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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Sigma Chi back at UA

    UA president Robert Shelton speaks during a Sigma Chi initiation event celebrating the end of a five-year probation and a return to the UA Saturday afternoon.
    UA president Robert Shelton speaks during a Sigma Chi initiation event celebrating the end of a five-year probation and a return to the UA Saturday afternoon.

    The 224th chapter of Sigma Chi fraternity, UA’s Beta Phi chapter, was officially re-installed Saturday, following their initiation at the Marriot Hotel on Euclid Avenue and Second Street.

    “”Today is first formal initiation for being a Sigma Chi chapter at this university,”” Chapter Advisor Robin Winters said. “”We installed the chapter and installed every brother that has been involved as a colony and an active member.””

    Family, friends and young and old members of Sigma Chi traveled to Tucson from several states in order to partake in the event, said Winters, who served as a mentor and coach for the chapter as it searched for reinstatement after it was kicked off campus following a 2002 hazing incident.

    Among many special guests at the Installation Banquet were UA President Robert Shelton, Associate Students of the University of Arizona President Tommy Bruce, UA 1942 Sigma Chi Alum and former Dean of Students Robert Svob, current Dean of Students Carol Thompson and National Grand Consul Officers of the Sigma Chi Fraternity Organization.

    Matthew Ryan, a finance junior and newly initiated member of Sigma Chi, said this past weekend was undoubtedly the best of his life.

    “”I started with the Alpha Pledge Class a year and a half ago, so I was here right from the get-go,”” Ryan said. “”These are ideals of brotherhood and friendship that I can share with others today are some you can cherish for a lifetime.””

    ASUA President Tommy Bruce said that it was important for the UA to continue to add new fraternities to the campus.

    “”Greek life is a very strong and important aspect of our campus,”” Bruce said. “”Whenever we can add another entity of Greek life or another member of the family such as Sigma Chi today is such a wonderful and great day to witness.””

    Shelton spoke about the importance of leadership, brotherhood, community service and campus involvement of Greek members.

    The fraternity was founded in Oxford, Ohio in 1855 and today has more than 200 active undergraduate chapters at almost every major university nationwide, UA Alum and former Sigma Chi president Kai Kaapro said.

    “”We are so happy to have the 224th chapter re-installed today and almost 70 active members here at UA,”” Kaapro said.

    Dane Denby, a journalism sophomore and new Sigma Chi, said members of the former chapter have been working since the fall of 2007 to bring the official title of Sigma Chi back to the UA.

    Matthew Cole, a pre-business sophomore and newly initiated Sigma Chi, was part of the first pledge class in the Fall of 2007.

    While it took almost 18 months to re-install the organization on the UA campus, he said, it was worth every minute.

    “”This is a landmark for me. After a year and a half, a real tremendous experience,”” Matthew Cole said.

    UA Junior and Alpha Phi sorority president Sydney Fong was also honored as UA’s first Sigma Chi Sweetheart.

    “”It is such an honor to be their first Sweetheart and I am so proud of them,”” Fong said.

    “”I understand that operating anything in the Greek system is not easy and nothing could be more difficult than starting your own chapter.””

    Andrew Cole, an engineering management junior, shared a few words as the newly elected President of Sigma Chi.

    “”It’s not necessarily where you’re going or rather where you get to, but how you get there,”” he said. “”The way these guys have traveled, the journey they’ve taken is a journey that is profound and that takes a better picture of the quality and this chapter of the men of Sigma Chi.””

    Andrew Cole said Sigma Chi has already received several recognitions for community service, academics and overall leadership within the UA Greek system since returning to campus.

    Robert Jones, the 65th International Grand Consul President for Sigma Chi Fraternity signed and re-installed the chapter.

    “”From the caliber of young men that I have seen in my brief exposure to them I am quite convinced that this (chapter) will take and will work,”” Jones said.

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