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University welcomes new fraternity
This fall, Quinnipiac has a new fraternity on campus.
Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, or FIJI as the members call it, has recruited 47 men since Sept. 20.
This fraternity was founded in 1848 at Jefferson College on the values of friendship, knowledge, service, morality and excellence, according to the fraternity’s Do You QU page. Since being founded in 1848, Phi Gamma Delta has secured over 150 chapters across the United States.
Sophomore class president and economics major Christopher Desilets said he joined Phi Gamma Delta because he felt passionate about the values they represent.
“I truly believe in the values [of Phi Gamma Delta],” Desilets said. “I wasn’t interested until I learned their values. I really loved that their first value is friendship.”
In 2008 when Director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life Courtney McKenna joined the Quinnipiac staff, there were only two fraternity chapters. She said when enrollment increased the university knew it had to introduce more options for the students.
“In fall 2011 we [started] to look for our next wave of men’s fraternities that would come to campus,” McKenna said. “We did research on national fraternities doing good things that would align with the type of experience that Quinnipiac wants to provide its students.”
To get the headquarters of Phi Gamma Delta–along with Beta Theta Pi and Delta Upsilon–interested in starting chapters at Quinnipiac, McKenna said the university held an open call for the fraternities to come to campus, meet students and begin recruitment processes.
The reason Quinnipiac chose Phi Gamma Delta and the other two fraternities was because they embodied what the university was looking for in a fraternity, according to McKenna.
“They all had member development programs or opportunities for leadership,” McKenna said.
Though these three fraternities caught Quinnipiac’s attention, McKenna said Phi Gamma Delta had a few unique aspects. And these unique aspects definitely caught Desilets’ attention.
One unique possibility Phi Gamma Delta brings to the Quinnipiac campus is a scholarship opportunity for new members, according to McKenna.
If a member of Phi Gamma Delta receives a GPA greater than the overall men’s average at the university during their first semester as a member, McKenna said they receive a scholarship from the national headquarters that covers their dues for a full semester.
“I think FIJI can bring great things to this campus,” Desilets said. “I’m proud to be a member of FIJI and [I’m] excited to watch it grow.”
Desilets said this distinct scholarship was one of the reasons he considered joining Phi Gamma Delta to begin with.
Other than the scholarship opportunity, Phi Gamma Delta stood out to the university because of its work with the United Service Organizations, a non-profit organization that supports veterans, according to its website.
“Quinnipiac is also very committed to [supporting veterans],” McKenna said. “It seemed like a natural pairing to bring the organization to campus.”
One of the founding fathers and recording secretary of FIJI Kyle Gallatin, a senior biology major, got involved with Phi Gamma Delta on sheer happenstance.
“[My roommates and I] were talking about one of the events one day,” Gallatin said. “And I somehow ended up going through the whole process.”
Gallatin said he is proud to call himself a member of Phi Gamma Delta because it is a unique fraternity compared to the others on campus.
“I feel like I get to help build this organization from the ground up,” Gallatin said.
The president of Phi Gamma Delta and another founding father, sophomore physical therapy major Steven McCormack, heard about the fraternity from a coworker who thought he would be a good fit for Phi Gamma Delta.
“I looked into it,” McCormack said. “I went to dinner with [two members] from headquarters and they explained the fraternity to me.”
As of right now, the fraternity has not hosted any events. But McCormack said its current focus is to get its name known in the Quinnipiac community. He said he personally wants the men of the fraternity to realize how important it is.
“We’re all a part of something bigger now,” McCormack said.