Delta Sigma Pi (DSP), a new business fraternity at University of Richmond, is bringing an important element of business back to the university: competition.
The coed professional business fraternity is challenging the campus stronghold that Alpha Kappa Psi has had since Delta Epsilon Chi was forced to leave campus last year following a hazing charge. Students seeking the networking opportunities provided by business fraternities once again have two options to choose from.
The work of DSP officers such as President Colleen Tobin and Senior Vice President Hadley Roberts, both founding members, has helped grow the Rho Omega chapter since its installation.
"In order to be an efficient business fraternity, you need competition," said Tobin, a senior who is also president of the International Business Student Association on campus. Tobin and Roberts have been with DSP since its beginning, when it was only the idea of a few students.
"Delta Sigma Pi is one of the largest professional business fraternities in the United States," Roberts said. "We saw that there was a void, a need for another business fraternity on campus, and after doing different research, we thought that this would be a good organization to bring to campus."
At the end of the 2011-2012 academic year, the group began its first push toward a charter, but was ultimately unable to commence any serious activity, Tobin said. In the fall semester of 2012, the students began meeting with representatives from Delta Sigma Pi's national office and things rapidly escalated. Tobin said she credited a strong focus on recruitment and public relations as the decisive factors in DSP having its chapter installed by the end of spring semester.
"There aren't many times where people can come into something new and make it something that they want with the values that they want to uphold, and the organizational structure that they want to have," Roberts said.
She said the selling point of being able to mold a still-nascent business fraternity has been vital for recruitment. Tobin and Roberts both said that Delta Sigma Pi must be able to stand out from other student organizations, especially Alpha Kappa Psi, to create some stability and a reputation on campus.
Unlike AKPsi, DSP only accepts students majoring or planning on majoring in the Robins School of Business, Tobin and Roberts said. Delta Sigma Pi also requires a minimum GPA of 2.7.
Tobin said she hoped that the young fraternity would serve a larger purpose for the campus and community outside of pure resume padding. "There're numerous organizations, and we didn't want to be one of those that's just a resume builder," she said. "There's no way in hell we want somebody coming just to do that. We want to help people build their resume, but not just by including DSP. We want to help them grow as an individual."
This semester, the group gained 23 members through rush. "After they're initiated, we'll be 53," Tobin said, "which is almost double the size we were before."
Contact reporter Jacob Steinfield at firstname.lastname@example.org