The baseball diamond was in use. The Chick-fil-A wasn’t delivered on time. The golf course didn’t take reservations, but the Delta Sigma Phi (Delta Sig) fraternity had to show up and hope for the best. Nevertheless, Delta Sig’s first formal recruitment since it rejoined Chapman’s eight other fraternities last fall went “pretty smoothly,” said junior Charlie Story, vice president of recruitment for Delta Sig and computer science major.
Delta Sig had its Eta Lambda chapter at Chapman from 1988 to 1996, but it was shut down because of “financial instability,” Delta Sig Recruitment Specialist Joe Burns told The Panther in 2017.
Now, after its first formal recruitment since being shut down 20 years ago, Delta Sig accepted a pledge class that was about half the size of what founding members anticipated, Story said. On paper, 72 students said they were interested in Delta Sig, but only 35 students showed up to Delta Sig events during rush, Story said. Out of the 35 students who rushed, 21 students were preferred, or “preffed,” and nine became pledge class members, he said.
Most fraternities at Chapman accept a pledge class of about 30 students, said Trystan Davis, Interfraternity Countil (IFC) president and senior broadcast journalism major.
“(It was a) bad turnout,” Story said. “I was a bit bummed honestly. Some of our favorites didn’t show up for pref night.”
Story said Delta Sig was somewhat selective during the recruitment process, turning away “a few” students because they didn’t fit the standard Delta Sig is trying to uphold at Chapman.
“Some also were just red flags right away. We were going for quality over quantity,” he said.
Story said some examples of “red flags” are if a female student told a fraternity brother that a potential new member did something bad or having potential new members talk about partying too much which, to Story, is the “exact opposite” of what Delta Sig wants to focus on.
The Panther reported that the fraternity has had six chapters on college campuses nationwide disaffiliate over the past five years. Delta Sig’s chapter shutdowns were mainly caused by hazing scandals, drug and alcohol violations, as well as one hazing-related death at High Point University in 2012.
Robert Tipton, a 22-year-old pledge class member of Delta Sig at High Point University in North Carolina, was found unresponsive in an off-campus apartment in March 2012, the morning after attending a dinner with his pledge brothers. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Tipton’s family is suing High Point University, alleging that hazing led to his death and that university officials had knowledge of the fraternity’s conduct, according to CBS News.
Chapman’s Delta Sig chapter is “obviously against hazing,” said junior Niles Lopshire, Delta Sig IFC chair.
“If one of us hears about another brother even pondering the idea (of hazing), we will shut it down immediately,” Lopshire said. “We don’t want to be like the other fraternities, even if it’s (the hazing is) underground.”
Story said that Chapman Greek life has someone who is responsible for leading the standards board and is “basically the grand jury” of Greek life on campus. There are also two new member educators who enforce a zero tolerance policy for hazing, he said.
There were four fraternity pledge deaths nationwide last year, according to CNN, though none of these deaths were Delta Sig pledges. As of now, Delta Sig is known as the “new frat,” but they hope to build a better reputation with the new pledge class, Story said.
“I think we just need to keep making a name for ourselves,” Story said. “I’ve talked to people and they don’t even know who we are, which is totally fine with me. I want the first thing you hear about us to be good.”