Sigma Chi returning to campus

The Interfraternity Council announced Sunday that Sigma Chi will be invited to create a colony on campus, increasing the number of fraternities on campus from 12 to 13.

After a yearlong process of advertising an opening in GW’s Greek life to more than 30 national fraternities, in the last month GW invited five national fraternities to make presentations to the University. The fraternity oversight committee, made up of the presidents of GW’s fraternities and the Student Activities Center, which oversees Greek-letter life on campus, created a fraternity selection committee that voted to elect Sigma Chi as GW’s next on-campus fraternity.

“It came down to which organization would best fit in on campus and how they would be able to adapt to the student body,” said Interfraternity Council president senior David Upbin after Sunday’s announcement in the Marvin Center.

“This will make Greek life at GW bigger and stronger,” Upbin said. “A more diverse selection of fraternities means more choices for students and improvements for the entire system.”

The national Sigma Chi fraternity was founded in 1855 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Sigma Chi could not be reached for comment over the weekend, and its Web site was down Sunday. The Iota Psi chapter’s Web site of Sigma Chi, at Rutgers University, indicates that the fraternity was based on the idea that “friendship among members sharing a common belief in an ideal and possessing different temperaments talents and convictions is superior to friendship amount members having the same temperaments talents and convictions.”

Sigma Chi used to be on the GW campus but left in 1998. In November 1998, The Hatchet reported that GW’s Sigma Chi chapter had been put on probation for holding an unregistered party during Colonial Inauguration. It is unclear why the fraternity left that year.

GW’s other Greek-letter organization leaders are enthusiastic about a new fraternity coming to campus.

“This means a stronger Greek community,” said senior Eric Jesse, president of Beta Theta Pi. “It’s in the best interest of the entire University to expand students’ options and to create more competition among the current organizations.”

The Interfraternity Council also announced Sunday that Kappa Alpha Order will be invited to make preliminary arrangements to begin a colony on campus, but that it would not join GW’s Greek-letter life community until at least spring 2006.

“Kappa Alpha Order has been off campus since the 1960s and showed strong interest in returning to campus,” Upbin said. “Kappa Alpha Order was in no way a second choice to Sigma Chi, we just felt that Sigma Chi was more prepared to get started sooner.”

Upbin said Sigma Chi had strong alumni ties in the area, and they were the most enthusiastic about coming to GW. He said those were the deciding factors in choosing Sigma Chi over the other organizations vying for the spot.

The other three fraternities the Interfraternity Council and SAC were considering were Delta Chi, Phi Kappa Sigma and Acacia, which does not use traditional Greek letters.

Dean Harwood, assistant director of SAC and adviser to Greek-letter organizations, said Sigma Chi can begin recruiting members for their colony immediately but expects that a chapter will not be formed on campus until spring 2006.

“We’ve invited Sigma Chi to come to campus as soon as they want to and begin recruiting,” Harwood said. “After a couple of months the national organization will re-evaluate the colony based on the overall strength of the organization and make a determination then on the status of the organization.”

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