MSU Fraternity & Sorority Life

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Awards 2016: Celebrating the Accomplishments of 2015

Each Spring, we have an awards ceremony celebrating the Fraternity and Sorority chapter and individual accomplishments of the previous year. All of the chapters fill out an awards packet, and then an Awards Committee go through them and determine which chapters will receive which awards. Current members, alumni, and distinguished faculty and staff attend to announce the awards. Read on to see how the night turned out!

Madison Hanson, Panhellenic President, and Brady Bollum, IFC president, were the announcers for the night. They did a fantastic job!

Carina Beck was the Guest Speaker. Dr. Beck is the Director of the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success at MSU as well as a Delta Gamma alumna. She spoke about how being a sorority member has impacted how her live and how we should continue being a “grand sociological experiment. She challenged us to become a more inclusive and larger community as a whole in order to promote greater good on campus and in our community.

Academic Achievement Awards were presented by Ed McKenna, Assistant Dean of Students, to the following chapters:

  • Alpha Omicron Pi: New Member Academic Excellence for their new member GPA average of 3.26
  • Sigma Phi Epsilon: New Member Academic Excellence for their new member spring GPA of 3.82, and fall GPA of 3.38
  • Chi Omega: Chapter Academic Excellence for their spring GPA of 3.22 and fall GPA of 3.24.
  • Sigma Phi Epsilon: Chapter Academic Excellence for their spring GPA of 3.49 and fall GPA of 3.40

Campus Involvement Awards, Philanthropy, and Community Service Awards were presented by Kenzie Redmond, Past Panhellenic President, and Tracie Jenkins, Pi Beta Phi House Mother, to the following chapters:

  • Alpha Omicron Pi: Campus Involvement Award for their dedication to involvement on campus. They not only have a high percentage of women who are involved in more than one organization but these women also choose to involve themselves in organizations such as the VOICE Center, RHA, Industrial Engineering Club, ASMSU, and many more.
  • Alpha Gamma Rho: Campus Involvement Award for their tireless involvement in the campus community; they are involved in organizations such as the Spirit Squad, Alpha Zeta, Ag Student Council, and Collegiate Young Farmers and Ranchers.
  • Chi Omega: Philanthropy Award for constantly promoting their philanthropy by doing fundraising events such as Bagels for Wishes and La Pa for Wishes. Their most successful event, Swishes for wishes raised nearly $5,000 for the Make a Wish foundation this past year.
  • Alpha Gamma Rho: Philanthropy Award for their dedication to the greater community. Their event, Testy Fest, raised nearly $11,000 for Montana FFA, Farm Rescue and the Special Olympics this past year.
  • Alpha Gamma Delta: Community Service Award for their dedication to contributing over 3,400 hours of service to organizations from Spring Breaksaway, MSU Move In Day, and the MSU VOICE Center.
  • Sigma Nu: Community Service Award for their excellent involvement in the greater Bozeman community. With an average of 17 hours per member, these men consistently volunteer for Bobcat Fest, Blue and Gold Ball and Trick or Treat for Change.

Recruitment Excellence Awards were presented by Erin MacDonald, Assistant Dean of Students, to the following chapters:

  • Pi Beta Phi for recruiting 34 new members in the past year
  • Alpha Gamma Rho for recruiting 30 new members in the past year

Kappa Delta Scholarship presented by Jaynee Groseth, president Emerita of the MSU Alumni Foundation:

  • Molly Tomlinson, member and President of Alpha Gamma Delta
  • Jackie McFarland, member of Alpha Gamma Delta
  • Hannah Good, member of Alpha Omicron Pi
  • Madison Hanson, member of Chi Omega and Panhellenic President

Member and New Member of the Year Awards were presented by Jaynee Groseth:

