Frat markets membership with week

Pi Sigma Epsilon, one of the newest non-Panhellenic fraternities on the ‘Hill,’ began its first organization week Monday.

Unlike many other Greek organizations, Pi Sigma Epsilon is a business fraternity that crosses gender lines and focuses on providing its members with real-life marketing and sales experience.

The FAMU chapter of Pi Sigma Epsilon, also known as the Professional Sales Executives, or PSE, was chartered Nov. 16, 2005 with 16 members but now has a total of 30 active members.

Lakeisha Whiting, 23, a fifth-year marketing MBA student from Atlanta, said the main purpose for the rush week is to create awareness.

“A lot of people didn’t know (who we were),” said Whiting, the vice president of marketing for the organization. “They kind of heard there was a marketing and sales fraternity because we’ve mainly been very small, and we haven’t been out how we have been this week.”

Whiting continued to explain PSE wants the campus to know the organization’s purpose.

“This is mainly about making sure that people understand that we’re about business, and we’re here to serve the needs of the FAMU community,” she said.

PSE is not restricted to just business students. It is designed for any student interested in learning about the world of marketing and sales.

While there is no pledge process, the organization does interview its applicants and requires each perspective member to pass an exam.

Bianca Berry, 22, a business administration student from Tampa, said she feels the organization is beginning to gain notoriety.

“We were struggling, trying to get our name out there,” said Berry, the chapter president.

“Now that we’re out there and having our first annual week, people are starting to notice us on campus,” Berry said. “We have some of the same colors of the other organizations, but people are starting to notice that ‘oh that’s that marketing fraternity.’ “

She went on to explain the fraternity operates like a business.

“We’re going to give you real-life experience,” Berry said. “We’re going to put you in charge of projects to create marketing experience for yourself.”

She said major companies looking for students to work on special projects often seek PSE members.

“We’re a feeder program,” Berry said. “The sponsorships that we have with those companies, they’re looking for just us.”

Berry said Target, GEICO, T-Mobile, Enterprise and Northwestern Mutual are just a few of the companies that sponsor PSE.

“They come, and they call me and say ‘Hey I’m looking for a student that does this in the marketing field,'” she said.

Jon Frazier, 21, a business administration student from Orlando who joined the organization in the fall of 2006, said the fraternity is going to prepare him for the future.

“Given that the organization has over 30 corporate sponsors, and all of them, when they come to the school, they don’t look for anything but PSE members,” Frazier said. “My résumé looks a lot better now that I have real-life experience to add to that.”

Kristian Jackson, 21, an economics student from West Bloomfield, Mich., said she’s curious to find out how the organization works.

“I think it will benefit me in the long run,” Jackson said. “I think it will probably help me with networking with people pretty much anywhere.”

PSE will host its final event of the week today at the Boys and Girls Club at 3 p.m.

For more information on the fraternity, contact Bianca Berry in Room 102 in the west wing of SBI, or e-mail her at