Indiana University Alpha Sigma Phi Chapter History
Indiana University was founded in 1820, and the first fraternity chapter chartered on the campus entered in 1845. Sigma Psi was organized on May 19, 1966 and Larry Fast was elected the group’s first President. Stan Miller, Purdue ’64, was advisor to the colony. Thirteen members of Sigma Psi returned to Bloomington in Fall 1966. In November 1966, four leaders of the group stole Sigma Psi’s treasury of several hundred dollars, and that left the group feeling that there was little prospect of success, and little support from either Indiana University or Alpha Sigma Phi for their efforts.
New officers were elected and Sigma Psi grew to 29 members. On February 18, 1967 Sigma Psi was recognized as a colony of Alpha Sigma Phi. Grand Senior President Ray Glos, Illinois ’22, Ralph F. Burns, Ohio Wesleyan ’32, and Ed Madison, Alabama ’58 presented the colonization certificate. John Chaney, John Carlson, and Dan Egler were the only three originators who remained in the group throughout colony status to chartering of the chapter. Thirty-seven members of the colony were initiated on September 9, 1967 by members of Alpha Pi and Alpha Alpha Chapters. Also assisting with the initiation were brothers from the Alpha Iota and Epsilon Chapters. On February 17, 1968 Sigma Psi was chartered as the Gamma Chi Chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi in ceremonies at the Guest House Inn. Stan Miller, Alpha Pi ’64, and Robert Cochrum, Indiana ’64, were instrumental in leading the colony to chartering. Cochrum was the first GCA and first alumnus of the chapter to receive the Delta Beta Xi Award. A tradition of the colony and early chapter was to have a new chapter song for each major function.
During its first ten years the local/colony rented quarters at 513 North Park Avenue. The chapter suffered a house fire on November 5, 1972. In January 1973 the chapter moved to 625 N. Jordan Avenue. In 1978 the chapter was able to purchase a house at 1415 N. Jordan Avenue. In Fall 1986 an open party was raided and several arrests were made. Six weeks later two new members were hospitalized for acute alcohol poisoning and the chapter was suspended. The chapter rebounded from those problems and was named Indiana University’s most improved fraternity in 1987. Gamma Chi hosted the 1979 National Leadership Conference. In 1990 construction of a new chapter house at 1968 North Jordan Avenue began, and the new house, accommodating 98 residents was dedicated on February 22, 1992. In 1998-99, the chapter was having operational problems and a membership review resulted in reducing undergraduate membership to a core group which had further problems in Fall 2000. As a result, the chapter was entirely reorganized. However, the chapter was unable to maintain debt service and cover overhead on its 98 man house. The chapter was temporarily closed from 2000 to 2002.