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BC students form unaffiliated fraternity, gain recognition of national group

Posted by Your Town  March 26, 2013 01:06 PM

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The first fraternity made up of Boston College students was recognized by its national organization in a ceremony Friday.

The fraternity, which has 68 members, is unaffiliated with BC. The college does not recognize greek life organizations, and has no plans to change its policy, said Jack Dunn, a school spokesman.

“It is the policy of most Catholic colleges and universities not to recognize fraternities or sororities,” he said in an e-mailed statement.

As an unaffiliated student group, the fraternity is prohibited from posting fliers and hosting events on campus, according to Ryan Nick, the fraternity’s president.

Founded in November 2009, the Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter received its charter on March 22 at the Boston College Club in Boston, according to members.

Nick said that national acceptance “serves as a legitimizing function.”

“I’m so relieved that finally we have our charter,” he said in a phone interview.

Nick said he and other members of the fraternity occasionally meet with BC administrators, but he has not advocated for the university to reconsider its policy.

“The school has been very clear that this is the policy, and we don’t have any ill feelings towards the school,” he said. “Would it be cool if we were recognized? Yes, but it’s not something we are actively pushing.”

Nick said that BC offered to consider recognizing the fraternity if it dropped the greek letters and admitted women, but members declined.

Ryan Smith, the chartering coordinator and vice president of philanthropy, said that although their fraternity is based off-campus, members try to be involved in BC life as much as possible.

Smith said the brothers participate in a number of community service projects, such as BC’s annual Relay for Life, which raises money for the American Cancer Society.

Fraternity brothers must have at least a 3.2 GPA to join, and are required to maintain a 3.0, Smith said. Executive board members are required to maintain a 3.2 GPA.

Smith knows not everyone supports Greek life, but he said that Sigma Phi Epsilon gives male students at BC a place to grow and make lasting friendships.

“For guys, there aren’t as many resources at BC ... and things for them to do on the weekends that don’t involve drinking,” he said.

Once referred to as “the fake frat,” the group is starting to gain acceptance among students, member said.

“I think a big part that’s helped is how receptive the BC student population has been, and they’ve been increasingly more so,” Smith said.

Katherine Landergan can be reached at For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.

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