UNC’s fraternities have added a new member to their ranks: Sigma Phi.
While the group has been a student organization at UNC since 2008, it received recognition from the Interfraternity Council Wednesday, said Jack Partain, president of the council.
Partain said the addition of a completely new fraternity to the council has not happened in recent history, though the council has seen some previously existing chapters be reintroduced to campus.
Pi Kappa Phi was the latest fraternity to be reintroduced in 2009, said Aaron Bachenheimer, director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Community Involvement.
Sigma Phi, which has 32 members, made a good fit to the council because of its focus on community involvement and strong emphasis on academic achievement, Partain said.
Sigma Phi’s path to recognition was unusual because it was not actively recruited to campus by the council like other fraternities have been in the past, Bachenheimer said.
The fraternity will hold associate member status with the council for one year, Bachenheimer said. During that year, it will hold most privileges of a full membership, but it will not be allowed to vote at council meetings.
If Sigma Phi upholds the council’s guidelines, it will become a full member next spring.
Josh Barrett, president of Sigma Phi, said he was pleased with the group’s more official status because it will offer the opportunity for more interaction with fellow Greek organizations.
“It just provides a more official and structured way for us to be more integrated with the Greek community,” he said.
Barrett said Sigma Phi has been actively seeking council recognition for the past school year.
The fraternity hopes to make the campus more aware of its presence by sponsoring events and bringing speakers to campus, Barrett said.
Bringing the fraternity’s rules in line with the council’s standards would require little change and only affect its recruitment policy, Barrett said.
Brandon Mayfield, Sigma Phi’s recruitment chairman, said the fraternity’s rules already mostly comply with council standards, citing that rush is open to all who are interested in both the fall and spring.
The only policy the fraternity might need to revise is its exact recruitment dates, which currently might not match those of the council, Mayfield said.
Michael Hardison, Sigma Phi’s social chairman, said receiving council recognition will enable the fraternity to get its name out around campus.
“Being part of the IFC is being part of the community,” he said.
“We are looking forward to entering that community, and we are looking forward to giving back to that community.”
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