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[Local Chapter]

        The Theta Iota Chapter of Sigma Pi Fraternity was founded on April 26, 2003 by the thirty-four founding fathers. As the youngest fraternity on campus, we have already made an immense impact on our campus. In just two years on campus, we have been awarded Fraternity of the Year, Event of the Year, Greek Man of the Year, Excellence in Philanthropy and Community Service, and several other prestigious awards during the annual Greek Awards Banquet.

 

[Our Creed]

I Believe in Sigma Pi,

a Fellowship of kindred minds,

united in Brotherhood to advance Truth and Justice,

to promote Scholarship, to encourage Chivalry,

to diffuse Culture, and to develop Character,

in the service of God and Man;

and I will strive to make real the

Fraternity's ideals in my own daily life.

 

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[Our History]

 

On January 26, 1897, Miss Charlotte N. Malotte, the professor of Latin and French, spoke to a student group at the chapel hour. She spoke on the subject of “College Fraternities” which sparked the interest of several students. Then, on the afternoon of February 26, a new fraternity had its first meeting. When, after a long session, the meeting adjourned, a literary society had been born, though it was yet unnamed.

The founders of the Fraternity, all cadets at Vincennes University, were William Raper Kennedy, James Thompson Kingsbury, George Martin Patterson, and Rolin Rosco James. The first three were seniors; James was a freshman.

Samuel and Maurice Bayard were the first initiates. They were made members of the Fraternity before a name was selected or a constitution adopted. Many of the first meetings of the Fraternity were held at the old Bayard home. At the Bayard house, the constitution was written and the first ritual was developed and used in the loft of the family’s carriage house.

According to history, the mother of the first two initiates, Mrs. Bayard, took a deep interest in the organization and used her influence to steer Tau Phi Delta in the right direction. On one occasion she entered the library of her home to find a meeting of the Fraternity in progress. The business of the hour was the adoption of an appropriate motto. No satisfactory agreement on the subject had been reached. Taking a volume of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poems from a shelf, she turned to A Death In The Desert, and read:

Progress, man’s distinctive mark alone,
Not God’s, and not the beasts’;
God is, they are.
Man partly is and wholly hopes to be.
“That,” Mrs. Bayard said, “would make an excellent motto for your organization.” With this remark she left the room, and her suggestion had accomplished its purpose. A motto had been found.

It would be appropriate to say Tau Phi Delta was hardly a fraternity chapter, as that term is now understood. Rather, it was a combination of the fraternity idea and the old style literary society, the like of which flourished in almost every college in the United States in the 19th century. However, in all its outward aspects, Tau Phi Delta possessed the characteristics of a fraternity chapter. It was strictly secret and possessed a password and a grip and included an initiation ritual. Its badge was a simple black shield, with a border of gold, upon which were displayed the Greek letters TFD. The colors were black and gold, and the red clover was the official flower.

In the winter of 1903-04 the Fraternity ceased to meet in the college building and rented a small cottage at 110 South Third Street in Vincennes. This building was occupied until the end of the college year and is considered the first chapter house occupied by the Fraternity.

Tau Phi Delta first began to show signs of expansion in about 1904-05. The beginning of the college year found three members of the Fraternity attending the University of Illinois and seven at Indiana University. In May, 1905, the members at Indiana effected an organization and petitioned the Vincennes chapter for authority to establish a second chapter there. The petition was denied. The members felt the proposed chapter would be unable to compete with the fraternities on the state university campus. During that year also, the organization first began to officially call itself a fraternity, and steps were taken toward incorporation under the laws of Indiana. A proposal of one of the members to expand the Fraternity into a national organization with chapters in junior colleges was also considered. Suitable material was not found, and the project was abandoned without formal action.

February 11, 1907, is a significant date in the Fraternity’s history. It was then the members last assembled as Tau Phi Delta and first assumed the name of Sigma Pi Fraternity of the United States. Tau Phi Delta had had limited ambitions for expansion. Soon after the name change, Sigma Pi embarked on a program of establishing chapters on other campuses.

In 1984, the Fraternity again changed its name. At the 37th Biennial Convocation, Sigma Pi became an international fraternity by accepting its first Canadian chapter. This international status required the Fraternity to become Sigma Pi Fraternity, International. Today, Sigma Pi is comprised of 113 active chapters, 11 colonies, over 82,000 alumni.

