Phi Beta Sigma looks to expand numbers
The reason Tyron Logan, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, joined his fraternity was to find inclusion: He found he did not have to try to fit in. They wanted him for who he was.
Now he is the treasurer of the Mu Zeta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma, a social and service historically black fraternity established in 1980 at Rutgers—New Brunswick.
Twenty-nine men started Phi Beta Sigma in the spirit of brotherhood to establish a chapter of a fraternity that refused to comply with societal trends, Logan said.
Those same values remain the foundation of the fraternity today, he said.
“Since we came on the campus in 1980, we have always been known as trend setters, and this is a tradition we very much want to continue,” Logan said. “They wanted me to bring new fresh viewpoints to the fraternity.”
Isaac Thompson, president of the chapter and a School of Management and Labor Relations senior, said he wanted to be a part of a brotherhood that did not require him to conform to any standard or change his personal beliefs. He found that with Phi Beta Sigma.
This is what also attracted Stephen Logan, the secretary of the fraternity and a School of Arts and Sciences senior to join.
The fraternity has a major focus on inclusion, he said, which is rare compared to other greek organizations.
“Phi Beta Sigma fraternity embodies the meaning of real brotherhood,” Stephen Logan said. “There is no stigma you have to conform to, no stereotype you need to abide by, it is a come as you are fraternity and bring whoever that is to the table.”
It is a fraternity that is not only open to individual personalities and ideas, but actively encourages and embraces members for it, Stephen Logan said.
“Our fraternity is known as ‘The People's Fraternity’ because of the work we do for our communities,” Tyrone Logan said. “We were the first to have an auxiliary group for young men. The principles the chapter lives by are brotherhood, scholarship and service.”
Everyone is different and offers their respective ideas and aspirations to the organization, Stephen Logan said.
The fraternity’s motto is "culture for service and service for humanity," Tyrone Logan said.
Members must show leadership characteristics, be involved in the Rutgers community and prove to be an upstanding individual, Stephen Logan said. They must also be genuinely interested in the organization, what it stands for and represent the organization whole-heartedly. A GPA of 2.5 or above and a good financial standing is required.
The fraternity being small in numbers has caused some difficulties for its members, Thompson said.
“It's just the three of us for now, so the behind the scenes work-load can get a bit overwhelming,” Thompson said. “But we're looking to change that very soon.”
The fraternity has been working closely with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs and Rutgers Multicultural Greek Council to ensure their status on campus remains intact and that their growth as a chapter continues to flourish, Thompson said.
“Our main goal currently is to grow our numbers by being a beacon of light on the Rutgers campus,” Tyrone Logan said. “We want to bring new and innovative events to the campus. We want to work on helping the University work together as a whole.”
All fraternities, sororities, organizations and faculty should work together to make the Rutgers experience even better than it already is, Tyrone Logan said.
“I love the unity and connections that come along with being a Sigma,” Thompson said. “Not only are we connected to our brothers, but also to our constitutionally bounded sisters of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., whom I hope to see back on the campus before the end of my college term.”
The fraternity also has an international reach, Stephen Logan said.
“Having brothers in different countries expands your network to a whole new level," Stephen Logan said. “It instills a sense of security while in college for your future job outside of school. There isn’t a field of study or work where Phi Beta Sigma is not represented.”
The fraternity aims to make campus life fun while continuing to remember why they came to school in the first place, to get an education, Tyrone Logan said.
“We want to look at events that are great and make them better. We want to look at areas if the college experience that are weak an make them stronger,” he said.
They are also working to strengthen campus relationships and build strong networks that will last beyond college and make all students proud to be Rutgers alumni, Tyrone Logan said.
Within all their ideas and goals, two things remain constant — growth and innovation, Stephen Logan said.
“Greek life hasn't been as appealing these past couple years. We plan on adding a different aspect that's been missing from this campus,” Thompson said. “We're bringing friendly competition.”
Noa Halff is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore with an undeclared major. She is an associate news editor for The Daily Targum. Follow her on Twitter @NoaHalff for more.