THETA SIGMA CHAPTER OF PI KAPPA PHI
Building Men of Class. Molding Leaders By Choice.
Creating True Friendships.
OΥΔΕΝ ΔΙΑΣΠΑΣΕΙ ΗΜΑΣ
Greetings from the President To our families, friends and alumni: The brothers of the Theta Sigma Chapter are grateful for your service and care of our beloved fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi. Throughout this past semester our chapter has grown tremendously through both the good and bad. At the start of the semester, the chapter successfully amended many outdated sections of the Chapter Constitution, Bylaws, and Code of Conduct. Significant steps were taken to ensure we remain the leading fraternity on campus such as requiring all members to meet both a semester and overall minimum GPA of 2.5. Leadership positions were also added, such as coordinator of special events, social media, written publications, and internal & external affairs. These positions enable more members to grow from both their accomplishments and challenges presented when leading the chapter. Other notable resolutions that passed included retiring brother Matthew Rzyski’s pin number 398, creating and implementing a new scholarship in honor of Matthew, creating an Associate Member peer mentoring program, and adopting “The Starshield” as Theta Sigma’s official newsletter. With success comes failure and this semester we were not shy of either. At the beginning of the spring semester, our CSULB Greek community took a major hit as recruitment numbers reached a record low in over five years. Pi Kappa Phi took a big punch as the chapter was only able to initiate six members, making it the smallest class in the chapter’s history. As the “boomer generation” of CSULB Greeks (freshmen initiated in fall 2008) begin to graduate and the demand for members increases, our leaders realize that a comprehensive recruitment plan is essential to avoid detrimental budget cuts. Therefore, our Executive Council and recruitment committee are meeting frequently to discuss and develop specific recruitment tactics that can be utilized during rush week. As I reach the last semester of my term, I am determined to continue addressing our chapter’s needs by collaborating with our chapter, campus and national leaders. I have made a promise to myself to continue serving our members to the best of my ability. It is important that I listen to my brothers and make their experience in Pi Kappa Phi worthwhile so that one day they can confidently say the fraternity shaped them into the gentlemen they always sought to be. I cannot express how grateful I am to represent such talented and well-rounded brothers. The three letters I proudly wear across my chest are so valuable to me not because of their simplistic meaning, but because of the rich relationships they have allowed me to make with each man I call a brother. I thank and respect each true friend I have made these past four years. Thank you for trusting in me to lead our chapter it has been a blessing!
A special message to our future leaders…
“…We have given you the past as we know it. The future we leave with you.” -Founder L. Harry Mixson
In brotherhood, Jaime A. Varela
Special ‘Thank You’
Theta Sigma’s Executive Council at the 4th annual Roseball Ceremony in Las Vegas. (Starting from the Left): Historian Loren Albento, Vice President Blaine Waymire, President Jaime Varela, Secretary Scott Snider, Treasurer Erik Hayhurst, & Warden Jon Pederson. (Not Pictured: Chaplain Adam Cooper)
Successful fraternities thrive not because of one man’s actions, but because of countless dedicated men who work together to meet their goals regardless of how challenging the path may be to accomplish them. This spring semester, Theta Sigma was fortunate to have an astounding group of leaders who sacrificed a lot of time and energy to meet their goals. This enabled our organization to operate exceptionally well. Therefore, I thank my Executive Council and our Chapter Advisor for all of their hard work! Theta Sigma would not be the outstanding chapter it is without your dedication, desire, and discipline to seek positive change. Thank you and I look forward working with you one more 2 semester!
Theta Sigma’s Chapter Advisor Chris Richards & Chapter President Jaime Varela at the 4th Annual Family Day Ceremony at CSULB.
Pi Kappa Phi Alumni Association Spring 2012 Graduates “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Cullen Bautch, Alpha #54 Major: Financial Management Career Goals: He is currently studying to pass the CFA exam (Chartered Financial Analyst). He plans on working as a portfolio manager.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Excelling to New Heights Sean Pellerin, Alpha #59 Adam Demille, Founding Father #24 Major: Business Finance Career Goals: He is in the process of attaining his real estate license in the next three months. Adam plans on pursuing a career as a real estate agent or working as an entrepreneur.
Steven Laczko, Founding Father #3 Major: Marine Biology Minor: Business Entrepreneurship Career Goals: He is attending graduate school at CSULB for his masters in Biology. He plans on becoming a research scientist for either a private or public organization.
