Sigma Alpha Mu, an unrecognized fraternity that was kicked off campus 15 years ago, is on a quest rejoin the official GW Greek-letter community.
Better known as “Sammy,” the fraternity was booted out in 1994 due to a risk management and alcohol violation. A group of 25 freshmen restarted the fraternity in 2002 – but current members said that without being an official part of GW Greek-letter life, the fraternity will not be able to recruit enough members to sustain itself and will eventually cease to exist.
“The University is just waiting for us to die off,” said SAM Vice President Steven Herzberg, adding that he does not understand the University’s reasoning behind keeping them as an unofficial fraternity. “We are not like APES. We have a national charter. We are a legit fraternity.”
Because they are an off-campus fraternity, SAM is unable to partake in rush activities or actively recruit members by handing out fliers in residence halls like Thurston.
Dean Harwood, director of Greek life, said he has been in talks with the fraternity’s headquarters since the fall about their possible return to campus, but added he is “not ready to comment on the ongoing conversation.”
Chas Pressner, president of the Interfraternity Council, said members of the fraternity have never contacted him for guidance on becoming an official member of the IFC.
“I don’t hear the reports about hazing from them like [Sigma Alpha Mu],” said Pressner, a sophomore. “Any fraternity that is aligned with our values deserves a chance and should be given a fair chance.”
Dan Grossberg, a SAM regional governor, said members of the fraternity’s headquarters have begun talks with the University, but that coming back to campus is sometimes a long process.
“The guys are a good bunch, I know they’re working hard and I do know that this is a process with the University,” Grossberg said.
He added, “I don’t think the national fraternity would take the time to be doing what they’re doing if they didn’t believe in this group of guys.”
Matt Friedman, a senior and member of the fraternity since his freshman year, said the organization is plagued by a bad reputation.
“We don’t do anything that any other fraternity doesn’t do,” Friedman said. “We’re not this nefarious, evil organization.”
Greg Marx, sophomore and exchequer of the fraternity, added, “A lot of the negative feelings toward us is just because of the rumors associated with our name.”