Written by Director of Strategic Growth Lanse Macke (Oregon State ’11)
You may be wondering what an “interest group” actually is, and how it differs from a Fraternity chapter.
By our organization’s definition, an interest group is any number of undergraduate men, assembled on a university or college campus at which Sigma Pi does not currently have an active group, for the purpose of organizing or re-colonizing Sigma Pi Fraternity at that institution. Often times, an interest group may be started by an initiated member of Sigma Pi who has transferred to a new school, by students whose fathers or grandfathers are members of Sigma Pi, or by men whose friends at other universities have enjoyed their experience in Sigma Pi.
Before going any further, it is important to note that an interest group is not to be confused with a colony of a Fraternity, or an actual Fraternity chapter. Interest groups have no official recognition from the Executive Office or their host college or university and have not completed any form of accreditation to merit recognition. Simply put, an interest group is just a collection of men who want to start something new but have no formal name or moniker by which to call themselves yet.
Once an interest group has met the criteria explained in this booklet, they may be recognized as a colony of Sigma Pi. A colony, or provisional chapter, of Sigma Pi, is essentially a new developing organization. Colony status exists to give new groups time to learn and understand the rules and regulations of the Fraternity and of their host institution and to develop their own best practices and identity within their brotherhood. Colonies work to complete an accreditation program called the 4 Degrees to Chartering which, once paired with other criteria laid out in a Colony Contract, allows them to be considered for chartering.
A charter, or document of recognition, establishes a Fraternity chapter on that campus permanently. Even if the chapter is eventually closed for any reason, it may be reopened again at a later date under the same chapter designation, or name. This is why a colony completing their accreditation and earning their charter is such an accomplishment.
*Interest groups form as precursors to the colonization process for some new fraternities or sororities. The purpose of the interest group is to prepare the group for the colonization process, it is also a time for the members to continue recruiting and building their numbers.*
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