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SAM members are scholars, leaders and men of strong values - as a founding father of the Sigma Chi chapter, you'll get the unique opportunity to not only join a strong national organization but become a standout leader in College Park.

A New Chapter: Joining the Next Group of Leaders and Scholars on Campus
By Andi Cwieka

When Austin Anderson first came to college, he thought he knew that Greek life wasn’t for him.

“For my first two years, I thought it was the stupidest thing,” Anderson said. Then, in his junior year at Washington State University, he found out that Sigma Alpha Mu was colonizing on his campus.

After going through a quick recruitment process and joining the fraternity, Anderson knew he wanted to dive right in.

“I knew I wanted a leadership position,” Anderson said. “I wanted to get the most out of it I possibly could.”

And that’s exactly what he did.

Anderson was elected president of the founding class, and spent his last two years of college cultivating friendships and making connections that still last to this day.

Philanthropy is a huge part of SAM's focus - whether it be raising money for the Judy Fund and the Alzheimer's association, or volunteering for causes central to the local community of each chapter.

“I grew more in the last two years of college than I had ever before,” he added. Anderson now works as an Educational Leadership Consultant for SAM and will help guide the founding class of the University of Maryland chapter when it comes to campus this fall.

As a re-colonizing chapter, SAM will be looking for students to become founding fathers of the Sigma Chi chapter, which was originally founded on College Park’s campus in 1933.

Anderson and Jacob Isaacson, another SAM leadership consultant, said they will be recruiting members during fall rush, and also going to various organizations to speak to students and promote SAM. While current freshman would be able to get the most time out of joining the fraternity, Anderson said they are looking for students of all ages.

“Ideally, we want a mix of students, so that way they’ll bring various experiences,” said Isaacson. “We want a solid core of freshman, of course, but it’s important to have upperclassmen as well to serve as mentors and leaders.”

As founding fathers, students will not only get the brotherhood experience of a fraternity, but also unique leadership and development opportunities.

“We’re looking for students who are academically minded, value scholarship and want to put themselves into the next class of outstanding men,” Isaacson added.

Joining a Greek organization can be daunting – especially if that organization is new. But students who are already involved on campus or are studying a rigorous major have a place as a founding father too.

“I’ve seen those kind of students thrive as new members,” Isaacson said. “They already have the time management skills, and they tend to be realists and keep everyone on task.”

Both Anderson and Isaacson agree that you get out what you put in – and SAM keeps on giving, even after graduation.

“With SAM, I had a group of life-long friends and experiences I’ll remember forever,” said Bruce Harris, an alum of the Sigma Chi chapter. After joining SAM, Harris said, the doors to other opportunities easily opened up for him.

“I was active in the Interfraternity Council, I was the SGA president, and I’m still in contact with a lot of my brothers to this day,” the Baltimore native said.

Joining a fraternity sticks with you through college and beyond – SAM alum Mike Snitzer said being in a fraternity was much more than just a “place for partying.”

“I became a leader all over campus after joining,” Snitzer said. “I got involved in so many things I never thought possible.”

If you’re even on the fence about joining a fraternity, Snitzer said to go for it.

“Don’t be afraid to be involved – it’s an educational process and it’s a place to better yourself,” Snitzer said. “The chapter here did so much for me.”

Anderson and Isaacson will be on campus starting this fall – so if you’re still unsure, “just ask,” urges Anderson.

“Every chapter is different, and if you want to be Greek, it’s worth looking into,” Anderson said. “It changed my life.”

Sigma Alpha Mu started as a fraternity for Jewish men in 1909, then opened to all men in 1953. Today, SAM boasts a diverse group of members across the country.

To aid students who might have difficulties supporting the financial dues of a fraternity, SAM awards more than $210,000 in scholarships each year to brothers across the country.

“There’s always a way for us to work with you – we don’t want money to hold you back,” Anderson said. “There’s a Greek opportunity for everyone.”

While SAM was started as a Jewish fraternity, since 1953 the fraternity has been open to men of all religious backgrounds – and now the membership is exceptionally diverse, Anderson said.

With a national fraternity GPA average of 3.07 and more than $100,000 raised for the Alzheimer’s philanthropy the Judy Fund last year alone, SAM is so much more than just a place for guys to make new friends. Dedicated academics, a strong philanthropy and leadership opportunities are just a few of the benefits to joining SAM and becoming a founding father at the University of Maryland.

“It’s much more than just Greek letters,” Snitzer said. “I did so much more than I ever thought I would in college.”

If you want to find out more, visit the SAM Sigma Chi chapter Facebook page for rush updates and information. Feel free to reach out to Austin Anderson at austina@sam.org or Jacob Isaacson at Jacobi@sam.org with any questions.