This past Monday, I happily joined the University of Central Oklahoma chapter of Student's In Free Enterprise for their regional championships in Dallas, Texas. Our squad acquitted themselves admirably. They were professional in appearance and manner and took home a trophy for 'Rookie of the Year.' Our SIFE team has already begun generating ideas that will help them win regionals next year and compete at the national level. I look forward to the coming year.
While several experiences in Dallas are noteworthy, one stands out. During the faculty adviser luncheon, a SIFE representative announced changes to the SIFE mission statement/areas of focus for next year's competition. A question and answer session followed, and rather quickly someone noted that the term 'free-enterprise' was stricken from the new format. The representative hemmed and hawed, stating that 'free-enterprise' was redundant with the rest of the phrasing. Quite a bit of scoffing followed her explanation and a professor raised their hand and asked "How many present would like to see the term 'free-enterprise' put back into the mission statement?" All, or almost all, present raised their hands.
SIFE's removal of 'free-enterprise,' to me, represented a little bit of political hedging. I understand. But the faculty adviser response to that removal was rather...cheering.