From Fraternities and Sororities to Acapella and Club Sports, dozens of UConn organizations danced all night at Huskython to celebrate a life-changing cause; the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. These hospitals are responsible for providing medical care to millions of children per year with donations received by fundraising events similar to Huskython. At the end of 18 hours of non-stop dancing, socializing, games, money raising and even a donation from Taylor Swift, the Huskython Staff revealed that UConn raised an astonishing total of $716,394.58 for the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. With 46 brothers at the event, CT Alpha was a big part of the community love and pride that radiated through the Hugh S. Greer Field House from February 20th to February 21st.
Brothers showed their spirit for the inspirational cause by raising over $9,000 and by bringing the energy to the activities provided at Huskython. Throughout the night, they shot hoops, met hundreds of new people, danced until they dropped, enjoyed a hypnotists and the school drumline, and some even got to take to and take a picture with women competing in the Miss Connecticut Pageant. All in all, CT Alpha brought an unmistakable passion for Huskython by their ability to party like there’s no tomorrow.
Each year at Huskython, each team is assigned a “Miracle Child” that we hang out with until it’s time for them to go home and sleep. Out of all the amazing children, we were lucky enough to be assigned (again) to a kid named Shemar. Eight year old Shemar has a severe form of Scoliosis where he needs to have surgeries every 6 months and will have to continue these surgeries until he is fully grown. His condition holds him back from being involved with high contact sports and other potentially hazardous activities. Additionally, surgery twice a year takes huge tolls on Shemars free-time and energy.
Having limited ability to play as a child is an incomprehensible thought, however that night Shemar was just like any other child; playing basketball, dominating the competition in laser tag, and most importantly, having a tremendous amount of fun with his vivacious personality. For instance, when asked to choose a word that describes how he feels with his fight against scoliosis, Shemar screamed “Invincible!” into the mic, on stage, in front of thousands of people. After that, everyone at Huskython knew exactly who Shemar was and the Field House echoed with screams and applause.
Courageous, spontaneous, and inspirational are only a few good words to describe the personality and amazing character traits that our Miracle Child had, and we can all agree that his fearless mentality rubbed off on each brother, but most importantly, Shemar brought us back to reality. Sometimes you can get caught in the fog of living in a bubble. With schoolwork, fraternity business, clubs, friends, eating food, going on dates, or whatever you choose to do with your life, you can forget about the tragedy that lives just outside of the gates. Seeing children with life threatening illnesses play and dance at Huskython made us realize that we are all very lucky people. We don’t have to get a surgery every six months, or receive chemo-therapy treatments every month. We are incredibly lucky, and knowing that was a very eye opening realization.
Sometimes love and life hit you out of nowhere like a gust of freezing wind on a cold night. It is in these moments we find ourselves selfless, open-hearted, and passionate. Every organization, with our love and hard work, created an environment for the kids that they will never forget. For as long as they live, these children will remember what we did for them. They will remember that we literally changed their lives and will forever be grateful for what we’ve done. As brothers of SigEp, we believe in keeping a sound mind and body with a healthy spirit. At Huskython we hit each criteria as we walked out with our heads held high, ready to change the world, our legs sore to the bone from dancing for 18 hours straight, and our souls cleansed by the blessing of truly being touched by the power of a community. It is certain that the brothers at UConn will continue making moves to change the world and indefinitely will be present for Huskython 2017.
-Jacob Rudolph, CT Alpha ‘19
SigEp Takes Carlson
Last weekend (Feb. 5, 2016) fourteen brothers in the Connecticut Alpha chapter (UConn) of Sigma Phi Epsilon decided to trade their weekends to attend the annual Carlson Leadership Academy (CLA). CLA is responsible for training brothers across the nation about leadership positions that SigEp offers. With over 50 SigEp chapters in attendance, Connecticut Alpha stood out by receiving two awards; the Talent Power Award for Recruitment and the Excelsior Award for finance. In addition to the recognition of our chapters success, Connecticut Alpha continued to impress by the presentation of the Exemplary Service Award to UConn alumni, Joe Langella. Introduced by UConn SigEp’s president Paul Deangelis, Langella talked about his meaningful experience with SigEp and how it impacted his life. Ending with the encouragement for all SigEp brothers to give back to their chapters and the organization as a whole, Langella inspired the crowd and especially the brothers of Connecticut Alpha. After Langella closed CLA with his final speech, the brothers of Connecticut Alpha were left with a passion to make their chapter one of the best on campus and in SigEp. With brothers recently being trained in Recruitment, Member Development, Programming, Finance, how to run the Balanced Man Scholarship and how to be a good President, the brothers at UConn show potential and exude a burning passion for becoming one of the greatest SigEp chapters of all time.
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… I’ve seen the future of Sigma Phi Epsilon and that future is Connecticut Alpha”- Joe Langella, CT Alpha ‘83
I spent two weeks of my winter break working as a medical volunteer in Antigua Guatemala. As an aspiring physician, I learned how to treat patients with infectious disease, take vitals, and diagnose several illnesses. The full experience was undoubtedly one of the most beneficial and influential trips in solidifying my desire to help people in a medical capacity. Pictured here is me atop Pacaya Volcano, one of Guatemala’s 34 active volcanoes.
~ Matt Lin, CT Alpha