Restored frat ready to recruit in spring

Amy Hamblin

Sigma Chi officials met last night with the Interfraternity Council to discuss the details of the fraternity’s recruitment, to begin on March 29 after more than a three-year absence.

The fraternity was kicked off Northwestern’s campus in 2001 because of an alcohol violation.

Mitch Holzrichter, the advertising manager for The Daily and president of IFC, said the rechartering process is fairly standard, beginning with IFC and the university asking a fraternity to charter a chapter. The fraternity must petition to be a colony, then an associate member of IFC. After about one to two years it can become an active, IFC-recognized chapter.

Sigma Chi’s international headquarters are based in Evanston, and the fraternity has been working with interested students to make the rechartering process successful. A few dozen students expressed interest after the fraternity had a table at IFC’s Jan. 5 recruitment forum, said Andy Hughes, associate director of expansion for the international organization.

Diego Berdakin said he and some friends visited the headquarters after they attended the IFC recruitment event in January. The Weinberg freshman said he was excited by the opportunity to create their own chapter.

“Because they’re taking such efforts to filter out people, the class of Sigma Chi that headquarters will come up with will be great,” Berdakin said.

The recruitment process includes one-on-one interviews and a community service project and will last until April 10, when the fraternity will distribute formal bids.

“Sigma Chi’s goal is to work with all (the fraternities) and become a valuable member of IFC and not take away guys but attract a different crowd,” Hughes said.

When IFC invited Sigma Chi to return, one condition was it could not hold Winter Quarter recruitment with the other 17 IFC chapters.

Pi Kappa Alpha recently went through the rechartering process after its NU chapter was shut down more than two years ago. Since its return, Pike has bolstered membership to 75 members. Although the fraternity’s national organization has officially recognized the NU chapter, it has been unable to move back into its condemned house.

“Without a house it’s hard to establish a presence and hard to be legitimate,” said Ian Ludwig, former Pike president and Weinberg senior. He added that he was 75 percent sure the chapter will have a house for Fall Quarter.

Sigma Chi probably won’t face any housing problems as Pike has, because the national organization has maintained the house through the chapter’s absence. The McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science has been renting out the house as office space, but its lease will expire in August, meaning new members might move in as soon as Fall Quarter.

But first Sigma Chi must petition to be an “interest group” with a minimum of 15 men. After a year or two, Hughes said, the “interest group” can petition to become an active chapter of Sigma Chi once it gets 35 members. Hughes said he is hopeful that 25 to 30 men will pledge.