About Us

Founding of the Iota Zeta Chapter - 1988

It all began in the fall of 1986 when there was an increase in Greek membership and a new Greek advisor, which made it the perfect time to add another fraternity. This is when Clarkson Greek Advisor, D. Craig Peterson, discussed forming a new fraternity with five student leaders on the campus. The five were Robert Andrews, Brian Dodson, Peter Graham, Robert Kerr, and Peter Radosta. The fraternity these men hoped to create was to be different from all others on campus at the time. The five met with James B. Allen and Peter Reis to discuss the ideals and petitioning requirements. It was after this discussion that they decided to go ahead and organize the 15th fraternity on campus and formally petition Sigma Chi for a charter.

The five then went out and recruited another twenty and turned in their Declaration of Intent, which was accepted in February of 1987. The next thing they did was to select a name for the new fraternity. The members chose to call the fraternity, Sigma Chi Iota. The Sigma representing scholarship, the Chi typifying character, and the Iota symbolizing individuality. The beginning, wasn't easy, as the new members adjusted to the diverse brotherhood. Through perseverance the brothers learned how to work together and they became stronger. In the spring of 1987, the fraternity membership doubled from 25 to 50. The chapter also began to get recognition from the community with their bread baking project and several other smaller projects. That summer, five of the brothers attended the L.T.W. at Western Ontario and returned to the fraternity with unbound enthusiasm for the ideals. Sigma Chi Iota grew stronger as the days went on and by the end of the fall of 1987, 16 men were initiated from the first pledge class. They also submitted the formal petition for approval.

The Executive Committee accepted the petition in January 1988 and as a result, an investigating officer was sent to the chapter. This investigating officer was the Grand Quaestor Dr. Joel Cunningham. It took Brother Cunningham only two days to be convinced that the chapter could uphold the ideals of the White Cross. He then issued a positive report to the Executive Committee and the rest was left up to the voting process.

The final 12 Sigma Chi Iota pledges were initiated on March 31st and afterwards, D. Craig Peterson started the indoctrination journey with a very moving pledging ceremony. Indoctrination Week began on April 10th with the arrival of the Headquarters staff installation team. Their arrival set a very serious tone. The final weekend activities started on April 16th with a big reception in the chapter’s honor. Attending were the local Sig alumn, brothers from Gamma Lambda and Theta Psi, relatives and friends, faculty, administration, and other members of the Greek community. After the reception, the Initiation began with Delta Psi as the Installing Chapter with assistance from Gamma Lambda, Theta Psi, and Epsilon Iota. The Chief Installing Officer was Robert Davies, the Ritual Director was D. Craig Peterson and the Installing Officers were J.B. Allen, Douglas McWhirter, and Douglas Carlson. The Initiation concluded at Clarkson Hall on April 17th and afterwards, the 68 undergraduates and three alumni were initiated. This formed Iota Zeta, the 205th chapter of Sigma Chi.

Proceeding the ceremony, there was a banquet at Fiacco’s with an enormous and expansive guest list. At the dinner, the chapter performed a few Sigma Chi songs to entertain their guests. The climax of the evening was the presentation of the charter to the Consul of the chapter. Along with the charter, was presented a Consul's badge and a sweetheart lavaliere. The final event in the chartering was a post-chartering party that followed dinner and lasted to the early morning.

Life Long Commitment

Mike Marko, 1997

Becoming a Sigma Chi means much more than meeting a set of minimum criteria and being introduced to the secrets of our Ritual. On the contrary, being a Sigma Chi is an active, earnest process of striving for the ideals of the Fraternity throughout life. The Founders themselves expressed this sentiment in 1855:

I place this White Cross over my heart, because it appeals both to my intellect and to my affections. I will wear it with a deep sense of humility and a feeling of unworthiness, believing that this badge requires more of me than the world expects of other men; and realizing full well that I can never conquer by a sign, even though it be a cross, but only as the ideals for which the badge stands take possession of my heart and become exemplified in my life, will I ever know the deepest meanings of the the White Cross of Sigma Chi.

