May 24, 2013

The frat is back in town

Espousing ideals of social and academic balance and community engagement, the newly rechartered Zeta Psi fraternity hopes to leave a positive mark on campus.

The long inactive chapter received its official rechartering and recognition from Zeta Psi headquarters on May 11. The chapter, which was first established in 1864 as part of the Baptist-founded Old University of Chicago, was terminated with the closing of the school in 1887.

According to second-year Robin Greif, the president of the fraternity, the founders of Zeta Psi began meeting informally as friends in the middle of spring quarter last year and gained colonization status at the end of autumn quarter.

Currently, the 25 founders span first-, second-, and third-years in the College and come from a variety of academic and extracurricular backgrounds.

“There’s a very special character to what we try to bring. We’re not trying to bring people from one sports team, from one major; we don’t want to have just one thing. We’re trying to find people who are diverse, who are very unique. We want to have passionate people,” Greif said.

Second-year founding member Brendan Leonard said the fraternity was composed of “people who I didn’t necessarily associate with Greek life as it exists now,” which motivated him to join.

Leonard, who is the community service chair of the fraternity, also highlighted the community service orientation of Zeta Psi, citing in particular a multi-quarter involvement with the Southside Hub of Production, which has since closed.

“We made sure to develop really personal relationships with community members.... Especially in Greek life, there are community service programs, but not many of them focus on building ties with the community.”

Ultimately, Greif hopes that Zeta Psi will retain a lasting influence on campus.

“The best thing would be if we can manage for the fraternity to have a positive impact beyond when we are here, that when we pass on the leadership to the next generation, they will still be able to live by the ideals of combining academic and social life and fostering brotherhood and engaging with the community,” he said.