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[Our Ideals]

The ideals of Sigma Pi, which constitute the underlying reason for the Fraternity's rise, development, and continued existence, are plainly set forth in the Constitution, and are in essence as follows: It will be observed that these five objects touch upon three different phases of a man's life: namely, his Contacts, his Concepts, and his Controls.

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[Our Obligations]

Not every man who joins a fraternity is going to become a devout member. It is only natural some will develop a greater interest than others. Sigma Pi expects from every member and pledge a reasonable amount of interest and participation in its affairs; in other words membership involves obligations. These obligations can be grouped under ten general headings and, although considered from the standpoint of a pledge, they apply to active and alumni brothers as well.

1.  Give proper attention to the interest of Sigma Pi

Ordinarily a man should not become a pledge to a fraternity unless he can give a reasonable amount of time to its affairs. Let us say not less than three or four hours a week to serious thought and real work contributions toward the improvement of the organization.

Every pledge should look forward to holding at least one major chapter office. A pledge should make certain he will be able to attend chapter meetings and social affairs, and should not permit social engagements or interests without the chapter to interfere with fraternity meetings and functions. Upon becoming an alumnus, a member should endeavor to affiliate with an alumni group, to give both moral and general support to his chapter and to return to the campus for reunions, etc.

2.  Regard the Fraternity with a spirit of sincerity and respect and give earnest consideration to its teachings and ideals

It is absurd to attempt to control another's thoughts; nor would it be desirable or in harmony with the ideals of Sigma Pi to suppress individuality or freedom of mind. When a pledge accepts the offer of membership, he obligates himself to regard the Fraternity with a spirit of sincerity and respect and to give its teachings his sincere consideration. Of course, he is expected to live up to his obligations. A disrespectful attitude toward the Fraternity is uncalled for and out of place and constitutes sufficient grounds for reprimand or other punishment, so long as the Fraternity continues to be motivated by its ideals.

3.  Meet financial obligations promptly and fully

Every pledge and member is expected to assume not only his share of financial obligations in the Fraternity but also to pay all house bills, dues, and assessments when due. A chapter must have income to operate just the same as any commercial institution. Because of the mutual character of Sigma Pi and the fact a chapter is maintained by students whose finances are sometimes limited, it is even more necessary bills be paid promptly to the Fraternity. No one should ever become a pledge to a fraternity without first being informed specifically about all financial obligations. A pledge should withdraw if at any time he finds he cannot meet his fraternity obligations in full and with promptness. A chapter is thoroughly justified and, in accordance with the regulations of the Grand Chapter of Sigma Pi, is in fact required to sever relations with any pledge or member who does not pay his bills promptly.

4.  Cheerfully perform tasks that may be assigned for the good of the Fraternity

No man wants to belong to a fraternity he cannot respect. Before initiation the pledge is not in a position to know or appreciate fully the significance and importance of Sigma Pi ideals and influences. A pledge is expected to join in with active members in performing duties necessary to the chapter's well-being. In addition to insuring their respect, this method of service offers the satisfaction of utilizing their labor toward the progress of an institution in which they have a vital interest. Sometimes members do not discharge their duties and responsibilities with efficiency and dispatch. This sets a very poor example for the pledges. No member, whether an undergraduate or an alumnus, should assume an office or accept appointment on any committee in his chapter or in the Grand Chapter unless he has both the time and the intention to perform to the very best of his ability all tasks connected with the office.

5.  At all times be a gentleman and use moderation in all things

Courtesy and consideration, the foundation of manners and major ingredients or morals, should be the guiding principles in a pledge's or member's behavior not only in the chapter house and among fraternity brothers but everywhere. Neither pledges nor initiated members should show disrespect in any way whatsoever to the name of Sigma Pi.

6.  Strive at all times to cooperate for the good of the Fraternity

When a pledge agrees to support the interests of the Brotherhood, he pledges himself to stand by Sigma Pi, not according to any precisely stated formula, but on general principles and in a broad way. This obligation means he will defend the name of Sigma Pi even at the temporary expense of some personal prestige, if such a sacrifice be necessary; he will work for it until he knows fatigue; and he will be ever loyal and true in acknowledgment of the trust vested in him by his associates in the Fraternity. It means he will not discuss fraternity matters of a confidential, personal, or secret nature among non-members. It means he will be constantly on the alert to learn about Sigma Pi in order that he may serve it more capably. It means he will never shun an opportunity to give his best efforts toward advancing its ideals and good reputation. It means he will attend meetings and chapter functions, he will accept appointments, and he will contribute willingly his time, thought, energy and funds, within reason, toward the advancement of the Fraternity.