  • Dana Dale-Alpha Gamma Delta: Member of the YearThis member is very deserving of the title of sorority member of the year. She has worked to better her chapter by serving in many leadership roles such as Vice President of Operations and Vice President of Recruitment at the same time. Her sisters describe her as being a source of stability in the chapter. While describing that her chapter means to her, this member said…“Everything in life is guided by tradition and the start of new ones; being a member of a Fraternity means being a part of a long standing tradition. […] Participation in what were thought to be forgotten traditions like pinning are reasons why I am proud to wear not only the letters of Alpha Gamma Delta but also the letters of Alpha Gamma Rho”
  • Abe Phillips-Sigma Phi Epsilon: Member of the YearThis year’s Fraternity member or the year has worked for the honor of the award. An applied math major, this member has aided his fraternity by working as house manager. His brother’s describe him by saying…”His genuine caring attitude is unmatched, as he truly takes an interest in all of [his] brothers.” This member reflects on his time as a fraternity member by saying that “Being in a fraternity not only gave me an avenue to engage with leaders on our campus, it taught me how to engage with myself. I’ve learned more about myself these few years in my fraternity than I have the eighteen years prior.”
  • Sara Lewis-Pi Beta Phi: New Member of the YearThis sorority member has had a huge impact not only on her own chapter but on Montana State University. As a sophomore in Business Finance and an Honors College Student, this member has achieved a great deal. She has served her chapter as Vice President of Finance, and dealt with the position in the most professional of ways. This member describes what being a member of her chapter means to her in saying…“Being a part of Pi Beta Phi means holding the standards and morals of the chapter and organization as my own and living up to them each day. With my lifelong commitment to the organization, I will maintain my sincere friendships, pursue intellectual and personal growth, honor and respect those I am in contact with and live a life happy with my decision to join this great sisterhood.”
  • Ryan Mason-Sigma Phi Epsilon: New Member of the YearThe honor of receiving the Fraternity new member of the year award is well deserved for this Fraternity man. As a chemical engineering major, Honors College student, this member has already served as his chapter’s Sound Body Chair, by encouraging his brothers to get out and be active. This member has made a huge impact on his chapter, and describes the impact that it has had on him… “During my time in SigEp, I hope to grow individually while aiding in the growth of my brothers, my fraternity and Fraternity and Sorority life on campus at MSU. I view my membership with SigEp as an honor and a privilege, and I will act accordingly while I am an undergraduate and beyond.”

 Alumni Excellence Awards presented by Kerry Hanson, Natalie Michajla and Jennifer Poser of the MSU Alumni Foundation to the following individuals: 

  • Kori Robbins – Alpha Gamma Delta
  • Karyn Carpenter – Chi Omega
  • Amy McDonald Horton – Chi Omega
  • Aaron Iverson – Alpha Gamma Rho
  • Bill Gum – Sigma Chi
  • Bill Schnell – Sigma Phi Epsilon

Finally, the Advisor of the Year and Fraternity and Sorority Chapter of the Year Awards were presented by Dr. Matt Caires, Dean of Students:

  • Patricia Kossler-Alpha Gamma Delta: Advisor of the YearThis sorority advisor of the year has served for 37 years, one might say it’s about time she get recognized for her hard work and dedication to her chapter. One member described her by saying…“From her 37 years with Delta Gamma chapter, it has become abundantly clear that she always has Alpha Gamma Delta and the best interests of its members in her heart whenever she is involved with the chapter.”
  • Glen Steinhoff-Sigma Nu: Advisor of the YearThis advisor has aided his chapter since the reestablishment of his fraternity at Montana State University. He has been described as being fundamental in Sigma Nu’s recent rechartering and the chapter truly appreciates everything he does. When asked to describe his advisor one member said  “He is willing to make the commitments when no one else is able or willing to do the same. […] So often [he] doesn’t get the love, respect or thanks that he truly deserves and I think this recognition is exactly what he deserves.”
  • Chi Omega: Sorority of the Year
    The women of Chi Omega have shown themselves to be dedicated to success in all areas of sorority life. This award is well deserved!
  • Sigma Phi Epsilon: Fraternity of the Year
    The men of Sigma Phi Epsilon have dedicated themselves to excelling in as many areas as possible and it has paid off!

And so concluded the Awards Celebration. We look forward to another great year!

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Sigma Nu Chartered!

Montana State University welcomed a fraternity to charter on campus at the end of last month. On February 27th 2016, Zeta Nu Chapter of Sigma Nu was granted their charter making them a full member of the fraternity and sorority community at Montana State. Sigma Nu was originally chartered at MSU on February 2nd 1952. The chapter remained an active member of the fraternity and sorority community until 2006 when it became dormant. Zeta Nu chapter was recolonized in fall of 2010 and after six years of hard work has been granted their charter once more.

The big day started with initiating 30 men into Sigma Nu, including a handful of alumni. Afterwards, the members held a formal dinner in the SUB with their alumni and members from their national headquarters. Former chapter presidents James Patton, Othman Chaney and current president Michael Ritchie were presented with the chapter’s charter by High Regent Joe Francis.  The chartering of Zeta Nu chapter of Sigma Nu was a celebration for not only the fraternity and sorority community but the Montana State community as well.

Currently, the men of Sigma Nu are promote their values of brotherhood, campus involvement and community service in many different ways. The members participate in the Sigma Nu LEAD Program which promotes brotherly bonding in each pledge class through learning of leadership skills together. Additionally, they participate in activities such as intramural sports together as a team and have weekly Sunday potluck brunches.

