Sye amongst the elite in fraternity leadership program
September 9, 2011
Despite being measured up against 15,000 other male scholars, Sig Ep President Roy Sye stood above the crowd with his bid to the Ruck Leadership Institute.
“Before attending the Ruck Leadership Institute I believe that I was a ‘young’ leader,” said Sye. “I knew that I was in a position where my ideas could become realities, but I didn’t know how to effectively do it.”
The competition to be one of the 120 scholars selected to attend Sigma Phi Epsilon’s Ruck Leadership Institute was intense. However, with an outstanding track record both in academics and co-curricular activities, Sye was an exceptional candidate.
“I would say that I was always a good communicator and was very organized,” he said. “However, since coming back from Ruck I believe I am now a very ‘mature’ leader.”
Taking place over a five day period, the Ruck program encourages participants to engage in leadership-building activities alongside other Sig Ep undergraduates and alumni instructors. In its program, the institute advocates the leadership guidelines expressed in the best-selling novel, “The Leadership Challenge,” co-written by renowned author and Sig Ep alumnus, Barry Posner. For Sye, the lessons in management proved to be quite beneficial.
“When you are a leader, no matter what you do, someone is going to be upset, but I believe that I’ve learned strategies on how to let everyone see the value of the new direction,” he said Sye. “If everyone is ‘on board’ for the new ‘tradition,’ then it will be 10 times easier as a leader to make that change successful.”
Keeping Sig Ep’s national tradition of “building balanced men” alive, Sye’s experience was an opportunity to brush up on his networking skills with fellow ambitious brothers.
“Not only did I meet other great leaders from chapters ranging from Louisiana State University, to Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology,to University of Southern California; I was also able to network with local chapters like University of Illinois and Illinois Institute of Technology,” Sye said.
Sharing such a unique opportunity with other students, Sye established many lifelong connections and had many memorable moments.
“I bonded with my small group so much that on the last night of Ruck we all stayed up really late telling stories and actually pulled a friendly prank on our facilitators when we locked them in the room from the outside,” he said, before following up with, “Don’t worry, our facilitators were great sports about it so they weren’t too mad!”
Currently working towards a degree in Chemistry Education, Sye hopes his participation in the Ruck program will help his future at the front of the classroom.
It is often said that people lead by example. For Sye, having brothers to look up to for guidance has been very influential towards his future plans.
“I was very close with Monmouth Alumnus Ben Morrow, who is working for the National Fraternity now,” he said. “I would love to follow that same path and potentially work for SigEp for a year or two, but as of right now I am just trying to survive biochemistry.”
As current president of Sig Ep at Monmouth, Sye’s experience is expected to make him even more qualified to lead his fellow brothers in being a respectable and productive chapter. However, before accepting any further accolades, Sye credits most of his accomplishments to his fraternity.
“The guys in Sig Ep are hands down some of my best friends,” he said. “I never thought that I would be in a fraternity, let alone the president of one, but joining Greek life has been the best decision for me in college.”