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Sigma Nu reinstated–University Daily Kansan

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Sigma Nu officially reinstated

The fraternity was shut down in 2005 because of hazing violations but petitioned to reopen its chapter.

by Michelle Sprehe

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008
After losing its charter in 2005, Sigma Nu fraternity received its reorganization certificate Saturday night at Abe and Jake’s Landing, marking its official return as a chapter. The fraternity was officially recognized by the University when it came back to campus last fall.

“It was closed by alumni because they felt the chapter was going in the wrong direction,” said Jordan Herbert, Olathe sophomore and president of Sigma Nu.

To regain its charter, the fraternity had to create a petition that logged its efforts for improvement and then had to submit it to Sigma Nu’s national office.

“It shows that we are running a house that instills the values of Sigma Nu and we can do it on our own,” Herbert said.

John LeRoy, Leawood senior and vice president of the fraternity, was a new member when the charter was taken away.

“We were shut down because of the alumni and hazing violations,” LeRoy said. “It wasn’t what I was expecting because I was told there would be no hazing.”

LeRoy said members of the house didn’t trust one another after he was lied to.

“It’s important to let each member know what they are getting in to,” LeRoy said. “I saw it as a good opportunity to start something new.”

Chad Guempel, St. Louis freshman, said that he was told about the past problems and that the fraternity didn’t have a charter when he joined. He said he decided to join because he liked the house and the people in it.

“I was kind of hesitant to immediately join because I didn’t know how obtainable getting a charter would be,” Guempel said. “But they told me they’d gone through the process of petitioning and they would have the charter back with in the next few years.”

Alumni helped with recruitment until the fraternity officially became a chapter again. Herbert said the fraternity gained 33 new members and estimated 20 more would join next year.

“I think we’ll have more pull on campus during recruitment next year because we’re one of the older houses and we’ll gain more respect now that we are an official chapter,” Guempel said.

Herbert said that it took a year and a half to finish and submit the petition but that it usually took two or more years.

“It’s really surprising because it was such a quick turn around,” LeRoy said. “It gives us something to take pride in and freedom to enjoy our achievement.”

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. In April of 2024, the Alaska Press Club awarded him first place in the Best Columnist division and Best Humorist, second place.

He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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