Zeta Nu chapter does philanthropy work for organizations such as Helping Hands Charity, St. Jude’s Hospital and Cancer Research, and Relay for Life. In addition to their fundraising efforts, the brothers regularly volunteer with multiple organizations in the Bozeman community such as the Blue and Gold Ball and the Downtown Bozeman Association. The men of Sigma Nu have helped put on Blue and Gold Ball since its conception in 2012. Their help plays a major role in the running of the event each year. Additionally, the men frequently help organize events with the Downtown Bozeman Association; DBA is known for hosting events such as the Christmas Stroll, Bobcat Fest, and Music on Main. Zeta Nu chapter of Sigma Nu has been working closely with the DBA for several years to help them put on these major events for the Bozeman community.

The men of Sigma Nu have been very active on the Montana State campus in the form of membership to many campus organizations. Sigma Nu members can be seen in organizations from Men’s Rugby and Men’s Soccer to the Bobcat Spirit Squad and the VOICE Center. Their involvement in these various organizations has helped them contribute more to the Montana State community.

After six years of hard work, the men of Zeta Nu chapter of Sigma Nu have earned a celebration. Congratulations on chartering!

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Body Image Fireside

This Tuesday, Fraternity and Sorority Life got together to discuss body image. Two Body Project presenters from the MSU Office of Health Advancement used three simple activities to demonstrate how we perceived our bodies and how we could view them more positively. The group discussed the “ideal” man and woman, unrealistic advertisements, and simple ways to counteract negativity.

After an engaging hour of discussion, the group left with many new ideas of how they could positively address body image issues and uplift members of their individual chapters.

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A Visit from Ginny Carroll

To start off the semester, our Fraternity and Sorority executive council members got together to learn about how to lead effectively from Circle of Sisterhood founder, Ginny Carroll. At the 2016 Leadership Retreat, the new leaders learned about what truly defined a community, how generational and leadership differences affect communication, and how to effectively set goals and lead with a positive core. Ms. Carroll inspired the new executive council members to take charge of their offices but in the right way which will lead to success.

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The next night, Ms. Carroll presented to the entire community about the gift of
Fraternity and Sorority membership. She described that the best way to gain the most out of one’s membership was through dedication to a few simple principles: one’s ritual, sisterhood or brotherhood and lifetime involvement. Through nurturing these simple tenants, a fraternity man or sorority woman could learn much more from their time in their house and truly gain lifetime’s worth of connections.

In addition to pointing out how each member of the community was improving from their experience, Ms. Carroll presented how being a fraternity or sorority member set one out in the work place. Through the development of skills often seen missing in the millennial generation, work ethic, communication skills and professionalism, fraternity and sorority life gives each member a clear advantage when leaving college and entering the work place.

As a result of Ms. Carroll’s visit many members of the community have expressed more pride in being a member of a fraternity and sorority and of being a member of Montana State’s community. Through the development of goals at the Leadership Retreat, it is likely that the Montana State Fraternity and Sorority community will grow as a result of Ginny Carroll’s visit.

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Fall Semester Highest Grades

Congratulations to Alpha Omicron Pi and Sigma Phi Epsilon for earning the highest grades out of the sororities and fraternities respectively this semester!

AOII has been having a great fall. The sorority is currently one of the two largest on campus, the other being Chi Omega, both having 80 members. This semester, the chapter welcomed 29 women into their sisterhood which contributed to the growth in house size. Over the Fall Semester, the women of Alpha Omicron Pi earned a 3.27 combined (actives and new member) GPA, the highest of the four campus sororities.

SigEp, likewise, had a productive fall. The fraternity, as of this semester, is the largest fraternity on campus with 67 members. The chapter welcomed 23 young men into their brotherhood which apparently made squeezing the whole chapter into the cabin they use for their brotherhood retreat quite difficult. Over the Fall Semester, the men of Sigma Phi Epsilon earned a 3.40 combined GPA, the highest of the seven campus fraternities.

Exceptional Community Growth

This past year has seen unprecedented growth for Fraternity and Sorority Life. Through hard work during recruitment the community is on the rise.

The sorority community is blossoming as a result of recruitment. The women decided to try hosting formal recruitment on the weekend rather than during the school week in order to decrease class conflicts and promote retention. This choice did just that. The sorority population saw an 18% size increase in the past year and the average chapter size increased from 66 members to 71 members. Through the continued work of Panhellenic Council and the four sororities, this growth will likely continue.

