What does it take to found a chapter of a national fraternity?
In a word, time.
That was the message sent to a group of about 50 attendees, mostly alumni and undergraduate members of Sigma Chi at regional chapters, during a presentation Tuesday night.
The presentation, aside from giving insight into the fraternity, also outlined a timeline for a chapter to be installed.
The first initial step in forming a chapter is the “Declaration of Intent.” This is where the international headquarters selects about 15 men to be founders of the fraternity, and generally lasts between one and four weeks.
After the group has properly filed the declaration, the membership will undergo two phases of undergraduate development programs, aimed at addressing the structure of the organization and member development. Each of the phases can last between six and eight months.
The final step in being recognized as a chapter of Sigma Chi is the formal petition to headquarters, which can take up to a month. If accepted, the group will receive chapter designation and a charter.
George Daniels, chapter adviser and Sigma Chi alumni says that he chose to be the adviser because he “believes in [the fraternity’s] ideals, and what [the group] can offer UTM”
“I think we have the opportunity to be a good addition to the Greek community on campus.”
The presentation included a section titled “Why UT-Martin?” that highlighted a few of the reasons why a Sigma Chi considered UTM as a potential home.
The expansion team said that the UTM values of “leadership, community, inclusiveness and creativity” were aligned with the overall mission of Sigma Chi.
They also highlighted strength of existing greek chapters, their emphasis of community service and its desire for growth and improvement.
Brian Burbrink, also a member of the Sigma Chi expansion team isn’t turned off by UTM’s small size. In fact, he says that it only proves that UTM’s greek system has room for expansion.
“We think a chapter at UT Martin would provide a wealth of opportunities to energize the community,” Burbrink added. “A Sigma Chi chapter would push for greek life at UTM to be synonymous with leadership.”
An integral part of the recruitment process is awarding leadership scholarships totaling $3,200.
Applicants in each classification (freshman through senior) would be eligible for a $400 prize and two $200 runners-up.
The process however is limited to non-greek males with a 3.0 or above GPA.