Welcome to our crush of this week – our Fraternity Friday! This week we will be showcasing Campbell Ratledge of Alpha Sigma Phi (Alpha Sig), who is their current New Member Educator and in addition to that role, serves as the Vice President of Scholarship on the Interfraternity Council (IFC). Campbell is a Sophomore here at the University of Maine and is working towards completing his degree in Childhood Development and Family Relations.
Some notable facts about him are that when Campbell isn’t working at our local Chipotle, he likes to spend his time listening to his favorite records. Additionally, he will also never miss a chance to add to his collection of tattoos – which if you know him, he has quite the extensive and expressive collection already! Although Campbell finished his high school education in Orono, Maine, he is no stranger to living in a variety of different places in a multitude of locations around the United States. The few he listed off consisted of Kentucky, Southern California, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Washington state, among others but after being Maine bound for his high school experience, he knew that he had to get a change of scenery. That is why Campbell’s first semester of college was spent in Ohio where he attended a private Catholic school before transferring to the University of Maine for the second semester of his Freshman year and beyond.
Prior to his first semester at the University of Maine, he hadn’t considered joining Greek life, especially because at his previous college, Greek life was demonized and it wasn’t even a possibility. However, here on campus, Campbell was first introduced to Alpha Sig by a coworker, who also happened to be the brother of his girlfriend at the time. Campbell attended his first rush event knowing only one of the brothers but he ended up leaving knowing a majority of the chapter. It was within this fraternity, Alpha Sig, that he was able to establish a dependable group of friends – something that he hadn’t been able to achieve in Ohio and is something he really wanted to establish during his first semester as a transfer student. When asked about it, Campbell exclaimed that “It showed [him] me that there is more up here than I thought there would be,” and this was because he could tell that the brothers genuinely cared about who he was as a person and wanted to help him become the best version of that person during his time at the college.
Since joining Alpha Sigma Phi, Campbell has been blessed with a variety of opportunities within his chapter. He says that he is looking forward to carrying out his duty as the New Member Educator because Campbell can’t wait to enlighten new pledges with the rich history of their fraternity of choice. After being an education major for a year and a half, he feels as though he can instill a traditional classroom setting for pledges while also being able to take advantage of using this as an opportunity to bring lasting change to the chapter through the new members that will soon be in his position. As for his role as the Vice President of Scholarship on the IFC, he hadn’t even considered going for the position until he was approached to go for it which further attests to the idea that Greek life has brought him opportunities he would have never thought to go for himself without the push of both his chapter and the surrounding ones in this community. The importance of both of these roles is that they allow him to push the message forward that Greek life should come second to academics which is a statement that he feels strongly about because he has seen many men get caught up in the social aspect of Greek life. He believes that this is doing yourself a disservice because as Campbell states, it is important to remember that academic excellence is an expectation when being part of a fraternity and one of the best contributions you can make to your chapter is doing well, not just outside of the classroom with philanthropy, involvement in organizations and other achievements but within the classroom with personal studies and academic excellence.
As a fraternity, Alpha Sigma Phi lives by their five core values: patriotism, purity, honor, charity, and silence. Firstly, patriotism meaning devoting one’s time to the fundamental elements of personal freedom, justice, and civic responsibility. Secondly, purity meaning striving to be a gentleman of his word by having no regard for self-pity. Thirdly, honor meaning being willing to experience criticism instead of conforming to the pressures of society. Next, charity meaning being humble and forgiving of others’ imperfections. Lastly, silence meaning knowing when to take a step back and listen. When I asked Campbell which value he lives by the most, he responded with that of patriotism. Campbell passionately exclaimed that he “Wouldn’t trade [his] my citizenship for anything.” Despite the well-known fact that unfortunate events are happening all around the world and within our own country, he genuinely loves being an American and holds a sense of deeply rooted nationalism.
A manner in which Alpha Sig enforces its core values is through philanthropy. They have a variety of charities that they raise money for, some of these being: RAIIN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), Shatter Proof, Aware Awake Alive, Active Minds, and Homes for our Troops. RAIIN helps raise awareness to fund against sexual harassment and Shatter Proof is an organization that helps fund research to help solve substance abuse. Aware Awake Alive raises money to help educate teens and parents on alcohol abuse and Active Minds raises awareness about mental health. Lastly, Homes for Our Troops is an organization that builds and donates homes to those that are severely injured post 9/11 veterans. All of these organizations do extremely important work for a number of different groups who need it, so it is great to see that Alpha Sig works to aid all of them in their philanthropic efforts throughout the year.
In regards to balancing being an active member in Greek life with his work commitments, Campbell admits that it has been undeniably hard, but beyond rewarding at the same time. On occasion, Campbell will have to miss both events within his own fraternity and those that have been scheduled with other fraternities or sororities, but he does his best to schedule work around Alpha Sig. Each year, he does his best to push his chapter to hold a Chipotle fundraiser because even if he can’t attend due to a shift at work, he can still work the event and see the friendly faces of his chapter.
Finally, “to better the man” is Alpha Sigma Phi’s open motto and after being a part of his chapter for almost three consecutive terms, Campbell feels as though he is in a much better position in his life. Being surrounded by others who strive to uphold the same values as him has significantly improved his character and additionally, being a part of the fundamental moments such as their chartering ceremony, that happened last November, has also made an impression on him as he was made a founding father of their fraternity. Moments like these remind him that he will always be a part of something that will be shared for generations to come and that the role he plays in the chapter, even at an individual level, is not insignificant and holds an impact on the chapter presently and in the future.
Through this personable interview, I was able to learn about the vast opportunities and genuine brotherhood Alpha Sigma Phi has to offer. Thank you, Campbell, for everything you and Alpha Sigma Phi have done for this community!