Phi Sigma Kappa earns official charter

After more than one year as a colony, or probationary chapter, Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity received its official charter last month, making the organization eligible to hold its first official new member recruitment Jan. 16.

It’s official · Former Phi Sigma Kappa president Mike Fritschner spoke when the fraternity received its chapter charter in December. - Courtesy of Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity

The fraternity returned to USC as a colony in fall 2010 after losing its charter in 2003 for disciplinary reasons. As part of a fully chartered fraternity, members now have all the privileges of initiated brothers and the ability to associate with the national fraternity.

Phi Sigma Kappa will move to The Row next fall into the house it occupied in 2003, when its charter was revoked.

Demetrius Wallace, director of membership development with the national fraternity, kickstarted in fall 2010 the efforts to bring a chapter back to USC.

Wallace said he recruited the initial members and introduced them to the organization. The members then had to fulfill a variety of requirements before the national fraternity would recognize them.

“They logged over 1,000 hours of service last year before they turned in their petition and they had raised over $5,000 for different philanthropies like Swim with Mike,” Wallace said. “We look for them to do things that a chapter can do and we like to see that they can pull them off.”

Members said showing the national fraternity they deserved a national charter required hard work.

“You need a lot of persistence in the same sense as someone starting a company from nothing, and this can be even harder than that because what you are selling is social opportunities,” Phi Sig President Matthew Redhead said. “The big thing is telling people that you are creating a networking group and a group of friends that you will know for the rest of your life. … A lot of people think of a fraternity as just partying a lot, but it’s more than that.”

Former president Mike Fritschner said the initial stages were difficult, but that the members’ motivation to make a difference helped them get through the chartering process.

“We decided that this is what we want to do,” Fritschner said. “This is a great opportunity and a great group of guys and we jumped on the opportunity to have an impact on USC’s campus.”

Members said they were happy to see the fraternity expand to have more than 60 brothers.

“It meant a lot to me because I was there at the beginning,” said Phi Sig member Jonathan Oliva, a sophomore majoring in political science. “I have been able to see this fraternity grow, to reflect upon the journey toward our chartering and officially achieve our goal in December.”

Now that Phi Sig has received its charter, members said they look forward to focusing more on the future of their fraternity.

Fritschner said he expects that the fraternity will do more philanthropy work and become more active in the community.

“When I became president, my main goal was to become chartered,” Fritschner said. “But moving forward, I want to spread the impact my fraternity has had on us through USC and the broader Los Angeles area.”

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