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IFC to add Sigma Pi, SAE chapters

The Interfraternity Council will begin the process of expanding its membership to include two new fraternities next semester, an IFC press release announced Thursday.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and Sigma Pi fraternity were selected after a nine-month search process that included written submissions from 10 national fraternities, said IFC Executive Vice President Jordan Giordano, a junior who chaired the expansion committee.

The IFC community voted to expand its membership last fall, Giordano said. He added that this year's IFC rush made it clear that more fraternities were necessary.

"In the last round of recruitment there were 140 men who did not get a bid from any group, which shows that there is certainly demand for more fraternities," he said.

Giordano noted that the renovation of Few Quadrangle and the lack of living space on West Campus will not pose a problem because both fraternities will not be immediately eligible to receive University housing.

SAE will begin its recolonization process in Spring 2009 and Sigma Pi will most likely begin to colonize in Spring 2011, said IFC President Lee Hathaway, a junior.

"Sigma Alpha Epsilon is going to have a presence on campus in the Fall just getting the word out and publicizing that they will be recolonizing in the Spring," he said.

Hathaway said no members of the off-campus fraternity, Alpha Delta Phi-formerly chartered as SAE-would be able to join the new SAE chapter at Duke.

"They made that decision to join Alpha Delta Phi," he said. "The last SAEs to join SAE graduated in 2005, so none of the current members were ever initiated under SAE. This new group is looking only for unaffiliated men."

SAE's strong alumni network was one factor that impacted its selection, according to the press release. SAE was on campus at Duke from 1931 to 2002.

"Some of them have been very strong supporters or contributors to Duke over the years," said SAE Regional Alumni Volunteer John Stringfellow, who helped compile a presentation to IFC.

Hathaway said Sigma Pi brought current student members of the fraternity from North Carolina State University and Wake Forest University to present their program offerings to IFC.

"Sigma Pi was incredibly impressive, and they really pushed commitment to taking a group of diverse people," he said.

Stringfellow said SAE wanted to recolonize a chapter at Duke to counteract some of the negative publicity of the former chapter that was removed by the IFC.

He said despite the large number of SAE legacies who are current members of Alpha Delta Phi, none of these students could be initiated into another fraternity according to national policy. Stringfellow added that he does not expect members of Alpha Delta Phi would want to join the new SAE chapter.

Giordano said the strong alumni base was not the only reason SAE was selected, but he added that both fraternities offered impressive courses and campus improvement projects.


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