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The fraternity community is also prospering as a result of recruitment. Although the men do not have a formal recruitment process, their recruitment events were equally fruitful this year. The fraternity population saw a 13% increase leading to the average chapter size increasing from 45 members to 52 members. With the help of IFC and the continued collaboration between the seven fraternities, this growth should be sustained.

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In total, the fraternity and sorority community saw a 15% increase in size, the largest growth the community has seen the several years. The community population size has risen to 650 members. This phenomenal community growth would not have been possible without the hard work of Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Erin MacDonald Peck.

Sorority Philanthropy Award

Recently, Delta Gamma Chapter of Alpha Gamma Delta found out that they gained membership into the Collegiate Jewel Society! In order to gain membership, chapters of Alpha Gamma Delta must raise more than $2,000 for their philanthropy annually.

Delta Gamma chapter was able to raise over $2,200 this semester alone through there annual Trick or Treat for Change philanthropy event which earned them membership into the Collegiate Jewel Society.

Alpha Gamma Delta’s philanthropy is the Alpha Gamma Delta Foundation which donations money towards scholarships and financial aid for sisters as well as diabetes research education and awareness.

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Fun Fall Philanthropy

Many of our Fraternities and Sororities have been very busy organizing their annual fall philanthropy events!

Each of the houses have been putting together events which have been very successful ranging from 1 mile fun runs and 5Ks to writing letters to Santa. Some of the recurring philanthropy events that were hosted this semester were as follows: Alpha Gamma Delta’s Trick or Treat for Change, Alpha Omicron Pi’s Run for Roses, Pi Beta Phi’s Pie a Pi Phi, Alpha Gamma Rho’s Testee Fest and Sigma Chi’s Derby Days. New philanthropy events hosted this semester included Chi Omega’s Bagels for Wishes and Kappa Sigma’s Set and Serve for Wounded Soldiers.

Together, the Fraternity and Sorority community was able to give back significantly and looks forward to another successful semester of philanthropy work!

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Panhellenic Transitions

This past Wednesday, our Panhellenic Council transitioned its officers. The 2015 Officers handed over their positions to the new officers for the upcoming calendar year. The old and new officers are as follows:

2015 Outgoing Officers:

  • President: Kenzie Redmond, Pi Beta Phi
  • Vice President: Ali Miller, Alpha Omicron Pi
  • Secretary: Madison Hansen, Chi Omega
  • Treasurer: Rachel Gunnink, Alpha Gamma Delta
  • Recruitment: Mackenzie Dubeau, Pi Beta Phi
  • Standards: Shelby Meyers, Alpha Omicron Pi

2016 Incoming Officers:

  • President: Madison Hansen, Chi Omega
  • Vice President: Dallas Fargo, Pi Beta Phi
  • Secretary: Jessica Donahoo, Alpha Gamma Delta
  • Treasurer: Malka Katz, Alpha Omicron Pi
  • Recruitment: Mackenzie Dubeau, Pi Beta Phi
  • Public Relations: Kendra Faulkner, Chi Omega
  • Standards: Savannah Leidholt, Alpha Omicron Pi
  • Assistant Recruitment: Becca Shipp, Chi Omega

Thank you to our outgoing Panhellenic Officers for doing such a wonderful job this past year and congratulations to our new 2016 officers!

Bobcat Homecoming

Homecoming weekend was very exciting for our Fraternity and Sorority community. Many of our houses started off the weekend with barbecues and get-togethers with visiting alumni. In addition to hosting events, all the houses put together floats for the homecoming parade Saturday morning. The themes for the floats were varied but the Bobcat spirit was the same! After attending the parade, the next stop was the homecoming football game!

2015 Homecoming Court

2015 Homecoming Court

This year our Bobcat Homecoming Court had many Fraternity and Sorority members on it. All of the homecoming king candidates were members of fraternities and 3 out of the 4 homecoming queen candidates were members of sororities! Our 2015 Homecoming Court was:

  • Cali Christiansen and Chris Eddlemon (Sigma Chi)
  • Karly Terrell (Chi Omega) and Colt Coffee (Sigma Chi)
  • Shannon Bangen (Chi Omega) and Cody Howell (Sigma Phi Epsilon)
  • Laura Wilson (Alpha Omicron Pi) and John Miller (Pi Kappa Alpha)

We would like to congratulate Cali Christiansen and Chris Eddlemon for being selected as Homecoming Queen and Homecoming King this year!

The Fraternity and Sorority community enjoyed sharing our Bobcat spirit with our alumni and our community this weekend and we can’t wait to do so again!

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