By Lori Dresner, Managing Editor/News Editor

From left to right: Josh Ayers, Parker Bunch, Jared Usher, Alpha Sigma Phi's Coordinator of Expansion and Growth, Yaniv Dudaie, and Peter Burnham at the Alpha Sigma Phi table in the Nosh. (Lori Dresner/The Current)
From left to right: Josh Ayers, Parker Bunch, Jared Usher, Alpha Sigma Phi’s Coordinator of Expansion and Growth, Yaniv Dudaie, and Peter Burnham at the Alpha Sigma Phi table in the Nosh. (Lori Dresner/The Current)

“Better the world through better men,” is the philosophy of the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ newest fraternity, Alpha Sigma Phi. The fraternity is expanding to UMSL this semester and is currently in the recruitment stage of forming a new chapter on campus.

The Coordinator of Expansion and Growth for Alpha Sigma Phi, Jared Usher, has been on campus recruiting members since the first day of school. He has since met one-on-one with over  70 interested students. Out of those, Usher has recruited 20 members of the new chapter, along with one transfer from Missouri Valley College who is rejoining the fraternity with UMSL’s chapter.

Since Alpha Sigma Phi is brand new to campus, recruited members will be Founding Fathers of UMSL’s chapter. Usher’s target during the expansion process is to recruit a total of 35 to 40 men for the chapter. Usher said, “Our whole thing is ‘to better the world through better men’ and to challenge the status quo because I’m sure people have seen movies like ‘Neighbors’ and stuff like that… but that’s not who we are… With us, we’re about being fraternity gentlemen and defining what it means to be a fraternity man and doing Greek Life right.”

The petition for Alpha Sigma Phi to come to UMSL was voted on during the term of former Interfraternity Council (IFC) President Drew Haugen, senior, nursing, who served from fall 2015 to spring 2016. Once the petition was accepted, Haugen helped coordinate the recruitment team that would come to campus.

Haugen said, “I think that UMSL’s on campus activities have been improving through my four years here. I think that Fraternity and Sorority Life is an important part of that. Fraternities offer young men opportunities to grow as individuals. Alpha Sigma Phi offers men that could not find a fit in the three previous fraternities a group that they can make into whatever they want it to be. I am excited for the growth and look forward to more in the future.”

Colleen Pace, UMSL’s Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Student Organizations, said, “We started working with the headquarters a little over a year ago to coordinate the expansion and colonization process. This included a couple of campus visits and working with the Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) and member fraternities to ensure a smooth transition.”

Alpha Sigma Phi’s expansion process will continue through September 30. From October 2 to October 6, a second staff member from the Alpha Sigma Phi Chapter Development team will be on campus for the provisional chapter’s initial development visit. The purpose of their visit will be to elect officers and train the provisional chapter on operations. During the visit, the chapter will engage in workshops pertaining to risk management, recruitment, and accountability. The first official provisional chapter meeting will also take place.

Initiation ceremonies will be held from November 5 to 7. The men recruited will officially become Brothers of Alpha Sigma Phi.

Students interested in joining Alpha Sigma Phi can contact Usher at jusher@alphasigmaphi.org or stop by his table with the red Alpha Sigma Phi banner in the MSC to learn more. Usher will be on the MSC Bridge the week of September 19 and near the information desk on the second floor of the MSC the week of September 26.

“I’m very excited to join,” said Yaniv Dudaie, junior, finance, logistics, and international business, who recently became a Founding Father of the Alpha Sigma Phi chapter at UMSL. “I feel like there’s a huge window of opportunity for us to bring change and really become a leader on campus.”

Alpha Sigma Phi becomes the fourth fraternity on UMSL’s campus. The three other chapters have been on campus for nearly 50 years. Sigma Pi was founded in 1968, Sigma Tau Gamma was founded in 1968, and Pi Kappa Alpha was founded in 1969. A Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity chapter also existed on campus from 1976 until about 1996, but it closed due to lower membership numbers.

Founded in 1845, Alpha Sigma Phi is the nation’s 10th oldest men’s fraternity. It currently has 142 chapters and provisional chapters, 6,000 undergraduate members, and 52,000 living alumni.