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SigEp Returns to MIT After Short Hiatus

By Daniela Cako

After having its charter revoked earlier this year, fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon has returned to campus and is recruiting members. The national headquarters had revoked the MIT chapter’s charter in January 2005 because of its lack of members and decreasing size.

SigEp officers aim for the local chapter to grow to 20–25 members this year and to have around 50 members in the long run, said Jason A. Cherish, director of New Chapter Development in the national SigEp.

The MIT SigEp chapter is trying to rejoin the Intrafraternity Council, and has undergone a reorganization. As required by the national SigEp, all potential new members must go through an application process with the national organization. The fraternity will also be recruiting throughout the whole year and not just during Rush.

To become an actual member of the IFC, Sigma Phi Epsilon needs to be approved by most of the presidents of the other fraternities. SigEp needs to be recognized by the Interfraternity Council first, and then it will be recognized by MIT.

Before becoming a full member, SigEp must spend a couple of years as an associate member, said Intrafraternity Council President Christopher P. Child ’06. Until then, the students in SigEp will not be considered members of a fraternity, he said. Being an associate member will allow SigEp to participate in most IFC activities such as Rush, but it will not be able to vote at the Presidents’ Council.

SigEp “will continue to focus on recruiting throughout the year instead of focusing on only two weeks,” said SigEp Chapter Director Jason A. Wortham, referring to MIT’s fall Rush. So far there are 10 students who are in the process of being admitted, all of whom were already SigEp members from the previous year, he said.

The national organization aims to recruit students fitting the Balanced Man Ideal, defined as students who maintain a balanced and healthy life style.

“We are looking for someone who is well-rounded … the Renaissance man, so to speak,” Cherish said. The membership application requires information on academics, athletics, leadership, and work or internship experience, as well as an interview.

There are currently no living requirements for fraternity members because parts of the house are being used as office space or are rented out, and the building will not be converted to living space for at least two years, Cherish said.

Brian Schmidt ’07, SigEp’s vice-president last year, re-applied to become a member of SigEp over the summer. “I think SigEp is a great opportunity and it’s very exciting trying to get the new chapter,” he said.