Iota Phi Theta fraternity starting chapter at NIU

By Michelle Isaacson

Iota Phi Theta fraternity, a social service organization for minorities, is starting a chapter at NIU.

Hank Sawyer, a NIU senior, is a transfer student from Eastern Illinois University where he was a member of Iota Phi Theta.

NIU’s Student Association formally recognized the fraternity Oct 8. Sawyer said he is trying to get recognition from the Black Greek Council. He said the fraternity plans to hold rush on Monday.

Sawyer said the fraternity “will have a no pledging policy. As far as pledging, there will still be requirements to join and pledges will have to prove themselves in some ways.

“It’s time fraternities take a stand against hazing,” he said.

NIU Ombudsman Bertrand Simpson is the fraternity’s faculty adviser. Sawyer asked Simpson to be the adviser.

“I’m trying to help them as much as I can to get their chapter off the ground,” Simpson said. As adviser, Simpson said he will be “like a big brother” to the fraternity and help them get access to NIU resources.

Iota Phi Theta was founded at Morgan State College in Baltimore, Md., in 1963. The fraternity is the fifth largest black fraternity in the United States with 51 undergraduate and 18 graduate chapters and more than 5,000 members nationwide.