Josh Witt, Founding Father #29 Major: Business Management Career Goals: He is pursuing a career in nursing. He will be attending Long Beach Community College or El Camino College to become a registered nurse.
Sean made history for Theta Sigma this spring by being the first Pi Kappa Phi to graduate with a master’s degree. His passion for sports motivated him to seek a degree in Sports Management. During his time as an undergraduate, Sean focused on attaining excellent grades in his Communication Studies degree. His passion for education eventually earned him a spot in the competitive Sports Management program at CSULB. Sean is no stranger of major accomplishments. Since being at CSULB, he has contributed a lot of time to Pi Kappa Phi and KBeach Radio, the student-ran radio station on campus. As an active member in Pi Kappa Phi, he created and coordinated the first Push Olympics in spring 2011. As Scholarship Chair, Sean succeeded in raising Delta Class’s GPA from 2.7 to 3.5, which to this date is still the highest GPA any Theta Sigma pledge class has reached. He was also one of the first members of Theta Sigma to be inducted into Order of Omega, a notable Greek academic honors society. Sean’s work with KBeach was also quite extensive. He was the first Sports Director for the radio station. He also created and produced a popular sports radio talk show called 3Up3Down. In spring 2012, Sean received the CSULB Associated Students Media Member of the Year award after helping KBeach become the official radio broadcaster for the Long Beach State Athletics Department. In the future, Sean plans on starting his own baseball related business and pursuing a career in sports broadcasting.
Pi Kapps Shedding light on People with Disabilities Pi Kappa Phi & Push America become the official sponsors of the Ms. Wheelchair California Foundation The Theta Sigma Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi & Push America became the official sponsors of the Ms. Wheelchair California pageant after granting the foundation $1,000. State Coordinator Jennifer Kumiyama first reached out to Pi Kappa Phi after realizing the foundation needed financial support in order to host the event. She immediately contacted the Theta Sigma Executive Council and they unanimously voted to support the foundation financially and with volunteers. On March 3, 2012 the pageant was held at the Long Beach Library Auditorium. Over 150 people were in attendance and 20 Pi Kapps volunteered with setting up, cleaning up, and escorting the contestants on stage. Theta Sigma President Jaime Varela was selected to be one of the three official judges for the competition. He sat on a judging panel with Alyson Roth, Ms. Wheelchair California 2009 and Robert Garcia, Vice Mayor of Long Beach. Four intelligent women with various physical disabilities competed for the title. In the end Mary Zendejas, an alumnus and Greek member from Cal State Long Beach was crowned Ms. Wheelchair California 2012. Brother Treasurer Erik Hayhurst was recognized during the ceremony for taking initiative to sponsor the foundation through his job at Century 21, Beachside. The Ms. Wheelchair California Foundation continues to provide volunteer opportunities for Pi Kappa Phi and they also continue supporting chapter events that raise money and awareness for people with disabilities. In late August, Mary competed for the title of Ms. Wheelchair America in Rhode Island. After a long week of competition Mary ended up as the 3rd runner-up. Congratulations Mary!
AbilityFirst 5K Campaign 2012
Play date with Alpha Phi & AbilityFirst Alpha Phi sorority voted to host their annual â€œMake a Difference Dayâ€? with Pi Kappa Phi at the Long Beach AbilityFirst facility. Theta Sigmaâ€™s success in fundraising, awareness, and volunteerism for people with disabilities has drawn much attention from sororities and fraternities at CSULB and in the Southern California area. Approximately 35 Alpha Phi and Pi Kappa Phi members attended, making it one of the most successful volunteer events both organizations have ever hosted. Pi Kapps had the opportunity to teach sorority members how to interact with people living with disabilities. They participated in swimming, basketball, cooking, dancing, video games, and arts and crafts. Each activity lasted approximately 30 minutes. Once they concluded, each group made up of five children and several volunteers would alternate to another station. The goal of this event was to teach students the importance of seeing the disabled community as people first. When the three-hour event concluded, many sorority members expressed their sincere respect and care for people living with disabilities and for the genuine effort Pi Kappa Phi invests in raising awareness.
