ΣΑΣ Alumni, was excited at the possibility of getting its charter back at OBU with a new beginning so we planned the following.
To get ΣΑΣ back onto OBU’s campus, we need 10-gentlemen willing to be a part of our lifelong club so they can elect a governing body and bring life back to ΣΑΣ. Michael Allison PC 1973 completed all the required paperwork and was submitted to all parties involved.
Our goal was to fill the OBU swimming pool viewing area because the swimmers are our best chance to get dedicated, passionate, qualified men this year! The swim meet started at 5PM on January 27th at OBU’s Waggoner Pool but we were met with unwelcome news.
After the swim meet ended around 9PM we had a BBQ at the Wesley Foundation 316 N 11th, Arkadelphia. We also discussed ΣΑΣ future.
5:00PM – 9PM OBU Swim Meet: OBU Pool
9:00PM – 10:00PM ΣΑΣ BBQ: 316 N 11th, Arkadelphia
OBU Admin gives ΣΑΣ a “Permanent Ban”
Ouachita Baptist University Alethic director, David Sharp as well as the President of OBU Dr. Sells told the swim coach to not allow any swimmers the chance to attend our BBQ. Instead, the entire HSU’s swim team came out, and we all enjoyed our time together. However, we ΣΑΣ alumni were extremely disappointed at OBU’s “permanent ban” and actions.
Russ Breshears received the following email,
Dear Rev. Breshears,
I pray that your semester is off to a wonderful start.
I’m writing regarding Sigma Alpha Sigma. There has been recent communication from alumni about reconstituting SAS. We informed them that SAS would not be reconstituted because of the more recent history of the club – including a clear pattern of jeopardizing students’ physical, emotional, and academic well-being.
It was brought to my attention that you are sponsoring an event this Friday for SAS. Because it wasn’t clear of the event’s purpose or intended audience, I wanted to convey that participation by current Ouachita students with the intent of restarting the club would be inconsistent with the communication we shared with alumni and our Social Club guidelines. I understand that OBU does not control whether or not someone has a BBQ, but we did not want to provide students with a confusing message regarding the future of SAS. Please contact let me if you would like to discuss this further.
I believe it was communicated to SAS alumni that the Alumni Relations Office is glad to work with SAS for possible future alumni gatherings.
Rickey Rogers, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Development & Dean of Students
Ouachita Baptist University
Evans Student Center Suite 220 // OBU Box 3758
410 Ouachita St. // Arkadelphia, AR 71998
o: 870.245.5220 f: 870.245.5341
Russ Breshers responded with:
Dear Dr. Rogers,
The Sigma Alpha Sigma alumni group have been working with a few staff members of OBU. They were provided with the official paper from OBU to begin a Sigma Alpha Sigma 2.0. Several of the alumni have been working on the completion of the paperwork. One item asked for a faculty sponsor. Dr. Johnny Wink visited with the alumni and agreed to be the faculty sponsor. The next step was to find 10 OBU men who would be interested in being charter members of the new social. After that step, the group would have to provide a club constitution and complete a rigorous process for the forming of a new club.
Several members of the alumni will be at the HSU/OBU swim event and they asked Wesley to host a bbq for the OBU swim. I spoke to the OBU swim coach and he told me that he had received a call yesterday from his boss asking him not to allow the OBU swim team to participate in the BBQ. I don’t understand the miscommunication but Wesley invited the HSU swim team and all 50 will be attending the bbq at 9 pm after the swim meet. I am sorry the OBU swim team will not be allowed to participate.
Should I refer the Sigma Alpha Sigma alumni to you? I understood more than 120 alumni and friends celebrated the club during homecoming and they have been working since then on creating a healthy, positive Sigma Alpha Sigma 2.0. I understand they are in the process of raising scholarship money for a new club. Several of the alumni will be at the bbq on Friday at 9 pm. Could you meet with them? I do not know which administrators or staff they have been working with but it is important for both the alumni and OBU to be on the same page.
Hope you will drop by, eat a burger and explain things to them.
Dr Russ Breshears
To date Russ has not received a response.
Joe Robertson PC 1972 says,
“Needless to say, this is a big setback and a disappointing approach taken by Dr. Rogers. It leaves many questions among which are
- Which alumni were told that SAS “would not be re-constituted” ?
- Does anyone have a copy of the “communication shared with alumni” ?
- How many past failures by individuals constitute a “clear pattern” ?
While my personal reaction to this communication was initially one of anger and sadness, it has eventually morphed into one of resolve. Before any of us react directly to or with Dr. Rogers, it might be helpful if we have a few more Zoom calls or gatherings to discuss a strategy or approach to softening the administration’s position on this matter. Before we go FULL ANIMAL HOUSE on this guy or the school, it’s still worth a shot to try the diplomatic approach with the long view toward our mutual goal of getting our letters back on campus and protecting the legacy we all share.” Read the full email here
What ΣΑΣ alumni can do?
I want to invite all ΣΑΣ Alumni to write letters to the OBU admin, we want to be incredibly careful, thoughtful, and not say things we will later regret or lessens ΣΑΣ chances of a return. Please be professional as we Alumni want to be that beacon of light that possesses the virtues that our lifelong club stands for. Let’s make peace as we are not enemies.
Attend our next OBU event: 1973 Gold Tiger
If we ΣΑΣ alumni attend in full force to show support for our S-brothers from The Class of 1973 for their 50th Reunion at 5 p.m., Thursday, April 20 and 21st. This will show the OBU admin that we will never give up on getting back on campus. I pray you all can make plans to attend, and I have provided a link with more details.