House Corporation June / July 2011 Newsletter


Brothers,

Happy 4th of July Brothers and Happy 156th Birthday to Sigma Chi.  After taking a look at last month’s email, I realized I never sent out last month’s update.  So there are a number of things I must bring you up to speed on.  First, congratulations to everyone, especially the efforts in last year’s Board of Directors and Trustees on winning the 2011 Outstanding House Corporation Award.  Not only were we the only school in Florida but the only corporation in the South Eastern United States to be bestowed this honor.

Read this newsletter as a pdf

Grand Chapter

As most of you know our Grand Chapter just took place in Dallas, TX where by unanimous vote of the delegates, Sigma Chi can proudly state “Size Does Matter.”  During his State of the Fraternity address Past Grand Consul Tucker proud announced the initiation of our 300,00th member (Nick Cafero, Univ. of Virginia – April 29, 2011), Sigma Chi now has 240 Active undergraduate chapters, the largest number of undergraduate houses, the greatest number of alumni chapters, the largest leadership workshop, the most money donated to philanthropic organizations, and the greatest number of active alumni.  All of these milestones makes Sigma Chi the largest Greek letter organization, with Eta Iota leading the way with the greatest percentage of Life Loyal Sigma Chi’s.  We have been at the top of this list going on 10 years, having almost 40% of our alumni’s being Life Loyals.  So tomorrow you can proudly proclaim size definitely matters.

Dennis Santoli is our new Grand Consul, Mike Greenberg our Grand Pro Consul, Grand Quaestor Thomas (Tommy) Geddings Jr – Former Grand Trustee of Georgia, North and South Carolina, Bill Fleming and Rev. Skip Flynn continues as Grand Historian and Grand Tribune respectively.  PJ Stephens remains our Grand Praetor and Bill Robinson continues to be our Grand Trustee.

Other noteworthy happenings from Dallas: Julio Varela was awarded the Order of Constantine.  Julio has not only worked on a number of committees for the Fraternity (currently chairman of the New Chapter Development Committee) but was also Eta Iota’s Chapter Advisor for 10 years.  Finally our own Brother Ramano Sprueil has stepped down as Grand Praetor of Northern Texas after 6 years.  However Congratulations are in order as he is now the New Chapter Advisor at the University of Texas at Arlington.  Speaking of new Chapter Mentors & Advisory board members, the following Eta Iota brothers are  assiting other chapters: Brother Vomacka and Brother Morang – Sigma Chi Upsilon Colony, Univ of New Hampshire; Brother Bucklew – Sigma Chi Phi Colony, Florida Atlantic Univ.;  Brother Pizzo – Epsilon Zeta, Florida State.  I would be remised if I did not also mention Don Haddox, Alumni Ambassador for the Northern Ohio Province.  Don began this role shortly after BLTW last year and I never got to wish him well.  If I have missed anyone, please let me know.

 

On to our House.  Renovations have been under way for the past 2 weeks and looks like they will continue into the beginning of next month.  Our plan and goal is to have half the rooms back to “standard.”   Again a huge thank you goes out to Brother Tetrault for setting up the contractor service last year.  So guys, when you return and see that the bathrooms are no longer painted black, ceilings aren’t blue, and walls are certainly not neon orange don’t be shocked.  It’s still your room, just without spear holes in the ceiling.  We have also been tackling some preventative maintenance issues with plumbing and electrical issues.

The new Housing Commission has been working vigorously as of late.  Mike Wyble and his team have started figuring out what we need and what we would like to have.  With the help of PJ we’ve contacted an architect (Significant Sig) out of Winter Park to see if he would be interested in helping us.  Each location option has its own challenges, but here’s where we are on each one:

Embry Riddle, On-campus Option:

We have been in talks with the University several times.  They have sent us several documents to fill out.  Currently those documents have been looked over by a Real-estate Lawyer (Sig).  Three out of the four documents are easy; it’s the fourth that we’re looking at closely.   The intention is to ensure we are not signing some form of commitment contract with the University.  The information I have currently does not mean it is, but the lawyer just needs some more time to research the legalities of the document.  Most of the paperwork is questionnaires about the House Corporation, not the Chapter.  The University is looking for established housing entities to move this project forward.  Once this paperwork is completed it will be reviewed by the Planning Committee at ERAU and either approved or declined by ERAU’s Board of Trustees.  Here’s the hang up, we can’t even begin to discuss site selection, structure type/amenities, services provided, restrictions, costs, etc., until we are approved by the Trustees.  I have no issue moving forward with the University option in an investigative capacity; however I will NOT sign any document that legally binds us to university housing.

