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New year, new chapters from IUPUI Fraternity and Sorority Life

Aug 29, 2018
Two men talk.
With new fraternity and sorority chapters, IUPUI now offers more opportunities for leadership, networking, scholarship and support.Photo by Liz Kaye, Indiana University

If you’re looking to write a fresh story at IUPUI this year, Fraternity and Sorority Life has a few new chapters for you. Sigma Psi Zeta, a multicultural sorority, and the fraternity Pi Kappa Phi are your latest Greek opportunities on campus.

Sigma Psi Zeta

One of Sigma Psi Zeta’s greatest strengths might be that it’s rooted in its members’ passions. Originally an interest group known as Sisters Bonded Together as One, it is an official partner of the It’s On Us initiative to end sexual assault on college campuses. The group officially earned its Sigma Psi Zeta, Inc. charter in April, inducting 11 founding members that same month.

As one of IUPUI’s multicultural Greek organizations, Sigma Psi Zeta supports women of color and of Asian heritage, making the chapter an especially good option for those looking for a more diverse experience on campus.

Six sorority members pose with hula hoops outside on the IUPUI campus.
Alpha Sigma Alpha hosts Hula Hoop for Hope annually in support of Special Olympics Indiana.Photo by Liz Kaye, IU Communications

INDIANAPOLIS – Fraternity and Sorority Life, within the IUPUI Division of Student Affairs, will host Ginny Carroll, founder of Circle of Sisterhood and CEO of consulting firm inGiNuity, for its Panhellenic Association Academy Nov. 27 at the Campus Center. The academy kicks off FSL’s fundraising campaign for Circle of Sisterhood, supporting girls’ education in impoverished countries.

The official philanthropy for the National Panhellenic Conference, Circle of Sisterhood raises money to provide tuition, school lunches, uniforms and textbooks for girls and women in underdeveloped nations. IUPUI is launching its largest council-wide campaign in support of the charity. The IUPUI council, composed of 600 women from six chapters, plans to donate the funds to support 600 girls’ education.

“Panhellenic was formed as a women’s empowerment movement. What better way to ensure that women can be empowered than by affording them a great education?” said Mat Greer, coordinator for fraternity and sorority life advising. “Even though we’re in Indianapolis and not necessarily going to Africa or South America, this really helps show that we are being philanthropic, but also hopefully down the road sending people to these places to do some mission work through Circle of Sisterhood.”

According to Circle of Sisterhood, a $4 donation provides lunches to one student for the year, while $7 provides textbooks, $13 tuition and $29 a new uniform. Those wishing to donate to FSL’s Circle of Sisterhood 2018 campaign should contact the vice president of service and programming on Panhellenic Council at .

As part of the annual academy, sorority members will participate in cohort-specific educational sessions. Seniors will focus on how to continue philanthropic activities after graduation through a “backpack to briefcase” approach. Juniors, expected to transition into leadership roles, will learn how to maintain awareness and momentum of existing philanthropy and service programs. Sessions for new members and sophomores will concentrate on the importance of giving at the foundation of Greek life.

“I think what makes us very different from other clubs or organizations is the philanthropic work that fraternities and sororities do,” Greer said. “Obviously, the other thing is lifetime membership, and hopefully the philanthropic and service work continue through that lifetime membership.

“We were founded to be the leaders in the community. In order to be the leaders, we need to ensure that we’re always helping to change the community for the better.”

The Fraternity and Sorority Life community at IUPUI hosts a number of philanthropic and service events throughout the year for both its council’s national organizations as well as chapter-specific causes. A sample of these events include Phi Mu’s 36-hour Teeter-Totter-A-Thon benefiting Riley Hospital for Children, Alpha Sigma Alpha’s Hula Hoop for Hope in support of Special Olympics Indiana, and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc.’s Swim 1922, which strengthens USA Swimming’s commitment to diversity, increases access to swim participation and decreases drowning rates.

Fraternity and Sorority Life at IUPUI consists of 20 chapters representing organizations from the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the National Panhellenic Conference and the North American Interfraternity Conference. Its vision includes understanding the importance of and participating in sustained civic engagement and educationally meaningful service and philanthropy as well as increasing awareness of and respecting differences to build cultural competencies.

The Circle of Sisterhood Foundation is based in Indianapolis but has granted nearly $900,000 to organizations in 22 countries and founded 15 school builds in Malawi, Senegal, Haiti, Nepal and Nicaragua since 2010. Its mission is to leverage the collective influence of sorority women to raise financial resources for entities around the world that are removing educational barriers for girls and women facing poverty and oppression.

“If you’re looking for a certain population when coming to IUPUI, Sigma Psi Zeta might be one that is attractive to you,” Chris Hager, assistant director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, said. “But you don’t have to be Asian. Anybody can join the organization. If that’s where you feel your heritage is or who you associate with, that’s a good way to get involved. They offer a unique, diverse experience in their organization that a lot of other chapters can’t offer.

“Plus, Greek life is a great way to be exposed to other organizations. A lot of our members are part of other organizations, so it’s a way to quickly meet people and have friends.”

Pi Kappa Phi

After a nearly 20-year break, Pi Kappa Phi is back on campus with strong support from IUPUI, its national headquarters and its alumni. What sets this fraternity apart? Service.

Pi Kappa Phi is the only Greek organization to develop and maintain its own national philanthropy: The Ability Experience. Pi Kappa Phi has raised more than $15 million nationwide for The Ability Experience in support of individuals with disabilities. Perhaps one its most popular national fundraising and awareness efforts is Journey of Hope, an annual bicycle ride from the West Coast to Washington, D.C.

“They have a lot of pride in their philanthropy. If you’re really into service and philanthropy, they have that national program that, to them, is a hallmark for their organization,” Hager said. “You can walk into any Pi Kappa Phi in the nation and ask about The Ability Experience, and they’re all going to say how they contribute to it and how much they alone have contributed to that philanthropy for their organization.”

Start your story

This is your chance to join Sigma Psi Zeta, Pi Kappa Phi or any of the other 20 Greek chapters at IUPUI. Not only will you be part of vibrant organizations that impact campus and communities nationwide, but you’ll also benefit from leadership and networking opportunities and thrive under their system of scholarship and support. It’s time to get started:

  • Decide what kind of experience you want. What are your personal values, and how will they match up with a Greek chapter’s? What types of philanthropies are you interested in? How big of an organization would you like to get involved with? “Do you want to be part of an organization that has a lot of chapters in the state, or do you want to be part of an organization that is smaller nationally so that you can make a bigger impact individually through that experience?” Hager said.
  • Visit the Division of Student Affairs website to see what fraternities and sororities are offered. Then check out which of those groups will provide the type of experience you identified in step one.
  • Attend Fraternity and Sorority Life events on campus or a mixer hosted by a chapter. Meet the other students already involved and ask questions to make sure you’re a good fit for each other. Don’t forget to follow the chapters on social media to get updates about events and key recruitment and intake dates.

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