New fraternity invited to UM campus

The fraternity expansion committee voted last Thursday on which organization would be added to the university’s Greek life. After deliberation, they extended an invitation to Beta Theta Pi to join 11 other fraternities on campus in the fall of 2006.

“We are very grateful and thankful [for] the committee’s final decision,” said J.B. Scherpelz, Beta Theta Pi director of expansion and recruitment. “We are a strong organization and we look forward to building a strong fraternity and adding to the entire community.”

Beta, the fraternity’s nickname, received the majority of the committee vote.

According to the committee, the determining factors of the decision were the fraternity’s strong national reputation, commitment to leadership programs and opportunities and the number of alumni in the area who will volunteer as advisors.

“What appealed most was that they will fit really well on our campus,” Jeff Jenkins, Interfraternity Council (IFC) president, said.

Beta will start off as a colony, the term used for a new fraternity chapter. The colony will not receive its full charter until it achieves the goals set by the fraternal administrative organization. These goals can range from attaining a certain grade point average to completing a community service requirement.

More than 30 alumni, advisors and national representatives will work with the IFC to help get the colony settled.

Jenkins said that the IFC and Beta will have a symbiotic relationship to help nurture the process, until the fraternity establishes itself.

“Beta will help draw more attention to our already successful Greek community,” said Kara Miller, coordinator for Greek affairs. “They are a strong organization and their strength can only enhance the community.”

An invitation was also extended to Pi Kappa Phi fraternity for fall 2008. Pi Kappa Phi was one of the four finalists who presented before the expansion committee.

The Greek community hopes to expand by adding one new organization every two years.

Megan Ondrizek can be contacted at