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Student interest sparks Sigma Pi's return to OU

Editors note: This article was originally published on January 27, 2009. It was updated in November 2018 to fix technical errors caused by multiple website updates since its original publication. The content of the story remains as it was published in 2009.

After more than 25 years of absence from campus, the Sigma Pi fraternity is recolonizing at Ohio University.

The international fraternity's OU chapter first came to OU in 1910, but closed in 1943 when chapter members joined another fraternity.

After recolonizing in 1970, the fraternity closed for a second time 12 years later because of low membership, said Will Wojcik, expansion consultant for Sigma Pi.

Now, the fraternity is returning to OU mostly due to student interest, and will conduct its colonization ceremony tonight in Bromley Hall.

“(Sigma Pi) did in fact have an interest group already on campus,” said Carol Preston, assistant director of Campus Life for Greek Life. “They're a fairly old chapter.”

Sigma Pi requires at least 25 recruits to start a colony. In order to transition from a colony to an official chapter, the group needs five more members than the average number of members of other fraternities on campus, Wojcik said.

OU fraternities have an average of 45 members, Preston said.

The fraternity has been in contact with about 40 male OU students who are interested in Sigma Pi since last year, Wojcik said, adding that Sigma Pi has recruited at least 25 men so far.

“(The student group) is kind of how we got interested in OU,” Wojcik said. “We do have a rich history here on campus.”

OU's Interfraternity Council opened up expansion for new campus chapters in July and extended the invitation to about 60 fraternities, Preston said.

From the nine organizations interested in colonizing at OU, the Council extended offers to Sigma Pi and Triangle Fraternity, an organization for men studying engineering, architecture or science. Triangle Fraternity declined the offer, Preston said.

The Council was interested in Sigma Pi because of the fraternity's pre-existing support on campus and its service projects, such as its Altruistic Campus Experience program that focuses on activities that benefit the university where the chapter is based, she said.

OU junior Matt Johnson has been communicating with Sigma Pi representatives about bringing the fraternity to campus since last year. Johnson hopes the colony will be chartered by next Winter Quarter.

“I heard about it from one of my best friends at Miami University,” said Johnson, who is studying marketing. “Just how they ran their frat, it seemed like they were always on top of things.”

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