Membership in Sigma Chi is a lifelong commitment both to the ideals and to the brothers of the Fraternity. Because the strength and vitality of Sigma Chi depends upon the quality and depth of this commitment, Sigma Chis must have high expectations of themselves. In recognition of this, upon becoming a pledge each young man must thoughtfully consider the scope and nature of the commitment he will be asked to undertake and consciously accept the obligations that attend to that commitment. The reward for making this commitment is a Sigma Chi experience that extends well beyond the college years, an experience characterized by daily inspiration and the unbreakable bonds forged with men who share a common devotion to the Fraternity's ideals.

Becoming a Sigma Chi requires the following commitments, which are of lifelong duration:

  • You must be willing to take upon yourself the duties and responsibilities of being a pledge in the Sigma Chi Fraternity, realizing that these will be even greater if and when you become an active member.
  • You must attest that you are not a member of any secret college Fraternity of a similar character to Sigma Chi.
  • You must believe in the existence of an ever-living God, the Creator and Preserver of all things.
  • You must obligate yourself to keep secret the Ritual, Ritualistic Statutes, and things connected with your initiation.
  • You will also be required to promote the welfare and prosperity of the Fraternity and its members, always striving to interpret the ideals of Sigma Chi throughout your life.

Friendship of a Higher Order

Mike Marko, 1997

An integral part of the Sigma Chi experience is the development and maintenance of close and enduring friendships. The pace of life today is often too hurried to foster the development of last friendships, and the quality of people's lives suffers as a result. In college and throughout life, Sigma Chi brothers share in each others' hopes and successes, and provide strong arms of support when they are needed most.

Sigma Chi does not aspire to replace relationships with family or friends outside the Fraternity. Indeed, friendships formed through Sigma Chi will complement these existing relationships with bonds and experiences that would not exist outside the fraternal experience. Sigma Chi's develop truly meaningful and enduring relationships with brothers whom they might never have met outside Sigma Chi. These friendships do not develop by accident; on the contrary, they are the result of a thoughtful and deliberate process begun in pledgeship, maintained by the activities of the chapter, and given firm direction through the Ritual.

Code of Values and Conduct

Mike Marko, 1997

Sigma Chi endeavors to pledge men of good character, and through its educational programs and fraternal activities, hastens their development into high-minded men and gentlemen. The ideals and teachings that Sigma Chi expresses in its public mottos and secret ritual are based upon time-honored values of civilized society. Sigma Chi serves as a guide and an inspiration for its brothers as they develop and strive to uphold their own ideals.

Sigma Chi also aspires to teach its members the importance of responsibility and appropriate conduct at all times. This objective serves not only to improve the individual brother, but advances the reputation of the entire Fraternity. Sigma Chi requires that its members conquer the temptation to make insensitive statements or perform irresponsible acts. Any form of harassment or degradation of those outside or inside the Fraternity is unacceptable and constitutes behavior contrary to the Ritual and stated objectives of Sigma Chi.

A related aim of Sigma Chi is to instill in its members the value of service to others. Charitable activities may include fund-raising for charity, including the Children's Miracle Network, the Fraternity's suggested beneficiary, or service projects within the chapter's community. These efforts provide both needed service and uphold the idealistic aims of the Fraternity, expand the individual pledge or brother's perspective, and enhance the reputation of Sigma Chi.

An Ambitious Education

Mike Marko, 1997

Sigma Chi strives to complement one's college education. It encourages high academic achievement, and seeks to foster the desire and quest for opportunities to learn beyond the classroom. The Founders envisioned an organization which was literary in character, a tradition which Sigma Chi retains today.

A Sigma Chi chapter also embodies true democracy more closely than almost any other organization, and the leadership and social skills of brothers and pledges develop often prove indispensable after college. Any chapter officer can attest to the complexities of planning and executing activities such as a campus-wide charity fund-raiser or an alumni reunion. Finally, Sigma Chi’s learn from each other because a chapter draws together men whose experiences both inside and outside collegiate life vary considerably.