Mike has also had several discussions with Delta Chi’s Housing Board.  They are looking at moving on campus as well, but are not closed minded to other options we may be able to present.  Delta Chi and ourselves are the two prominent candidates for the University.  We have the longest established housing corporations and certainly the most capital.  Pike (Pi Kappa Alpha) has the largest chapter on campus but a very small alumni base.  On the flip-side Pike’s national fraternity financial backing is strong, parallels on our own international capabilities.  DU (Delta Upsilon) is new on campus as of 2 years ago.  Lambda Chi (Lambda Chi Alpha) is three years younger than ourselves but without the alumni support,  Phi Delt (Phi Delta Theta) have been on campus for almost 15 years now with good alumni backing, but just not the longevity of our 40 year history.  Lastly, Fiji (Gamma Phi Delta) is coming to campus in 2012.  That’s everyone.  SAE, AHP, Sigma Pi are all gone.  So it’s again left to us to lead the way.

New Location Option:

I went driving around Daytona with a commercial realtor (Sig) to see what we could find.  In a nut shell, there’s nothing left.  In South Daytona, near the old bowling alley, on Ridgewood there’s some land, but this puts us further from school.  The old sand hills across from the University and the airport are all owned by the school (for future development) or the city utilities, and they’re not selling.  On the far side of I-95 near the flea market (but not as far as the auto yards on International Speedway Blvd.) there is some land we could purchase.  This option is affordable, but doesn’t make much sense.  We’re just as far from the University as we are currently but further away from everything else.  I think this land would hurt us more then we could benefit from it.  To the South, from Ridgewood to Williamson, is all residential.  We could purchase land once used for a strip mall, but again the cons outweigh the pros.  The only other land is located between the Belview extension (back side of the airport near the tower, Yellington and 7R/25L) and Beville Ave.  The land to the East (close to the backside Publix shopping center – corner of Beville and Cylde Morris) is owned by either the City for utilities or Daytona Speedway/Daytona USA.  Once you pass the industrial parks westbound on the Extension there is approximately 200 acres owned by a company Norpak.  This land is for sale.  We contacted the firm handling this property.  The owner is not willing to “break up” the property (smallest being 40 acres).  The tax appraisal for this 40 acre area is roughly $566,000.  During this conversation it was made clear the owner would prefer to sell this land as one large sale.  As much as that would be nice for the undergrads to have, I think we could all agree this is a bit much.

Build New on Ridgewood Option:

We all know the neighborhood our House is in and the challenges of this neighborhood.  I went ahead and invited several contractors to the area for a (rough) estimate for a concrete wall around the sides and back of the property.  An emergency crash/escape gate would be required on the rear of the current lot and the front would need to remain open.  I asked for a concrete wall, 8 feet tall with “decorative spikes” on top.  The quotes were close if not a bit over $200K.  I’m already looking into other options to potentially secure the entire property.

The good news is the City of Daytona Beach is currently working on a 20 year plan to improve the Downtown area (that’s the area the house is located in: Ridgewood to Nova, South of Int’l Speedway Blvd to South Daytona).  The goal is to make it into residential housing for young professionals/families.  The City is supposed to be sending us updates on the area as new information is released.

This is where we are right now.  Next we’ll look at our needs vs. wants.  The plan is to talk to the Sigma Chi Foundation next to see what different financial options we have.  Also we’ll continue to move forward with the architects.  The concept here is to devise a single plan that we could implement at any of the three sight locations.  There was a recent thought thrown out about suite style buildings (a small Greek community for a single organization).  It’s an interesting concept and like always I’ll keep everyone up to speed on all different ideas.  If anyone has something to add, please feel free to email myself or Mike.

For those of you who haven’t seen them yet, the response survey from 40th Birthday is on the website ( link on the home page under the heading “40th Birthday Party Survey”.  Also we’re 12 donors shy of having 100 Brothers actively contributing to the 1855 Club.  I’d like to make this our goal by the close of our fiscal calendar 2012 (just under a year from now).  If you’re not a member yet and would like to help us out please, contact Seth (907 360 1921).  Finally, the undergraduates have asked for some help with their section of the website.  Since Facebook went viral, their area of the website has been neglected.  Anyone that has the time to get it back into shape please contact Consul Taylor Quackenbush.

Happy Birthday to all June and July Brothers.   Enjoy the rest of your summers.  Talk to you all again in August.

 

Guard Well,

Brett

 

HI.HC.Pres@gmail.com

 

 

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