A new chapter has joined the fraternities of the Interfraternity Council this fall, and members say they are hoping to get their presence on campus known.
Phi Sigma Kappa had a chapter at USC before, until it was kicked out for disciplinary reasons in 2003, according to current Phi Sig President Mike Fritschner.
Fritschner said he was contacted by national chapter members about becoming the founding president of the new USC chapter.
“I know there’s a small chance that restarting a fraternity could fail, but I love knowing that it’s all on us to make it what we want it to be,” Fritschner said. “We can’t point fingers at the people who came before us because it’s all on us.”
Phi Sig is conducting informal recruitment this fall and will be able to extend bids throughout the semester. So far, the fraternity has recruited 45 members.
“I just saw this huge opportunity to meet a great bunch of guys and have an experience that few people have had to start a new frat on a huge campus like USC,” Fritschner said.
Currently, the fraternity is recognized by its national chapter as a first stone colony, or a fraternity in the founding steps. USC and the Interfraternity Council have recognized Phi Sig as a full fraternity.
Fritschner said IFC has been very receptive of the new fraternity, and it has participated in IFC meetings.
“They treat us like we’ve been a fraternity here for 20 years,” he said.
Demetrius Wallace, the regional leadership coordinator for West Coast chapters of Phi Sig, helped restart the chapter through talks with the university and outreach to students.
“[It’s] under my guidance and some other alumni, but they have the chance to make it their own and establish traditions that will be here 40 years later,” Wallace said. “I really want them to be the best they can be and a top fraternity on the campus in the next couple of years.”
According to Wallace, Fritschner was chosen as president because he had a strong ability to connect with college students and demonstrated his goals through a letter of intent.
Matthew Redhead, the vice president of brotherhood for Phi Sig, said creating a new fraternity chapter allows the founding brothers to shape the history and character of the organization.
“For the chance to [not] do things you don’t necessarily agree with — [like] how other fraternities go about their business — is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Redhead said.
So far, Redhead said, fraternity members have begun to bond and form connections.
“We definitely already have a pretty strong connection. We party together, we hang out together and get along with each other really well, surprisingly,” he said.
The fraternity hopes to continue increasing its presence on campus, especially among Panhellenic Council sororities, Fritschner said. It will also focus on philanthropy events in November.
“The national frat’s philanthropy is Special Olympics, so we’ve contacted them,” he said. “Or we might help at a soup kitchen a few blocks away from USC.”
Fritschner said the fraternity hopes to get a house on The Row eventually.
The next group of founding fathers for the organization will be key in creating the fraternity’s legacy, Redhead said.
“[We’re] gonna be picky about it. We want the people who are going to buy into what we’re doing and the presence we want to make,” Redhead said.