A chapter of the national fraternity Alpha Sigma Phi (Alpha Sig) has opened at the University of Chicago.
The original UChicago chapter of Alpha Sig was installed on campus in 1920 but suspended in 1935 due to low membership. In the spring of 2018, UChicago students interested in reviving the chapter reached out to national headquarters to begin the recruitment process in coordination with expansion consultants Mike Carlo and Kyle Postal.
This February, the chapter was officially installed under provisional status, a stage all Alpha Sig chapters go through during which they must meet national standards before becoming a full chapter. These include academic, financial, social, and membership standards.
The chapter currently has 15 members and is led by second-year Micael Guzman.
Alpha Sig is now the 13th active social fraternity on campus. Its installation follows the January opening of a chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike) and December rechartering of Phi Delta Theta (Phi Delt). Prior to this academic year, no new social frats had opened at UChicago since 2013, when Zeta Psi came to campus. In June 2018, Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity Inc., a Multicultural Greek Council organization, opened a campus colony.
In a written statement, Alpha Sig told The Maroon: “We chose to revive the Chi Chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi because we believe that through our association with each other and with Alpha Sig, we can become stronger individuals and active participants in our campus community.”
Fraternities at UChicago and nationwide have struggled with allegations of hazing, sexual assault, illegal drug use, and alcohol abuse. When asked how the chapter plans to cultivate a safe fraternity environment, the brothers of Alpha Sig said they are focused on ensuring that brothers behave with integrity.
“We approach many issues around fraternities, including hazing and sexual assault, as issues of personal integrity,” Alpha Sig said in a statement. “It goes without saying that we have strict policies against actions that harm other people in any way, but we believe that the key to helping these problems lies in the attitudes of the brothers themselves. We use our official policies only as a starting point. Through education, community engagement, and by creating a brotherhood that tries to do right by others, we believe that we can create change.”
Alpha Sig did not respond to questions about whether current members were vetted for sexual assault allegations or whether the frat plans to join Fraternities Committed to Safety.
Current brothers said that the frat will welcome brothers of all socioeconomic backgrounds, races, political views, and sexual orientations. “[T]his diversity in thought and background is precisely what lets us take such a value-centric approach,” the chapter wrote. “The only factors tying us together are that we are all open, friendly, and motivated. Anyone who shares those qualities is welcome to help us in our mission.”
Like other UChicago Greek organizations, Alpha Sig is not a recognized student organization, but it will consist solely of College students. Alpha Sig did not respond to questions about a potential fraternity house.
The chapter is already holding social events and participating in philanthropy with its charitable partners.
Correction on April 17, 2019, 4:14 p.m. CDT:
A previous version of this article failed to note that Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity Inc., a Multicultural Greek Council organization, opened a campus colony in June 2018.