IFC votes to support Sigma Chi’s return

The Interfraternity Council voted Tuesday to encourage the University to renew Sigma Chi’s recognition with certain conditions, IFC leaders said.

At Sigma Chi’s presentation, which was closed to the public, Sigma Chi members answered questions from fraternity presidents.

Sigma Chi lost University recognition in 1997 after the fraternity hosted a party during Colonial Inauguration.

Sigma Chi President Fred Wininger said the “chapter is ecstatic” and “very excited to be able to participate in community and Greek events.”

IFC President Seth Greenberg said Sigma Chi had six members present at the meeting. Wininger said he and his fraternity brothers tried to show the fraternity presidents what members have learned from their show-cause probation, a disciplinary action taken by Sigma Chi’s national organization forcing members to prove they are worthy of maintaining a charter.

He said one of the fraternity presidents’ major concerns was the use of alcohol, which he said was “a major force behind our delinquency.” Now, Wininger said, the fraternity is trying to teach brothers that alcohol should not be central to the fraternity.

“Social is one-third of our fraternity’s ideals,” Wininger said.

Now that Sigma Chi has received the IFC’s vote, the University still has to approve re-issuing recognition. Jan-Mitchell Sherrill, associate dean of students, said he will be glad to have Sigma Chi back as a recognized campus fraternity. He said the fraternity is a significant part of the GW community.

Wininger expects GW to approve Sigma Chi’s return to campus.

Sigma Chi still will remain on social probation with the University for another year, Greenberg said. Greenberg and IFC Executive Vice President Brian Schoeneman said possible IFC conditions include denying IFC voting privileges for a semester, placing the fraternity under review, having a confirmation vote during spring semester and requiring attendance at IFC events. But they said fraternity presidents have not specified the conditions.

Delta Tau Delta President Jeff Butler said Sigma Chi wants to be a part of the community, and their return is the best for GW.

“They can add a lot to the Greek community, as they have in the past,” Butler said.

Ben Kirshner, Alpha Epsilon Pi president, said the return of Sigma Chi will help the IFC. He said the conditions set upon Sigma Chi provide fraternity presidents an insurance policy.

Greenberg said Sigma Chi is coming back to campus with 41 brothers.

“They will be part of the everyday life at the IFC,” Greenberg said. “They’re back.”

Schoeneman said Sigma Chi recognizes they have to hold themselves accountable.

Sigma Chi has gotten more involved in its international headquarters, Wininger said.

“We’re trying to hold all brothers accountable for our actions,” he said.

Greenberg said the presidents wanted to bring closure to the issue before rush begins Friday. Sigma Chi is set for rush and to have its first pledge class in more than a year, Wininger said. He said Sigma Chi has cleansed itself of certain members and is ready to be a part of the Greek-letter community again.

“We’ve basically been digging ourselves out of a hole,” said Wininger.

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