Delta Sigma Phi members exhibit diversity

By Michelle Esposito

If you’re looking for diversity, Delta Sigma Phi is the place to go.

Delta Sigma Phi was formed in 1899 by Charles Townsor and Mayer Bosky, said Delta Sigma Phi President Jeff Spencer.

Currently, Delta Sigma Phi is the fourth largest chapter of a fraternity located at NIU.

“Delta Sigma Phi was founded on the basis of diversity and uniqueness,” Spencer said.

When fraternities first began, some of them were based on religion and beliefs, Spencer said. In the beginning, fraternities were strictly one religion or held certain beliefs, he said. If a man of a certain religion wanted to pledge a fraternity with a different religion than his, the fraternity wouldn’t allow it, he said.

Spencer said Townsor and Bosky were different religions so they formed Delta Sigma Phi and anyone would be allowed to join.

In 1985, several men from NIU decided to form the NIU chapter of Delta Sigma Phi, he said. The founder was Larry Picchoti and the first president was Brent Allen.

Until 1987, the Delta Sigma Phi house was located at 503 College Avenue, Spencer said. Then in 1987, they moved to 916 Greenbrier Road which is where the house currently is located.

Spencer said Delta Sigma Phi has a five-year plan between the alumni board and the chapter to build a new house. “In five years, we’d like to be able to build our own house.

Delta Sigma Phi has 95 active members and 25 pledges, Spencer said. “We are currently the fourth largest Delta Sigma Phi chapter in the United States.”

Spencer said the reason he pledged Delta Sigma Phi was because, “it was the only fraternity I felt I could be myself. Everyone made you feel like you belonged. The guys in the house were outgoing and friendly.”

Vice President Terry Powell said, “I was impressed with the fact that a large number of people came to me with the bid, but didn’t pressure me into changing.”

Powell said he joined because of the diversity in the house. “Everyone acts and looks differently, you couldn’t attach a stereotype.”

The Delta Sigma Phi motto is,”if you want diverse, come here first,” he said. “We’re looking for the person inside, exterior doesn’t matter.

“We don’t try to mold people when they come out for rush,” Spencer said.

As for fundraisers, Delta Sigma Phi holds a raffle each semester in which they raffle off donated prizes. He also said every year Delta Sigma Phi collects money for the March of Dimes which is for their philanthropy. “The last three years that I’ve been in the house we’ve collected at least $2,000 per year.”

Delta Sigma Phi also has won several different awards at NIU. Last year they won Mud Volleyball sponsored by Phi Beta Chi, he said. They also won Greek Week and Anchor Splash last year, he said.

For Homecoming this year, Delta Sigma Phi is participating in all the activities. As of Tuesday, they finished second in volleyball and fourth in softball, Spencer said. Their partner for Homecoming 1992 is Delta Zeta, Spencer said.