BY A.J. MILLER
Eleven students from Franciscan University of Steubenville brought home first place from the Students in Free Enterprise Regional Tournament.
Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) is a national organization for college students that encourages entrepreneurship and community involvement, and focused on how business improves society, according to SIFE’s website. There are chapters at many colleges across the nation, and Franciscan University has had a chapter since 1978, according to faculty advisor Professor Thomas Kelly.
Franciscan’s team competed against 25 other teams in Cincinnati on Tuesday, April 10. They will compete in the SIFE National Tournament on May 22 in Kansas City. They will be facing teams from across the nation, including Notre Dame University, The Ohio State University and Kent State University, according to Kelly.
“I am delighted with the results of the SIFE regional Tournament,” He said. “I’m so very proud of the students involved.”
The tournament measured how the SIFE teams from the various schools have impacted their community socially, environmentally and economically, as team director Eric Paskie explained. “Basically they look at people, planet and profit,” He said. “They tend to look at quality more than quantity.”
Paskie said that the group was somewhat nervous heading into the competition, but were calmed by prayer. He said that they all felt confident after their round with the judges.
Franciscan’s SIFE chapter has about 80-90 members, said Paskie. The 11-person team that went to the competition consisted of five seniors, four sophomores, one junior and one freshman. These included Matt Wester, Cecilia Wetzel, Catherine O’Camb, Anna Tang, Joseph Houde, Tim Michaud, Eric Paskie, Michael Blankenberger, Claire Lattire, Ryan Geitman, and Ryan Mullen.
Franciscan’s SIFE chapter has organized 14 projects throughout the school year, most prominently being Project Bootstraps, a program that educates entrepreneurs about running a small business, giving them assistance for turning an idea into a business, explained Kelly. Project Bootstraps had over 75 potential entrepreneurs attending and was featured on the front page of The Herald-Star.
Other projects organized by SIFE have included a fundraiser for safe water in Africa, litter removal in Steubenville, a fundraiser for the renovation of the Grand Theatre in downtown Steubenville, and participation in the Adopt-a-Highway program along US-22 near Steubenville.