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Sigma Nu Becomes Chapter; to Buy House

By Daniel C. Stevenson
Editor in Chief

After a 20-year absence, Sigma Nu fraternity has returned to MIT. At a Saturday evening ceremony, the colony formed last March became an official chapter of the national group.

The group is also expecting to move into a new house near Kenmore Square this fall. Sigma Nu plans to sign a title transfer on June 1, according to Sigma Nu Commander Andrew N. Plumb '97.

Becoming a chapter is "something that we've been looking forward to for two years," Plumb said. "It's the first time a national fraternity has come to campus in at least 15 years," he said. "It's a pretty amazing feat just to be chartered by a national."

The colony was started by members of the short-lived Delta Pi fraternity, formed by members ejected from Alpha Epsilon Pi following a 1991 reorganization of that fraternity.

Sigma Nu still has strong ties to the Delta Pi brothers. Four DP alums have actively supported the group, and two were initiated along with the other members into the new chapter on Saturday, Plumb said.

The original Sigma Nu chapter at MIT, named Epsilon Theta, began in 1924. The national group terminated the charter when ET went coed in 1974 and elected a woman president.

The installation of the new chapter on Saturday formally took place in a ceremony at the Chapel, followed by a dinner at the Royal Sonesta hotel, Plumb said.

Chapter designation unclear

The chapter name of Sigma Nu at MIT has not yet been decided, Plumb said. The national organization intends to designate the chapter as Epsilon Theta, keeping in tradition with the original chapter. The fraternity would formally be known as Epsilon Theta of Sigma Nu.

The former Sigma Nu chapter, which is now the co-ed independent living group Epsilon Theta, filed a court complaint last Friday ["Epsilon Theta Files to Preserve Letters," April 25] to prevent Sigma Nu from taking those letters.

"It's not our decision to make," Crowe said. "We'll go by whatever the national decides to give us."

"We'd like to stay uninvolved," Plumb said. Pending an official decision by the national organization, the group is known as the MIT chapter of Sigma Nu, he said.

Plans proceeding for new house

Sigma Nu placed a bid on a house in March and is expecting to close the title transfer on June 1, Plumb said. The house is located on Newbury Street near the Alpha Chi Omega house.

"It's a major stepping stone that we got it," Plumb said. "Until we had the house, we've been spread all over campus." Plans are not set on housing freshmen in the house next fall, but it will be approved for freshman housing, he said.

MIT, through the Independent Residence Development Fund, gave the fraternity a long-term loan of $300,000 to purchase the house, Plumb said.

The building can house only 18 members, Crowe said. "From the outset, we realized that all our members will probably not be housed," he said. "We plan to grow beyond the size of the house."

Two sororities, Sigma Kappa and Kappa Alpha Theta, had priority on the housing list above Sigma Nu, Crowe said. But both sororities turned down the house Sigma Nu has taken because it was too small for them, he said.

Sigma Nu will rush with the other fraternities this fall, Crowe said.