LMU adds two new fraternities on campus

Loyola Marymount University, News, The Los Angeles Loyolan

Originally published in the Los Angeles Loyolan. For original, please refer to: LMU adds two new fraternities on campus – Los Angeles Loyolan.

A process that began in Spring 2012 has finally born fruit: Two new fraternities will be joining LMU’s Greek Life over the next two years.

Delta Sigma Phi and Phi Delta Theta, two national fraternities, will be establishing chapters in this and the next academic year, respectively.

“These organizations were not only a strong match with our institutional mission and values, they offer the resources necessary to start and maintain a successful fraternal chapter at LMU,” said Assistant Director of Student Leadership and Development (SLD) and Greek Adviser Dan Faill in a letter to leaders in the LMU and Greek Life communities sent this past June.

DeMarkco Butler, the director of expansion for Phi Delta Theta, spoke optimistically about the effect the new fraternity will hopefully have on campus.

“I believe Phi Delta Theta will complement the already great culture that the Greek community has by adding another strong international fraternity,” he said. “Additionally, we look to bring new recruitment tactics [and] foster healthy relationships amongst [Loyola] Marymount University and [the] Greek community.”

The process of expanding the number of fraternities on campus began with Student Leadership and Development (SLD) determining that the campus could support further growth in the Greek Life community. According to the Greek Life policies in LMU Community Standards, SLD is the only organization on campus that can initiate an expansion process.

According to Faill’s letter, the process is a direct response to low recruitment ratios among fraternities in recent years. “In Spring 2012, nearly 60 percent of eligible men who registered for fraternity recruitment were not offered an invitation to join one of our registered groups. However, our six registered fraternities still saw increased membership numbers,” the letter said. “It became evident more opportunities for our undergraduate men were needed.”

Current LMU fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon’s President Michael Hanover recognized the need for more fraternities as well. “The number of men that rush versus the ratio that actually get bids is much lower than that of sororities. And I think that’s unfortunate,” he said. “I don’t know how to fix that besides adding new fraternities, because I believe that each fraternity should have the right to choose, and I don’t think that forcing certain recruitment practices on a chapter is fair.”

The two fraternities were chosen from a pool of six that gave presentations on campus. That pool was narrowed down from 12 fraternities that submitted informational packets to the University in March. The informational sessions were held on campus in April.

The Fraternity Review and Fraternity Expansion Committees, according to Faill’s letter, “spent many hours reviewing application materials from various organizations, discussing the values and match with LMU and interviewing the finalists.” The committees included representatives from University Relations, Student Life, SLD, Ethnic and Intercultural Services, Greek Council and the presidents of three current fraternities and two sororities.

Hanover, a junior political science major, first heard of the expansion at the beginning of his presidential term in spring. However, according to the letter sent by Faill, Sigma Phi Epsilon was the only fraternity without a representative in the expansion process. (Lambda Chi Alpha, Alpha Delta Gamma and Beta Theta Pi’s presidents all served on one of the committees, while Sigma Chi’s Joe Dzida participated in his capacity as Greek Council president.)

“I knew that there were 12 possibilities, I knew that there were six informational sessions, I believe I attended one,” Hanover said. “I read through some of the books that each fraternity submitted. Other than that, I was absolutely uninvolved. I wish I had a little more opportunity to give some input.”

According to Hanover, the members of Sigma Phi Epsilon have been informed by the head of their alumni volunteer corporation as to what exactly happens when a new fraternity joins campus.

“The thing I’ve been focusing on as I think about it is how their national headquarters … will step in and basically take care of them and all their needs, help them with recruiting and that kind of thing,” he said. “So it’s not just a new group of students organizing. It’s more than that. It’s a national group creating a new body of students here on campus.”

“To prepare for the LMU colonization, we will do a few things,” Butler said. “[We will] host a Phi Delta Theta alumni reception that will inform the area alumni on our upcoming expansion project at LMU [and] build a Chapter Advisory Board that consists of Phi Delta Theta alumni, non-Phi Delt affiliates, non-Greek men/women professionals and University officials.”

