Alpha Sigma Phi begins colonization process
The fraternity has recruited 25 new members, is working towards becoming a colony next month
March 12, 2013, 9:32 pm·
By the end of the semester, the fraternity Alpha Sigma Phi will be one step closer to re-establishing its presence within Penn’s Greek community.
The fraternity was closed back in 1978 due to low membership, but there are now 25 members of a new interest group to recolonize the fraternity, which is the first necessary step to bringing Alpha Sigma Phi back to life.
After achieving a series of five benchmarks established by the national organization, the interest group will become an official colony. This process will likely be complete by the end of the semester, according to Alpha Sigma Phi Director of Chapter and Colony Development Danny Miller.
Miller will be on campus from March 19 to 25, working with the interest group to “get them up and running,” he said.
Director of Expansion and Growth for Alpha Sigma Phi Geoff McDonald was on campus for a month until the beginning of March to gather student interest.
One of the primary goals of the upcoming development work, McDonald said, is “creating the values we want to stand upon as an organization and making sure our members can articulate and exemplify those.”
McDonald emphasized his goal of showing Alpha Sigma Phi to be an “alternative to what exists in the Greek community now.” College junior Nikolai Zapertov, interim president of the interest group, said that such commitment to the traditional values of a fraternity was one of the primary draws of Alpha Sigma Phi.
Last spring, the Interfraternity Council voted to approve the recolonization of the Omicron chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi. McDonald had been on campus for most of February working to recruit interested students. He received over 220 referrals of potential members from sorority members, reached out to various student organizations and met personally with nearly 100 interested students.
Next week, Miller will work with the 19 newly appointed officers to develop the values and leadership skills that are central to the fraternity. He will lead team-building activities, mock chapter meetings and a brotherhood retreat that will include a student-organized community service project.
The fraternity’s national philanthropy organization is the Livestrong Foundation, but Zapertov said that they will likely do a smaller scale project within the West Philadelphia community.
A second round of development will come later next month. From April 18 to 21, Doug Jones, coordinator of chapter and colony development for Alpha Sigma Phi, will come to campus to help the interest group progress further toward becoming a colony of the fraternity.
The next step will be for the colony to work through the benchmarks to become a fully chartered chapter. “They should be chartering within 12 to 18 months at the latest,” Miller said.
According to an email from Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life Director Scott Reikofski, it is likely that Alpha Sigma Phi will participate in recruitment next year. Until then, Miller said they will be open to recruiting new members throughout the semester.
“We’re always looking for men who understand and live the values of the organization, and that could be today, that could be tomorrow, that could be any day,” he said.
The current members of the interest group and any who join in the coming weeks will be initiated in April and considered founding members of the recolonized chapter, Zapertov said.
College junior and IFC President Andrew Turell said that the recolonization efforts were very successful and that Penn’s Greek community could always benefit from the addition of new organizations. “There’s clearly a demand on campus for more fraternities,” he said, “and it’s always great when we can expand to meet that demand.”