Greek Life: It’s a rush

Members of several Greek organizations pose for a photo during Rush Week in 2015. Photo courtesy of Aziz Almatrody.

For most students, the first week of the semester is when they feel the school year has begun, but for the Greeks on campus the school year won’t truly begin until Rush Week gets under way.

Rush Week is a time for potential new sisters or brothers to get to know the prospective chapters of Greek life, and for the chapters to welcome them into their sisterhood or brotherhood. During the course of the week, each chapter hosts various activities to determine who will be the right fit for their organization.

Starting off with the oldest organization on campus is the Kappa Iota Chapter of Sigma Chi, installed on campus in the spring of 1993. Founded in 1855, Sigma Chi values friendship, justice and learning. Brothers of Sigma Chi believe in fairness, decency, good manners and retaining the spirit of youth.

They live by their Jordan Standard, which states that a brother of Sigma Chi should be, “…a man of good character, a student of fair ability, with ambitious purposes, a congenial disposition, possessed of good morals, having a high sense of honor and a deep sense of personal responsibility.”

The fraternity has deep roots in literature, and has grown to be one of the most influential fraternities in North America. They currently have 242 undergraduate chapters and 152 alumni chapters.

Every year they raise money for Huntsman Cancer Institute during Derby Days, a week of fundraising events that culminates in a Derby Darling pageant. The Kappa Iota chapter alone has raised over $50,000 through their Derby Days in the past two years. Some famous alumni include Luke Bryan, Brad Pitt, Grover Cleveland and John Wayne.

Sigma Chi brother Jesse McLean, a junior accounting major from Pioche, Nevada, said if you are wanting to join a values-based leadership organization Sigma Chi is the place to be. “Sigma Chi is about leadership through service, philanthropy, brotherhood and becoming better men,” McLean said.

The oldest sorority on campus, Delta Psi Omega, is a little different from all of the other chapters. They are a local chapter, meaning the sisters you see on campus are a part of the only chapter that exists. They were founded in the spring of 1994 by 20 women who wanted to create an organization free from hazing. They value loyalty, integrity and diversity.

For the past 23 years they have been a place for those who maybe couldn’t see themselves joining a sorority. Many sisters even admit that they came to rush for the free pizza, and ended up staying for the sisterhood.

Their philanthropy of choice is Primary Children’s Hospital. Some sisters you might recognize around campus are Heather Garcia, Miranda Erickson and Bailey Smith.

Chloe Howe from Flagstaff, Arizona, has been a member of Delta Psi Omega since her first semester at SUU. Now a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies, she credits Delta Psi Omega as the reason why she is still in college. “It’s a forever family,” Howe said. “I will always have someone with me no matter what.”

The Theta Sigma chapter of Alpha Phi, established at SUU in 1995, might be the youngest sorority on campus, but they are one of the oldest “sororities” out there. Alpha Phi is officially considered a women’s fraternity, since they were founded in 1872 before the term “sorority” was created. They were the fourth ever women’s lettered organization to be established, and the first in the northeast. The sisters of Alpha Phi value sisterhood, scholarship, service, character, development, loyalty and leadership.

There are currently 170 undergraduate chapters of Alpha Phi, with over 200,000 members. Every year they raise money for women’s heart health through the Alpha Phi Foundation.

Notable alumni include Deborah Lippmann, silver medal olympian Jennifer Joines, first woman treasurer of the United States Georgia Neese Clark and Pulitzer winner for the New York Times Nan Robertson.  

Sydnee Moser, a senior elementary education major from West Valley City, said Alpha Phi’s philanthropy was the main draw for her after her grandmother had a heart attack the summer before she started college. Moser said Alpha Phi is “a home away from home, a haven, and a support group, not just a sorority.” She said one of the unique things about Alpha Phi is that they are international, so sisters can go to any campus with a chapter across North America and be welcomed.

The youngest organization on campus but the oldest organization overall is the Xi Theta chapter of Chi Phi, which came to SUU in the fall of 2008. Chi Phi came into creation in 1824 when three similarly named organizations merged together. The organization was formed to promote the “correct opinions upon religion, morals and education and excluding sectarian theology and party politics,” according to the book “Princeton” by Varnum Lansing Collins. The brothers of Chi Phi value truth, honor, personal integrity and believe that the hand of brotherhood is always extended.

There are currently 57 undergraduate chapters of Chi Phi and five colonies. The Xi Theta chapter raises money every year for Camp Kesem, an organization that supports children whose parents have cancer.

Remarkable alumni include Chris Hardwick, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Hugh S. Cumming, executive producer of The Lord of the Rings trilogy Mark Ordesky, and no less than six U.S. Senators, 19 U.S. Congressmen and 12 State Supreme Court Justices.

Christian Garza, a junior business and music major from Orange, California, wanted to find a similar sense of brotherhood at college after going to an all boys high school. He said Chi Phi “is more than just a group of guys you hang out with, it is an eternal family that you join.” Garza also said the fraternity is so strong because of the diversity of brothers and their different backgrounds, and how the brothers contribute so much to each other.

To rush any of the Greek organizations on campus and learn more about their organizations, there will be a Greek barbeque Tuesday, Sept. 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the business quad.

To learn more about rushing Sigma Chi, contact Jake Petersen at (801) 803-1781 or on Snapchat with the username jakep59.

To know more about rushing Delta Psi Omega, contact Tiffany Gallegos at (801) 636-6498 or at

To find out more about rushing Alpha Phi, follow their Instagram page @alphaphisuu.


For more information about rushing Chi Phi, contact Tanner Mecham at (563) 340-3078.


Story by
Haleigh Clemens