One of the most important facets of being a SigEp is leadership. SigEp offers numerous development programs to teach undergraduate brothers how to inspire others and learn about themselves in order to become better men and leaders. In addition to regional and nationwide locations, SigEp offers an international experience for 16 undergraduate brothers, along with six mentors, from across the nation. According to SigEp.org, Tragos Quest to Greece is a transformative experience that allows a select group to “explore Greek culture and contemplate the origins of SigEp’s values and the Balanced Man ideal”. Kentucky Beta has been extremely fortunate to have brothers selected through a rigorous application process to attend the Tragos Quest to Greece.
Brother Ethan Sammons is a senior majoring in Finance with aspirations of attending law school. In addition to excelling in the classroom, Ethan has also been involved both in Greek life, and in the greater Louisville community. Along with serving as Chapter President, Ethan serves as the President of both the College of Business Student Council and the Interfraternity Council and is a two-time Executive Board member of RaiseRED, the largest student-run philanthropy at UofL.
Earlier this summer, Ethan had the opportunity to participate in the Tragos Quest to Greece. Ethan described his experience like this:
“Tragos was more than likely the best ten days of my life. My inner history and philosophy nerds were in full force the entire trip as I saw three-thousand-year-old artifacts in the birthplace of Western culture. Witnessing the modern Greek culture was just as interesting, the Greek pride is evident from the second you step foot in the country despite the recent financial crisis. On top of that, Greece is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, it’s filled with olive trees, mountains, and crystal-clear water as far as you can see.
Perhaps the biggest question about this trip is “Why Greece?” and the answers I found after experiencing the Quest number the stars. The answer shouted the loudest at me along this journey was learning the roots of fraternity in the Greek mysteries. That, alone, is something that, upon learning, I experienced the depravity of not having formerly known it. The notion of “Why Greece?” is a great foundation for explaining the question “Why fraternity?”
It’s certainly no secret that fraternities have been at the heart of great tragedy and loss, such as the deaths of Timothy Piazza and Max Gruver. Much of our time on the Quest was spent tearing down the walls of toxic masculinity, and not just in the fashion of checking off a buzzword. Through vulnerability, introspection, and overcoming fear, 16 young men and their six (less) young mentors challenged the stereotype and expectation of membership in the modern fraternity.
Everyone on the trip has been inspired to take what we learned and experienced home to make the collegiate fraternity a force for good, a partner of higher education, and a breeding ground for strong, vulnerable leaders amongst all men and women. SigEp continues to live by the words of our founders, “This fraternity will be different”. The Tragos Quest to Greece was, without a doubt, the perfect example of living and breathing that, for good.”
In addition to Ethan, Kentucky Beta has also sent three other brothers on the Tragos Quest to Greece. Greg Pestinger, our Chapter Counselor, and brother Brad Hoffman attended in 2017, and brother Jake Bension attended in 2018. We are so proud of Ethan and cannot wait to see the impact he has this fall!