How to Start a New Chapter
From start to finish, Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s goal is to create strong colonies and chapters and ensure that our members have the best experience possible. Below is the process Sigma Alpha Epsilon takes in starting colonies. The colonization process can take up to a year depending on the university or college.
Made by a university or group of students where Greek Life is interested in expansion of their Greek system.
- Research of Institution
The Coordinator of Expansion and the Extension Advisory Committee (a committee of volunteer alumni from around the nation) researches the opportunity and gives approval to all groups interested in becoming a colony.
- Approval by Extension Advisory Committee to Colonize
If selected as a potential colony of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the group would begin working with the national headquarters on the requirement to colonize. At this point, the group is not allowed to use any branding or insignia of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, including the Greek letters SAE.
- Membership Selection
In order to meet the minimum requirement to colonize, the interest group should have a size of at least 50% of the average fraternity size on campus (17 man minimum). A 2.5 GPA minimum is required for membership into Sigma Alpha Epsilon, so keep that in mind when recruiting men.
First, the interest group must meet the requirements in membership selection. Then, the group is approved by the university and recommended to the EAC and Supreme Council for approval. Once approved, the interest group will then start the process for the colonization ceremony. Alumni will conduct a colonization ceremony, which makes the group formally recognized by the Fraternity, and allows the group officially to begin making progress toward obtaining a charter.
- Officer and Member Development
The men invited to join Sigma Alpha Epsilon will begin working with headquarters staff and alumni to identify leaders and to begin the membe educration process. SAE does not utilzie a pledge process; rather all members are active from Day 1 in order to particpate in a four year educational experience. Staff and alumni work with the group to develop all of the necessary programs and policies to establish a successful colony and, later, a successful chapter.
Following colonization, the Coordinator of Expansion will visit the campus at least once a semester or more depending on the needs of the colony. The Coordinator of Expansion will also be in constant contact with alumni, undergraduate officers and campus officials. Sigma Alpha Epsilon views expansion and the establishment of a colony as an investment in the Fraternity and the host campus. We will do everything possible to protect that investment and ensure that we establish the most successful colony possible.
- Periodic Evaluation
The colony will be evaluated on a monthly basis using monthly reports located in the colony’s manual. Staff and alumni will also make evaluations during regular follow-up visits and through discussions with alumni, undergraduate officers and campus officials. These evaluations will determine the progress and strength of the colony.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s goal is to install a new chapter 12-18 months after the colonization, but that time frame is dependent on the overall success of the colony. Upon completion of all colony requirements; approval by the Province Council, investigation team and Supreme Council of the colony's installation application; staff and alumni members will conduct an on-site installation and the formal Initiation Ceremony.
- Ongoing Support
After the establishment of a chapter, Sigma Alpha Epsilon will continue to provide support to the new chapter through regular staff and alumni visits and other lines of communication at least twice a year and through the Fraternity's numerous conferences, mailings and other resources. Alumni will also continue to advise the group to help ensure that the chapter continues to live up to Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s high standards.