7.  Work diligently to maintain good scholarship

Application to academic work and studies is a college man's first duty to his alma mater, his fraternity and himself. He comes to college primarily to acquire knowledge, and this is accomplished by intelligent and conscientious study. Nothing is more fundamental. Scholarship is the most important of all college activities. Nothing should be permitted to interfere with it to such an extent that the student defeats his own purpose in coming to college. It is honorable and directly in harmony with Sigma Pi ideals and standards to study hard, and to be proud of a good scholastic record. Neither a pledge nor an active brother should ever forget: one of the first objectives of the Fraternity is "to establish and maintain and aristocracy of learning," and that second, industry in selecting college graduates for employment, looks upon good grades as an indication of a man's capabilities.

8.  Participate in worthy college activities

A freshman soon learns that the term "activities" embraces all extra-curricular interests at college and covers a multitude of the most varied occupations and diversions and, in some cases, a "multitude of sins." Participation in college is good and is encouraged pro-vided: it does not interfere with scholarship; it does no injury through physical overexertion; the activities are in themselves worthwhile; and those participating are reasonably well fitted to do so.

Pledges are urged to become involved in constructive activities for which they have a particular bent, if doing so does not overtax their energies or interfere with studies. Pledges and members are cautioned about taking on too many different activities. It is far better to devote one's energies to a few sound and worthy interests, to contribute the most to these, and to derive the most from them than to be a promiscuous joiner. Pledges and members are urged to take part in some outside activities but to use discretion in selecting them.

9.  Profit by associations with men in a spirit of fraternalism

Every pledge is more or less bewildered during his early days of pledgeship. If he has lived in a college town and "knows the ropes" of fraternity organization, he will at least be astonished by the assemblage of personalities. There are a thousand distinct species, and all are different and a bit hard to understand. But it is by living and knowing how to get along with all kinds of people that a man can profit the most from his personal contacts and associations while a college student. Living in intimate contact with interesting personalities, some of whom are likely to be a bit uncongenial at times, offers an opportunity granted to only a few. Most college men never fully appreciate the definite knowledge of human nature which they gain from seeing their fraternity brothers and fellow students at close range.

This opportunity for a life of such intimacy may never again come to them. Few also appreciate how their own characters are molded by this experience, and how tolerance and understanding grow through democratic living in a diversity of personalities.

10.  Be an exemplary Sigma Pi and citizen

A good pledge and a good fraternity man will respect and abide by the laws and regulations of his fraternity and college, as well as the laws of state. Laws are not intended to restrict personal freedom but are designed for the protection and welfare of all. The more complicated society becomes, the more each individual has to consider his relationships with and responsibilities to others. It is important for a fraternity chapter to promote goodwill on the campus among the affiliated and non-fraternity students. Someone has said that the membership of a chapter is made up of four kinds of bones. There are the wishbones that spend all their time wishing someone else would do the work. Then there are the jaw bones who do all the talking, but very little of anything else. Next comes the knuckle bones who knock everything that everybody else tries to do. And finally there are the backbones who get under the load and do the work. What kind of member will you be? Remember, apathy constitutes the death of a fraternity and an individual.

In general, it can be said Sigma Pi Fraternity hopes and strives to bring out the best in every one of its members. In this hope, however, the Fraternity is doomed to failure unless each member is willing to put forth his best. It should be the personal ambition of every Sigma Pi to conduct himself and to realize the Fraternity's ideals in his own daily life, so that those, both in and out of the Fraternity will want to emulate his character and accomplishments in advancing truth and justice. As long as you have the honor and privilege of doing so, wear with pride your pledge pin and the Sigma Pi badge. Be proud of being a Sigma Pi. Be proud of being a fraternity man.

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[Parents Guide]

As your son prepares to attend college, he will have many opportunities to become involved in campus life. Becoming a part of our fraternity is one of them!

