Sig Tau, at your service.
That's how brothers of the college fraternity embarked on their civic engagement initiative that now includes a popular SAT Prep program in the Oswego City School District.
Last fall, fraternity members went door-to-door in the neighborhood offering any service they could provide to homeowners, particularly the elderly.
After a few weeks of raking leaves and helping with some heavy lifting, Christopher Marin '10 set out to establish Sigma Tau Chi in a larger community context. A press release announced that the fraternity was willing to do pretty much anything that improved the quality of life in the city of Oswego.
"We didn't really know where it would lead us," said Marin, who heads up the Sig Tau Task Force for community service.
"We decided to start a Big Brothers Big Sisters-type program," Marin said. The need for a pre-SAT course became evident. "There's a lot of cost associated with the SATs."
The fraternity linked up with Pathfinder Bank, which provides each of the after-school students with an SAT book, notebook and calculator to help prepare for the test.
Beginning last month Sig Tau began preparatory classes three days each week at the Oswego YMCA with help from education majors in other Greek organization including Alpha Epsilon Phi, Zeta Beta Tau and Sigma Delta Tau.
"We're definitely appreciative what they're doing," Oswego High School counselor Rachel Gernold Henderson '90, M '92 said. Her office worked with Marin to promote the program among students. "It's a great program and it's free."
Before the Sig Tau program at the YMCA, Cayuga Community College in Fulton was the nearest students could go for a SAT prep course.
"It's so gratifying to know you're making a difference in the quality of life in the community," Marin said.
His goal is to continue growing the program - which has a waiting list of another two dozen students or so - by combining efforts with other Greek organizations on campus. The college has proved a productive place for Marin.
"I like the school. I think there's a lot of opportunities, I think it's whatever you want to make of it," said Marin of his Oswego experience so far. "I think you can reach as high as you want to go."
-- Shane M. Liebler
Volunteers from several Greek organizations posed last fall at the Sigma Tau Chi House on Montcalm Street in Oswego. The Sigma Tau Task Force for community service has spearheaded a number of initiatives including an annual Montcalm Park cleanup, neighborhood service program and an after-school SAT prep course for Oswego high schoolers.
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