A primary concern of parents is the people with whom their son associates throughout his life. In college, when their son is "on his own,"---many times for the first time---fathers and mothers are apprehensive of "letting go." When their son shows interest in fraternities, many parents, especially those who did not have the opportunity of or participate in this facet of college life, are bewildered about these organizations. Parents' chief concern is the experience their son will have as a part of a fraternity.
Negative publicity stereotypes all Greek-letter organizations. The publicized actions of a few members of fraternities on a few campuses throughout the country worries many parents, for they feel these offensive practices are widespread. The degrading activities and traditions of fraternities which are reported in newspapers and magazines cause many to believe that these practices take place in every chapter of every fraternity.
On the contrary, these isolated, offensive activities are as rare as those reported in other facets of daily life. In fact, statistics prove that thousands of chapters of fraternities (and sororities) flourish at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada; this fact alone should assure any concerned, thoughtful parent that the publicized actions of a handful do not, and should not, reflect on the others. It is doubtful that there would be a college fraternity or sorority existing today if the offensive practices many think occur actually did occur! What is not normally publicized is the fact that those chapters who have committed these acts have been punished by their universities and by their national organizations by being placed on probation or by having their charters revoked.
The positive aspects of a fraternity. What is important to know is that fraternities have existed for over two hundred years, that (1) they are composed of men, like your son, who are experiencing a most critical time in their lives, (2) fraternities are presided over by professionals, (3) the vast majority of chapters run on a sound financial basis, (4) the friendships your son makes while being an active member last a lifetime, (5) your son is learning leadership qualities, (6) the principles taught by fraternities are designed to make him a better man, and (7) currently, fraternities are stronger than ever. The years living in a fraternity atmosphere certainly benefit most individuals; at least this is true in Sigma Chi.
"I believe in fairness, decency and good manners. I will endeavor to retain the spirit of youth. I will try to make my college, the Sigma Chi Fraternity, and my own chapter more honored by all men and women and more beloved and honestly respected by our own brothers. I say these words in all sincerity; that Sigma Chi has given me favor and distinction; that the bond of our fellowship is reciprocal, that I will endeavor to so build myself and so conduct myself that I will ever be a credit to our fraternity."
"The Sigma Chi Creed" was written in 1929 by George Ade, an Indiana author who wrote Fables in Slang (1899), which is "often credited with [presenting] the most acute literary examples of the language of the common American." (John D. Hart, The Oxford Companion to American Literature, 4th Ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1965, p. 9.) George Ade, also a celebrated American journalist and playwright was active in Sigma Chi until his death in 1944; he became a Sigma Chi in 1887 while attending Purdue University. The 95 words of "The Sigma Chi Creed" are important to every Sigma Chi, for they express our initial goals. Consequently, Sigma Chi alumni, while achieving a multitude of successes in all walks of life, find the time to devote to the educations and futures of undergraduate members while serving their universities and communities.