Theta Sigma partnered up with AbilityFirst for the second time in two years for the annual AbilityFirst 5K Campaign. The daylong event was held at the Santa Anita Race Track where hundreds of people from across California came out to support people with disabilities. Theta Sigma had approximately twenty participants, which included members and their families. In total, the chapter was able to generate $320, which benefits the programs and services AbilityFirst operates. Some of these programs include summer activities like adaptive swim lessons and weeklong retreats to Camp Paivika located in the San Bernardino Mountains. The funds raised also help with daily operating expenses such as staffing, janitorial services, and repair and maintenance fees for each of the 24 locations. The Theta Sigma Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi is proud to continue to support and partner up with AbilityFirst! To learn more about AbilityFirst or to make a donation, please visit, www.abilityfirst.org
Theta Sigma reached a significant milestone this academic year by fundraising a total of $24, 423.38 for people with disabilities and volunteering a total of 1,580 hours for AbilityFirst and Push America events! 5
Pi Kappa Phi’s 2nd Annual Push Olympics Theta Sigma held their second annual Push Olympics and this year the competition came out in full force. Last year’s exciting event motivated more teams to join in on this spring’s competitive relay-styled event. Nine teams; four sororities, three fraternities, and two cultural fraternities, participated. The event took place on the CSULB Track and Field. The chapter was able to raise over $500 by designing and selling tshirts, charging each team an entry fee, acquiring sponsorships, and selling food, drinks and snacks. Sponsors for the 2012 Push Olympics include: Associated Students Incorporated, KBeach Radio, Long Beach Graphix, and Big Daddy’s Cigar Shop. All the proceeds go to Push America, a non-profit organization that supports programs, services, and raises awareness for people with disabilities. Just like last year, the competition was split up into two segments and each competition had two heats per race. On the men’s side there was Kappa Sigma, Sigma Pi, FIJI, and Delta Sigma Chi (Co-ed fraternity). After competing in a wheelchair relay race, tug-of-war, discus throw, pie eating contest and several relay sprints, Kappa Sigma took the victory. On the women’s side of the competition, Delta Delta Delta (Tri Delta), Delta Zeta, Sigma Kappa, Alpha Omicron Pi, and Delta Sigma Chi all fought for the first place spot, but Tri Delta’s drive to defend their first place title prevailed over all other team efforts. Tri Delta and Kappa Sigma received a trophy during the closing ceremony and their organization’s name was displayed on the banner at the Pi Kappa Phi house. Theta Sigma’s partners, AbilityFirst and the Ms. Wheelchair California Foundation, also took time out of their day to support the event. Staff members and a few children from the AbilityFirst Long Beach Center assisted with small tasks throughout the day. Jennifer Kumiyama, Ms. Wheelchair California 2010 and the current State Coordinator for the Ms. Wheelchair California Foundation opened up the event with her stunning rendition of the National Anthem. Mary Zendejas, Ms. Wheelchair California 2012, was also present. She took time to educate students about people living with disabilities as well as explaining her duties and responsibilities as the state representative for the nationally acclaimed pageantry, Ms. Wheelchair America.
Push Americaâ€™s Give-A-Push Weekend Push America teamed up with AbilityFirst to host the annual Give-A-Push Weekend (GAP) at Camp Paivika in Cedarpines Park, Calif. This year-round camping facility serves children and adults with moderate to severe physical and developmental disabilities. The people who come for the summer and winter get to enjoy horseback riding, swimming, adaptive sports, campfires, and cookouts, arts and crafts, performing arts, and other enriching activities which create a sense of freedom inspired by the outdoors. This spring, brothers Warren Claiborne, Jamie Fang, Max Stout, and Jaime Varela attended the three-day national service project. Every year, Pi Kapps from different universities come together to strengthen their brotherhood and gain a better appreciation for people living with disabilities by providing the manpower to build and renovate structures needed by the camp or facility. GAP Weekends are put on by Push America with money fundraised and donated by Pi Kappa Phi chapters from around the nation. This year, Push America donated $5,000 for the Camp Paivika GAP Weekend project. For this specific project, 14 Pi Kapps from various universities came together to build two large sheds, which would house expensive adaptive equipment during the cold winter season. Since this camp is located in the San Bernardino Mountains, heavy snowfall during the winter would often destroy traditional plastic sheds. Therefore, the GAP Team had to build the sheds out of wood and nails. The big project took a lot of dedication, precision, and energy to complete. Brent Freeman, an alumnus from Theta Sigma was selected to facilitate the weekend project. His leadership helped keep the GAP Team focused and motivated. AbilityFirst staff members and campers from the Long Beach and Pasadena facilities also attended GAP Weekend. Approximately 30 campers, 10 staff members, and the GAP Team participated in two friendship visits hosted by the Camp Paivika staff. For these activities, Pi Kapps and campers had the opportunity to interact in campfire songs, board games, foosball, bowling, and carnival games. Theta Sigma is proud to be a strong supporter of GAP Weekend projects since spring 2008!