What will my son get out of Greek life and your Fraternity that they would not get out of any other college organization?
Coming to college is one of the major life changes that your son will go through. Joining our fraternity will help make the transition easier. The fraternity experience is multifaceted and offers numerous opportunities to your student. Developing life-long friendships with the members in their chapter helps make the campus smaller. For many members, our chapter has become a home away from home. In addition to the brotherhood, our chapter is dedicated to enhancing leadership, scholarship, philanthropy/service, and financial responsibility through various programs and opportunities. It will be up to your son to determine the level of involvement they want to have in our organization and what kind of experience it will be for them.

How will joining your Fraternity now benefit my son after college?
The life long friendships your son will make through our chapter can last into post-college years. Greeks have national networks for their members to use for securing jobs and advancing their careers. Membership in a chapter of Sigma Pi is a life-long experience that the member and the fraternity enjoy together. Joining now is really an investment in your son's future as they will reap the benefits now and for a lifetime. Wherever a member ends up after college, chances are he will be able to find other members of Sigma Pi.

Will my son’s academics be compromised if they join your Fraternity?
Students often find managing their time difficult when moving from the highly structured high school environment to the freedom of college life. Greek membership assists in that transition by offering scholarship programs that may include study partners, mandatory study hours, and time management workshops. Your son can also access the network of our chapter members who already know how to use campus resources like the library, study skills center, computer labs, and academic advisors. Nothing, however, can take the place of a disciplined and academically-focused student to ensure success in college.

What is a Philanthropy or Service Project?
The Brothers of Sigma Pi take it as part of our mission to support our various philanthropies (non-for-profit causes). Throughout the year, our chapter spends time fundraising and volunteering to help our particular philanthropy. The time spent together on philanthropic and service events is one of the many times that our  fraternity members have the opportunity to bond, while making a difference in a community member’s life.

How much time does a chapter take up?
The first semester is the most time intensive as the new member goes through the chapter’s Foundation of Membership Education Program. The time spent in this program will give your student the opportunity to develop their leadership and time management skills, learn about the history of the Fraternity, develop friendships with their new member class, as well as the rest of the chapter, and allow them to become involved with other organizations. After the initiation into our chapter, expectations will vary. Our chapter has weekly chapter meetings and other mandatory events (philanthropic, service, initiation) throughout the year, but they are planned well in advance. The more your son puts into the chapter the more he will get out of being a member!

What does it cost to be a member?
The Greek Experience is an investment in your student's future. The leadership skills, the academic assistance, and friendships will benefit your child beyond their college days. The perception that fraternities are only an option for “rich” students is widespread and false. Greek organizations are quite affordable and fees go to services that will positively impact your son. Many students work to supplement funding for their dues. Member’s dues directly support the betterment of the chapter and the national organization. To assist members, chapters may offer various scholarships and grants. We encourage your son to ask questions related to finances during the recruitment process. We also encourage you to be ”hands-on” in this decision if you have any questions about the obligations regarding finances.

Here are the fees associated with membership in Sigma Pi:

Pledge Fee: $100 (covers pledge pin, pledge manual, and pledge education fees)

Initiation Fee: $325 (covers initiation expenses, Fraternity badge, lifelong membership to the Fraternity,  

                               lifelong subscription to the Fraternity magazine, and office fees)

Local Dues: Local dues vary from year to year, usually less than $300 per year.

Are fraternities primarily social in nature?
There is a social aspect to the Greek community but these “social” events include education programs/workshops, community service events, intramural sports, Parent’s Day, Homecoming and dinner exchanges in addition to parties and socials. Today’s Greek communities across the nation have adopted a stringent approach to socializing thereby creating a safer, more beneficial environment for members.

What about hazing?
Sigma Pi prohibits all forms of hazing. A holistic definition of hazing can also be found in our University’s Code of Polices and Regulations Applying to All Students. The national Fraternity investigates all allegations.

What is my role as a parent?
Take the time to find out more about our chapter. Ask questions about what our organizations will offer your child and allow them to make the best decision for themselves.

As you look into the Greek Community with your son consider the following information compiled by national studies:
Fraternity affiliation can positively influence retention through graduation. Fraternity affiliation directly impacts campus involvement and overall student satisfaction with college. Fraternity affiliation can positively influence involvement in civic organizations after college. Some statistics compiled by the North-American Interfraternity Conference include:

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