On his end, Hanover is “flat-out excited” to see how the new fraternities form. As his presidential term winds down, however, he spoke of leaving a legacy of acceptance of these new fraternities to his brothers.

“All I would tell the other guys [in Sigma Phi Epsilon] is that everybody deserves an opportunity to form an organization and to make it the best that they can, and all I’d tell them is, ‘Wish those guys the best of luck. Help them out when you can. Give them advice when you can,’” he said. “‘But always focus on … making Sig Ep the best that you can to the best of your abilities.’”

new recruitment tactics [and] foster healthy relationships amongst [Loyola] Marymount University and [the] Greek community.”

The process of expanding the number of fraternities on campus began with SLD determining that the campus could support further growth in the Greek Life community. According to the Greek Life policies in LMU Community Standards, SLD is the only organization on campus that can initiate a Greek Life expansion process.

According to Faill’s letter, the process is a direct response to low recruitment ratios among fraternities in recent years. “In Spring 2012, nearly 60 percent of eligible men who registered for fraternity recruitment were not offered an invitation to join one of our registered groups. However, our six registered fraternities still saw increased membership numbers,” the letter said. “It became evident more opportunities for our undergraduate men were needed.”

Current LMU fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon’s President Michael Hanover recognized the need for more fraternities as well. “The number of men that rush versus the ratio that actually get bids is much lower than that of sororities. And I think that’s unfortunate,” he said. “I don’t know how to fix that besides adding new fraternities, because I believe that each fraternity should have the right to choose, and I don’t think that forcing certain recruitment practices on a chapter is fair.”

Two fraternities were chosen from a pool of six that gave presentations on campus. That pool was narrowed down from 12 fraternities that submitted informational packets to the University in March. The informational sessions were held on campus in April.

The Fraternity Review and Fraternity Expansion Committees, according to Faill’s letter, “spent many hours reviewing application materials from various organizations, discussing the values that match with LMU and interviewing the finalists.” The committees included representatives from University Relations, Student Life, SLD, Ethnic and Intercultural Services, Greek Council and the presidents of three current fraternities and two sororities.

Hanover, a junior political science major, first heard of the expansion at the beginning of his presidential term in spring. However, based off the letter sent by Faill, Sigma Phi Epsilon was one of two fraternities without a representative in the expansion process. (Lambda Chi Alpha, Alpha Delta Gamma and Beta Theta Pi’s presidents all served on one of the committees, while Sigma Chi’s Joe Dzida participated in his capacity as Greek Council president.)

“I knew that there were 12 possibilities, I knew that there were six informational sessions, I believe I attended one,” Hanover said. “I read through some of the books that each fraternity submitted. Other than that, I was absolutely uninvolved. I wish I had a little more opportunity to give some input.”

According to Hanover, the members of Sigma Phi Epsilon were informed by the head of their alumni volunteer corporation as to what exactly happens when a new fraternity joins campus.

“The thing I’ve been focusing on as I think about it is how their national headquarters … will step in and basically take care of them and all their needs, help them with recruiting and that kind of thing,” he said. “So it’s not just a new group of students organizing. It’s more than that. It’s a national group creating a new body of students here on campus.”

“To prepare for the LMU colonization, we will do a few things,” Butler said. “[We will] host a Phi Delta Theta alumni reception that will inform the area alumni on our upcoming expansion project at LMU [and] build a Chapter Advisory Board that consists of Phi Delta Theta alumni, non-Phi Delt affiliates, non-Greek men/women professionals and University officials.”

On his end, Hanover is “flat-out excited” to see how the new fraternities form. As his presidential term winds down, however, he spoke of leaving a legacy of acceptance of these new fraternities to his brothers.

“All I would tell the other guys [in Sigma Phi Epsilon] is that everybody deserves an opportunity to form an organization and to make it the best that they can,” he said.

He added, “all I’d tell them is, ‘Wish those guys the best of luck. Help them out when you can. Give them advice when you can.”

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