Less than a month after Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity put its official efforts to expand to Yale “on pause,” another fraternity is looking to establish a chapter on campus.
Justin Froeber, leadership consultant for Chi Psi fraternity, arrived on campus Wednesday for a two-day visit to contact student leaders, observe Yale’s social culture and determine the feasibility of creating a Yale chapter. Though Alpha Sig began expansion efforts immediately after arriving on campus, Chi Psi assistant executive director Bradley Beskin said the fraternity will first evaluate whether there is “room on campus” for a new chapter before committing to the effort.
“We don’t do things haphazardly,” Beskin said. “We’re only going to [begin expansion efforts] if it makes sense and we can justify it and we are confident we will be successful. We’re putting one foot in front of the other in a logical fashion.”
Geoff McDonald, Alpha Sig’s coordinator of chapter and colony development, intended to recruit on campus for a month but ultimately cut his visit 11 days short after failing to attract sufficient student interest.
McDonald said last month that the absence of an inter-fraternity council at Yale prevented him from easily communicating with students who had previously shown interest in Greek life, adding that Yale’s lack of a central student center or other “heavily trafficked” areas in which to post flyers presented additional obstacles.
Beskin said he expects Chi Psi will contact Alpha Sig to learn about the fraternity’s experience at Yale. Though he said Greek organizations may compete with each other locally, different fraternity headquarters often collaborate and “either succeed together or fail together.”
Whether Chi Psi continues expansion efforts at one of its target campuses depends on the university’s student life, Greek system, alumni support, housing options and the national fraternity’s resources at the time, Beskin said. As a result, Beskin said a “very small percentage” of Chi Psi’s considered expansions result in new chapters.
Froeber said Chi Psi is reaching out to Yale because of its reputation for “academic excellence,” adding that Chi Psi had a chapter at Yale from 1924 to 1963.
The fraternity does not want to “compete directly with other organizations,” Beskin said, adding that Chi Psi instead tries to attract students who have not yet found their niche.
Fraternity leaders interviewed last month said they did not think a new fraternity could easily generate excitement at Yale.
Though McDonald faced difficulty garnering student interest, he said in a Tuesday email that he was not concerned that Chi Psi’s presence would interfere with Alpha Sig’s ongoing, informal recruitment. Scott Eisner ’14, one of two students who expressed interest in founding an Alpha Sig chapter, said he does not think the competition would present a major obstacle.
“If we’re going to [try to establish Alpha Sig], we should be able to do it regardless of this new fraternity,” Eisner said. “If we’re recruiting next fall, we’re going to be competing with … many more established frats. Of all of the potential people to draw away, Chi Psi would not be as big of a threat as the other groups.”
Chi Psi currently has 30 “active” and 20 “dormant” chapters, according to Froeber. Yale is listed as a dormant chapter on the fraternity’s website.