Signing the very first bid for a brand-new chapter of a Greek organization is a privilege held only by a handful of people, and senior Riley Keffer is one of those students. Keffer was the first to sign a bid for the Zeta Alpha colony of Theta Chi, therefore being one of the founders of the SRU chapter.
Last Sunday, Theta Chi was officially installed as part of Greek Life, receiving recognition from other Greek organizations as well as the national level of the fraternity.
Keffer said the journey to installation was a lot of work, but the amount of dedication had by the members of the executive board, and the other highly-involved members of the colony, made the process go 30-percent quicker.
“They usually allow about 18 months to get from colony to chapter status, so it was about a third of that time,” Keffer said. “The leaders of the group were driving it really hard.”
Theta Chi was founded on the ideals of truth, temperance and tolerance, which is why Keffer decided he wanted to found a chapter at SRU.
“It was kind of a longer decision, but I did a lot of research, and for me, the decision came as an opportunity to develop something that I had a lot of say in,” Keffer said.
Junior economics major Sky Pederson was recruited by Keffer, and now serves as President of the fraternity, having a liason-style role between his brothers and the national committee.
Pederson agreed with Keffer, saying that getting to the installation point was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it because the fraternity has a lot of good planned for the future.
“The position that we’re in right now is, we can build it to what we want to,” Pederson said. “We want to kind of change the whole environment here on campus.”
Because Theta Chi is new to SRU, the brothers aren’t overwhelmed with traditions to follow, and they are able to pave their own way for the future of their organization. Pederson mentioned that overcoming the stigma surrounding Greek organizations is one thing he wants Theta Chi to get away from, and he wants their reputation to be very positive; the fraternity has a generally positive reputation already due to their work involving the Sacred Purpose and the events they’ve held on campus already.
Keffer also mentioned that Theta Chi brothers are very involved on campus outside of the fraternity, with brothers representing the Student Government Association, the Musical Theatre Society, the First-Year Leader Scholar Program and more. Having brothers who are so involved led to their dedication to the fraternity, as well.
Parts of the installation process were recruiting enough guys to make up a full fraternity chapter and to act as a fraternity to prove that it’s something they can do. With the events they’ve held and participated in, like Kate Harding’s discussion and Greek Week, Theta Chi grew their own reputation and Pederson said the fraternity will continue to grow and develop their presence here at SRU.