The Greek members of Phi Gamma Delta, commonly called FIJI, claim they are the most “non-Greek Greeks” gentlemen on campus.
The CSU chapter, founded in November 2005, is made up of 22 students.
The fraternity held a chapter at CSU from 1961 to 1991 but was shut down for various financial reasons. There are currently FIJI chapters at Colorado College and the School of Mines.
Sororities on campus recommended quality men to start a fraternity and the National FIJI chapter sought out the select few to be the so-called “founding fathers” of the current CSU chapter.
The service-based fraternity has five core values: service, knowledge, morality, excellence and brotherhood. These strict values ensure quality members, the group said.
The pledges go through a 10-week education program taught by freshman restaurant and resort management major Drew Tucker.
“If at any time a pledge is not exemplifying the values of the brotherhood, they will be cut,” said Chris Rediger, a senior history major.
Rediger, who is the president elect, is getting married soon after his graduation. He and his fianc/e have invited the entire fraternity and have seven of the brothers in the wedding.
The fraternity offers a variety of scholarships for its members. Every semester, the top three pledges get a $150 scholarship from their local chapter. Any pledge with a 3.0 GPA their first pledge semester receives an automatic $250 scholarship. Finally, any member with a GPA higher than a 3.2 qualifies for a $1,000 scholarship from the national FIJI chapter.
Jonathon Gates, a sophomore civil engineering major, said the fraternity does not use the Greek letters “PGD” because it makes them stand out.
“Our letters are as sacred to us as our fraternity is,” Gates said. “We don’t have our letters all over shot glasses and T-shirts.”
Rather, they use “FIJI.” The meaning and reason behind the letters is “top-secret,” the members said.
Last year the brothers of FIJI were able to donate $2,500 to the Red Cross through various fundraisers. This year they are hosting an annual poker tournament in hopes of raising more money.
FIJI also helps out the Sunflower Retirement Community once a month. In January, the fraternity helped take down Christmas lights and shoveled ice from driveways.
In the future, the fraternity hopes to expand its members to around 35 and to raise more money for the Red Cross.
“Our biggest goal is to charter,” Johnson said.
Ian Gant, FIJI’s president and sophomore biology major, said the guys within the fraternity are atypical.
“All of our individuals are gentlemanly, but we are also very diverse,” Gant said. “Every person, with the exception of one or two, didn’t have an initial interest in Greek Life. We all got along with this group of guys who just happened to be a fraternity.”
Drew MacDonnell, a freshman psychology major, said he was not interested in Greek Life when he first came to CSU.
“I went to a few events and liked the guys,” MacDonnell said. “They took me under their wing. It was a big brother kind of thing.”
Ben Johnson, a sophomore speech communications major and FIJI’s public relations chair, said he enjoys being in the fraternity because they are so close and can be truthful.
“Everyone has a voice,” Gant said. “It’s like everyone is an executive member. Everyone knows everyone. There are leadership opportunities all the time.”
Gates said most of the brotherhood is working through college.
“We try to keep our dues low,” Gates said. “We have possibly the lowest membership fee on campus.”
Johnson said even though there are “two great names, FIJI is one great fraternity.”
Staff writer Nikki Cristello can be reached at email@example.com.