothers found ourselves lost in the discussions about the architecture, and stained glass, and the incredible story of Antoni Gaudi. That’s when I realized how incredible it was that I had found a group of guys with whom I could spend the day appreciating the beauty of Barcelona, and spend the night having some of the best nights of our lives.

I think that’s the hidden beauty of what SigEp at Georgetown really means. This is a group of guys who are smart as hell, and can still go out until 4am in a new Spanish city. There’s a lot of organizations that can promise you friendships, or professional opportunities here at Georgetown. But the process by which SigEp selects people is different; it brings together and amazing group of guys, all of whom you can absolutely be proud to be brothers with. I had an incredible time while studying abroad; and whether it was in exploring the streets of Morocco, partying in the tents at Oktoberfest, or celebrating my birthday in Dublin, my experience was made because of brothers. And it’s not only abroad; you’ll find on campus the same sort of experiences. There’s always people to go play pickup with, go into DC with, or even talk politics with. It’s an amazing group, and one that I’m damn proud to be a part of.

Written by Daniel Rosenberg (SFS ’18)