Former University of Dayton local fraternity Chi Sigma Alpha will partner with Sigma Alpha Epsilon in order to revive its fraternity and start a new chapter on campus.
Chi Sigma Alpha, which had been an all-male UD local fraternity from 1962 to 1995, currently has around 500 alumni scattered around the nation, according to Kevin Cane, director of Greek Life and Leadership Programs.
Members of Chi Sigma Alpha recently celebrated the fraternity’s 50 year anniversary, despite having been dissolved for 18 years.
Cane said UD policy prohibits local fraternities from establishing chapters on campus and only recognizes national fraternities. As a result, Chi Sigma Alpha needed to join a national fraternity on campus to re-establish its chapter.
Chi Sigma Alpha alumni formed a re-establishment committee about a year ago. The committee was led by UD alumnus Roger Vernier, Cane said.
The committee reached out to three national fraternities it believed best corresponded with Chi Sigma Alpha’s values. The three fraternities were Alpha Sigma Phi, Phi Delta Theta, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
In late fall 2011, Ryan Tolle, coordinator of expansion for Sigma Alpha Epsilon, contacted Cane about a potential SAE expansion to the university. Tolle was informed that Chi Sigma Alpha was interested in reviving the fraternity and showed interest in joining Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
“We reached out to Kevin Cane in November or December 2011 about potentially setting up chapter on campus,” Tolle said. “It was a little different when I first heard Chi Sigma Alpha. Nowadays, students want to start organizations and reach out to national fraternities to start a chapter, you never hear about a former fraternity wanting to join.”
According to Cane, Chi Sigma Alpha eventually chose to petition to Sigma Alpha Epsilon, specifically because of the fraternity’s similar values and collected alumni network.
The Interfraternity Council accepted the Chi Sigma Alpha’s petition to officially colonize on campus, Cane said.
“We are looking forward to bringing SAE to campus and helping the Dayton community,” said Tolle. “It has been a great experience to partner with them, what it means to be a SAE, and to move forward with the chapter.”
Chi Sigma Alpha will take the name of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and won’t be able to start recruiting until August 2013. Cane said the delay for Sigma Alpha Epsilon to start its chapter was because Greek Life and IFC wanted to make sure new fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, which began colonization in August 2012, could smoothly go through transition, growth and become rooted within the university in one full academic year.
Patrick Durham, a junior marketing and finance major who had been elected as IFC president in November, said he believes another Greek organization on campus will only benefit the university.
An increase in Greek organizations will attract more potential UD students because of the increased popularity in Greek Life, Durham said.
“I thought it was great when I heard about it,” he said. “I thought it was cool that a bunch of alumni wanted to relive their college days and partner with a national fraternity, plus the university will benefit a lot from it.”
On Dec. 25, Vernier announced on Chi Sigma Alpha’s Facebook page that Sigma Alpha Epsilon had approved their petition. Acting as a Christmas gift to all Chi Sigma Alpha alumni, Vernier’s message thanked all for their support and said the fraternity is very excited for the opportunity to again share the “values-based experience for men who seek a new experience.”
“In the last three years, Greek life affiliation on campus has increased from 8 percent to 17 percent among men,” Cane said. “With UD’s enrollment growth and interest in Greek Life, we feel [Sigma Alpha Epsilon] will fair quite well because it offers students just another viable option to new opportunities.”