Scholarship Matthew Rzyski Scholarship
Order of Omega was founded at the University of Miami in fall of 1959 by a group of outstanding fraternity men, who felt that individuals in the Greek community should be recognized for their academic excellence to the fraternity system and the university. The purpose of this society is to recognize members of the Greek community who have attained high standards in academics and involvement in the Greek community. In order to qualify, members must at least be in their third year at CSULB with 60 or more graded course units and have at least a 3.0 GPA or higher. Theta Sigma is proud to have brother Loren Albento be inducted into Order of Omega this spring. Albento was also elected as the Director of Recruitment. The chapter is proud to have a brother who brings credit to the fraternity by striving to attain the highest possible standards of scholarship. Congratulations!
Aaron Wong is the first-ever recipient of the Matthew Rzyski Scholarship Award. The award was created in honor of Matthew Rzyski, a founding father of Theta Sigma who passed away in June 2011 after contracting bacterial meningitis. The scholarship applications were open to the entire chapter and six members applied. The Theta Sigma Executive Council and Alumni Association reviewed the applications, interviewed each applicant and selected the winner. The award recognizes a brother who excels in academics, sportsmanship, volunteerism, leadership within Pi Kappa Phi and throughout other organizations, and the representation of Pi Kappa Phi values within CSULB and the greater Long Beach community. Matthew’s mother and brother had the joy of recognizing Aaron with the award at the 4th annual Family Day Luncheon. The scholarship is made possible by the generosity of the brothers who supported various charity events in the spring like the Rzyski Golf Tournament Day and the Rzyski Poker Night. These fundraisers generated enough money to cover one semester of fraternity dues for Aaron. The applications for the 2013 scholarship recipient will be available during the spring semester.
President & Dean Scholars Students who are placed on the President’s List each fall and spring term have to meet 12 or more graded course units and obtain a GPA ranging from 3.75 to 4.0. Theta Sigma is proud to have several President scholars this past semester. Congratulations to:
Andrew Carnes Daniel Renfer Jaime Varela
Students who are placed on the Dean’s List each fall and spring term have to meet 12 or more graded course units and obtain a GPA ranging from 3.5 to 3.74. Theta Sigma is proud to have several Dean scholars this past semester. Congratulations to:
Adam Cooper Alex Wiktor Jeff Wong Patrick Magno
Bryan Garcia Mitchell Danford
Alan Ung James Bryan Matt Cutaia
Greek Community @ CSULB
GREEK SING & GREEK WEEK CHAMPIONS Pi Kappa Phi placed first in the highly acclaimed Greek Sing competition this year after performing a stunning musical skit based on the hit television series “Recess.” This year’s theme was based on 90s cartoon shows. Musical performances from “The Rugrats” to “Scooby Doo” were lighting up the night as hundreds of students cheered on each elaborate 10-minute production. None, however, had the precision and energy like Team 3, which consisted of Pi Kappa Phi, Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, FIJI fraternity and Delta Sigma Chi cultural fraternity. Even after a major technical difficulty, which caused the soundtrack to skip during a dance routine, the team was able to flawlessly recover without ever breaking character or loosing energy. On top of committing over 15 hours a week for rehearsal, Team 3 also fundraised the most for Camp One Heartland, a non-profit organization that serves children and adults living with HIV-AIDS. In total, the Greek community was able to raise $14,000 for the camp. Team 3 also took first in CSULB’s Greek Week competition. Throughout the week Team 3 had the most in attendance at the Hypnotist Night, the Greek Talent Show, the Greek Games and the Greek BBQ. This is the first time Theta Sigma takes the first place spot in Greek Sing and the third time placing first in Greek Week. The chapter thanks brother Blake Bruenning, IFC Director of Activities, for worked diligently with his committee to host both Greek Sing and Greek Week. Theta Sigma also thanks brother Aaron Wong for committing a lot of time and energy as head choreographer for the Team 3 production.
