Sep 142008
 
Authors: Jim Sojourner

After an eight-year hiatus, the Sigma Nu fraternity has been granted colony status at CSU this fall and will spend the coming semester working to obtain an official charter from the national Sigma Nu organization by 2009.

The CSU Sigma Nu chapter, founded in 1913, was the first fraternity chapter ever established at the university. After conduct issues and violations, the national organization revoked the CSU chapter’s charter, and the chapter disbanded in 2000.

Greek Life officials said they did not have information on the specifics of Sigma Nu’s previous conduct issues.

After meeting a variety of university requirements, the chapter is now back on campus and actively recruiting.

“The time is right,” said Mike Schamp, expansion and recruitment consultant for Sigma Nu.

Schamp said the Sigma Nu organization decided to re-colonize on campus because CSU met a “trifecta of perfect circumstances.”

He listed the circumstances: “Alumni must support it, the school has to want us back, and the school must be a beneficial place to come back to.”

Sonja Jensen, director of Greek Life at CSU, said returning fraternity chapters must go through a three-tiered process to be granted colony status:

/ The chapter presents to the Interfraternity Council and must receive a sustaining vote

/ The chapter meets with the dean of Students and the vice president for Student Affairs to receive approval

/ The chapter works with the Greek Life office to determine the best time for return and what resources the chapter will need to be successful

The chapter has completed that process through CSU and will now focus on obtaining a charter from the national level. The charter will formally recognize the new chapter as an official fraternity nationally and on campus.

Schamp said he will help CSU’s Sigma Nu chapter to complete the charter requirements this semester. He said he hopes the chapter can compile the necessary documentation and send a petition to Sigma Nu’s board of the directors, the High Council, for an official charter by December of 2009.

The chapter must demonstrate the following charter requirements: fraternity infrastructure, operations, campus involvement and philanthropic work. Currently, Sigma Nu is focusing on infrastructure.

Schamp said his biggest goal is to have all members and officers recruited, trained and ready to run the chapter by the end of this semester.

Schamp has recruited interested students using a combination of e-mails, alumni referrals, a recruitment table on the Lory Student Center Plaza, recruitment meetings and visits to student organizations.

He said the sororities have also been particularly helpful in referring potential recruits.

Six students have accepted invitations from Sigma Nu, and Schamp said there are several more who are going through the decision-making process. He said he would like to see numbers level off at 25-30 members by the time recruitment ends in October.

The recruits are excited about the chapter, he said.

“It’s an opportunity for a group of men who want to build a fraternity into what they think it should be,” Schamp said. “All of the men I have recruited are attached to the idea that this is their organization.”

Tyrell Gapp, a sophomore history major and new member of Sigma Nu, said he is ready to play his part in founding the new chapter.

“It gives me some pride, you know? As a history major, looking back, you see who started stuff, not who came in the middle,” Gapp said.

Michael Yaeger, also a sophomore and new founder, added, “It puts me in a position to have an impact in the community and in my life.”

Schamp said Sigma Nu will uphold its three core values of love, honor and truth. The fraternity was originally founded in direct opposition to hazing, he said, and the new chapter will continue that tradition.

“I’m in very high hopes at this point. I couldn’t ask for a stronger group to form the foundation of this organization,” Schamp said.

Aside from infrastructure building, Sigma Nu looks to begin participating in philanthropic work this semester. Schamp cited Delta Delta Delta sorority’s “Frats at Bat” competition, which raises money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, as a likely option.

Jensen said, in addition to new Sigma Nu members, the larger CSU Greek community is eager for Sigma Nu to recolonize.

“Everyone is excited,” Jensen said. “It extends the opportunity for more people to become involved and brings new blood.”

She added that new chapters often energize the Greek community, fill a niche and reach out to people who previously could not find what they were looking for in Greek Life.

Mike Rager, president of the Interfraternity Council, said the return of Sigma Nu is “awesome.”

“We’re really happy to have them here,” Rager said.

Staff writer Jim Sojourner can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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