Epsilon Sigma Alpha service organization offers students leadership opportunities

Emily Vavra

Epsilon Sigma Alpha may sound like another Greek organization, but despite its Greek letter name, ESA is something very different.

ESA is a co-ed service organization with chapters all over the United States, Canada and Australia. The ESA headquarters are located in Fort Collins, yet there was not a Colorado State University chapter until 2014.

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After meeting the ESA membership director at a CSU involvement fair, CSU senior and ESA Vice President Spencer Downing saw an opportunity to bring the club to campus.

“I was looking for leadership opportunities mainly,” Downing said. “I sought it out because it had the opportunity to create a brand new thing in our design and in the student’s design that was completely different than what was offered on campus already.”

The club works with different philanthropic organizations both locally and nationally. Some of their biggest projects are partnerships with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Easter Seals and Hope for Heroes.

While ESA can be a part of fraternity and sorority life on other campuses, at CSU it is not affiliated with Greek life.

“The main difference is that nothing is required,” said ESA President and CSU senior Anne-Marie Kottenstette. “There’s not a set number of hours or events you have to show up to. Also, people don’t realize that because we’re not associated with Greek life, people who are in Greek life can also be a part of ESA.”

Because the organization is so new to campus, many events are still in the planning stages, according to sophomore and ESA Treasurer Jackson Wojciechowski. This means students have a lot of say in what projects the group takes on.

“Half of the events we have planned right now are from members,” said sophomore and ESA secretary Jackie Beyers.

Upcoming events include a Valentine’s Day fundraiser Feb. 11 and 12 in the Lory Student Center Flea Market from 10 a.m-4 p.m., where ESA members will be selling flowers and making Valentine cards to send to St. Jude’s. ESA will also be participating in several St. Jude fundraisers over the semester, as well as on-campus events like CSU Serves and Project Homeless Connect.

There are also other benefits to being an ESA member, according to Kottenstette. These include scholarships, state and national conferences, and contacts all over the United States with other ESA members. Because there are community level chapters, members can continue to work with the organization after graduation.

The only requirement to join ESA is a desire to help others. The group prides itself on providing an open, safe environment for members.

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“Don’t be scared to join because I know when I first came on campus I was super scared to get out there, super scared to join any clubs because I just didn’t know people,” Wojciechowski said.  “But we are such a mish-mash group of people. You sit here and we come from all different majors, all different backgrounds and yet we still have a great time together. Lots of laughs, lots of good times and we all have the same objective to better the Colorado community and the bigger community outside of that.”

ESA meets every second and fourth Tuesday in addition to the events they have planned. There is a $69 membership fee for the first year, and a $49 fee for any year after. However, you do not have to be a paying member to volunteer for ESA events.

For more information about events, meeting times or anything else ESA related, contact Anne-Marie Kottenstette at (970) 310-1486.

Collegian Reporter Emily Vavra can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter at @vivalavavra.