Alpha Phi’s Mr. Heartthrob Fraternity Pageant Daniel Renfer, 22, was selected to represent Pi Kappa Phi at Alpha Phi Sorority’s highly acclaimed Mr. Heartthrob Fraternity Pageant. His sweet charm and astounding rendition of ‘Everything’ by Michael Buble won the hearts of many. Unfortunately, that was still not enough to win him the title of Mr. Heartthrob. He did not, however, leave the competition empty handed. His positive attitude and drive to succeed resonated so well with Pi Kappa Phi that he was able to draw the largest crowd, which ultimately granted him the “Most Spirited” award. The male pageantry, which was held at Wilson High School in Long Beach, was hosted to raise money and awareness for Women’s Cardiac Care. The event consisted of a choreographed group dance, question and answer session and individual performances ranging from skilled hip-hop dance routines to vocal performances covering a range of popular musical artists. 9
Brotherhood Mid Year Leadership Conference
Pi Kapp of the Month February: Daniel Renfer
The Mid Year Leadership Conference is an officer training institute held each January in multiple cities across the country. This winter, eight Theta Sigma leaders attended Mid Year in Dallas. Each leader had the privilege of connecting with other brothers from around the country. They exchanged answers and ideas about how to better run the chapter and engage in the leadership of Pi Kappa Phi. Theta Sigma was privileged to have Benjamin Davidson, Push America Director, be selected as one of the panelists in the inaugural Push America Dinner. At this dinner, four members of Pi Kappa Phi from different chapters spoke on how to engage with people living with disabilities and how to maximize funds and awareness when organizing philanthropy events. President Jaime Varela also represented Theta Sigma well by being selected to deliver the invocation at one of the most prestigious Pi Kappa Phi dinners of the year; the College Night Banquet. That night Theta Sigma won two prestigious awards. The Legacy Recruitment Award for outstanding recruitment of a father, son, brother or grandson of Pi Kappa Phi and the Most Improved Living the Ritual Award for Theta Sigma’s newly revamped Active and Associate Member Ritual process. Theta Sigma is proud to be a leading chapter amongst the national organization.
Daniel was selected as Pi Kapp of the Month for his outstanding commitment & representation of Pi Kappa Phi at the Alpha Phi Mr. Heartthrob Pageant. Daniel spent weeks training for his vocal performance, raising money for women’s cardiac research and getting in physical shape for the fraternity pageantry.
March: Andrew Diaz After the chapter spent weeks trying to fill vacancies at the Pi Kapp House, Andrew decided to move in during the middle of the semester. His choice proved valuable, as the chapter was able to meet the property’s financial needs. That is why Andrew was selected as Pi Kapp of the Month.
April: Blake Bruenning Blake was selected as Pi Kapp of the Month for his hard work in planning and coordinating Greek Sing and Greek Week. The two events required approximately four months of preparation. Blake chaired the Greek Delegate Committee, which assisted him in hosting a successful Greek Sing and Greek Week.
Pi Kappa Phi’s 4th Annual Family Day Luncheon Theta Sigma held the 4th annual Family Day Luncheon in the Soroptimist House at Cal State Long Beach. Over 20 families attended the two-hour luncheon, which was catered by brother Loren Albento’s parents. KBeach Radio provided the live entertainment and brother Greg Perea also pleased the guests with an acoustic mash-up performance of today’s hits. Leaders of the fraternity were also present to inform families about the success Pi Kappa Phi has had with leadership, volunteerism, new member education and scholarship. The Speaker’s List included, President Jaime Varela, Chapter Advisor Chris Richards, Warden Jon Pederson, Director of Push America Warren Claiborne, Alumni Representative Matt Perea, AbilityFirst Long Beach Facility Director Jay Lim, and Ms. Wheelchair California Coordinator Jennifer Kumiyama. A special Award of Appreciation was given to Chris Richards, Jay Lim, and Jennifer Kumiyama for their astounding support in providing members the environment to learn and grow as leaders. Matthew Rzyski’s mother and brother also made a special presentation of the “Matthew Rzyski Scholarship,” which is given to a brother who demonstrates an exceptional level of leadership, volunteerism, scholarship, civility and sportsmanship. This year Aaron Wong was the recipient (full story on p.8). The event’s success was made possible by the hard work of Loren Albento who, as Historian, made it his mission to improve the luncheon and by brother James Bryan who assisted Loren and served as the host for the afternoon.
Theta Sigma Sponsors & Partners Thank you for your continued support!
THETA SIGMA CHAPTER OF PI KAPPA PHI
The Official Newsletter of the Theta Sigma Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi Have any questions or comments? Please contact us:
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Published on May 25, 2012