As the SigEp banner was pulled off an official charter on stage at Northwestern University, all in attendance could see years of hard work and diligence pay off in front of their eyes.
That was the scene at the chartering banquet for the Illinois Lambda Chapter on Oct. 14, 2016. Chapter members, alumni, volunteers, Fraternity staff and National Directors gathered with Northwestern faculty and staff to celebrate the rechartering of the chapter.
Originally founded in 1990, the Northwestern Chapter lost its charter in 2012. Under unusual circumstances, the recolonization process began less than three months later in January 2013. At that time, a new group of students committed themselves to SigEp’s cardinal principles and the Balanced Man Program.
“In the beginning, the chapter was faced with extreme difficulty since the recolonization happened almost immediately,” said Chapter Counselor Roy Sye, Monmouth ’13. “There were many times when things got tough, yet the chapter pushed through, and look where they are today. The chapter recruits mature, balanced men quarter after quarter and participates in the Northwestern and Evanston communities.”
The 45-man chapter has outperformed the average campus GPA in seven of the past 10 quarters and most recently achieved a 3.43 GPA. The brothers have successfully implemented both the Balanced Man Program and Balanced Man Scholarship. They are now working on becoming an accredited SigEp Residential Learning Community. The chapter has also committed to practicing sustainable and eco-friendly initiatives at its chapter facility and has received recognition from Northwestern for its efforts.
At the chartering banquet, Student National Director Jeff Back, Cincinnati ’18, conferred the charter. In addition to Back and Sye, speakers included AVC President John Kaiser, Monmouth ’10; former Chapter President Tom Hyman, ’16; current Chapter President Andrew Jacobs, ’18; and Northwestern’s assistant director of fraternity and sorority life, Charles Andrean.
Each speaker conveyed how the chapter has rejected typical images of fraternities and pursued diversity in recruitment.“Our fraternity does not look like all the other fraternities on our campus, and we are proud of that fact,” Jacobs said. “We are proud to now have one of the most ethnically, racially and socioeconomically diverse chapters on our campus.”