A New Beginning
For the brothers of Sigma Delta fraternity, the construction of a new house on a wooded corner of Clarkson’s campus represents more than a new home. It's also a new beginning for Clarkson's second-oldest fraternity.
Sigma Delta reorganized at Clarkson last spring. A handful of active brothers are attempting to restore the fraternity to what it once was; they are recruiting to fill one of the on-campus "theme houses" under construction that is slated for completion by fall semester.
It's a new era for Sigma Delta, founded at Clarkson in 1904.
"If you have this long tradition of over 100 years, you shouldn't let it slip away," Joseph Zeitler '14 said.
Zeitler wasn't at Clarkson during Sigma Delta’s more active days. But he heard the stories of older students and alumni that made him realize Greek Life and the Sigma Delta experience were for him.
One of those older students who passed the Sigma Delta traditions down to Zeitler was Allen Jerabeck '12. Jerabeck and his father are both Clarkson and Sigma Delta alumni. He is "passing the torch" to Zeitler to keep the Sigma Delta traditions alive – instilling strength, integrity, growth and a competitive nature in its members.
"Your brothers are there to help you grow. You've got a brother wherever you go," Jerabeck said. "You meet these awesome people and develop real lifelong connections and friendships."
The students revitalizing have plenty of support from Sigma Delta alumni. During last year's Clarkson Alumni Weekend, which included a barbeque and golf outing attended by nearly 100 Sigma Delta members, a pledge drive began to pay for the fraternity’s new on-campus house. Approximately $70,000 has been raised since then, Jerabeck said.
Zeitler is intent on passing the Sigma Delta traditions to a new group of students much like Jerabeck and other alumni did for him. The alumni enthusiasm for bringing Sigma Delta back is heartening and shows the enduring power of the fraternity’s community spirit, Zeitler said.
"It was great to hear how happy they were that we were doing this," Zeitler said. "We can turn it around."