Southern’s Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) team won the SIFE Regional Competition in Atlanta on April 4, and moved on to compete in the SIFE National Competition in Minneapolis on May 11.
SIFE, an international non-profit organization that encourages students to use their business skills to serve others, hosts annual competitions around the world for its 1,500 chapters. SIFE teams are judged on their presentation skills and projects.
Southern’s team lost the national competition in the first round, but SIFE Director Carrie Harlin is proud of the team’s performance.
“The team that did move on was a National champion two years ago, so it was a tough league,” said Harlin. “I am very pleased with how this year’s team presented, and I know they did their very best. We can be proud of the SIFE team that represents Southern Adventist University!”
Southern’s team presented four of its 15 current projects:
1. Adventist Health System: On December 2-29, 2010, four graduate students from SIFE traveled to Tanzania, where they analyzed the financial and management operations of four clinics and a hospital. The team met with a professor and healthcare executives and provided the health system with suggestions to improve efficiency.
2. IDEALS International: A team of SIFE members organized a bakery at Uruguay Adventist Academy in Progreso-Canelones, Uruguay, as a way for the school to earn money, reach out to the community, and train students in an important trade skill.
3. Collegedale Recycles: With a $1,000 grant from Sam’s Club, Southern’s SIFE team is helping the City of Collegedale pay for a new trash compressor for its recycling plant. The team also launched an awareness campaign that utilized two community events, advertising, and social media to promote the recycling plant in the community.
4. Campus Vending Machines: After surveying students and discovering the need for healthier and faster ways to eat, Southern SIFE worked with university administrators to install vending machines on campus that accept student ID cards. This has created nine student jobs. Profits from the machines, which earn about $35,000 a month, benefit SIFE’s other service projects.
Chris Brown, junior computer science major, was happy for the opportunity to compete in this year’s regional and national competitions.
“It was my first time at the competition, and I thought Southern Adventist University’s team did an excellent job,” said Brown. “ I am excited that we went to nationals.”