By Irvin Zhang, news correspondent
The Phi Gamma Delta fraternity will swear in its first class of Northeastern brothers Thursday, making founding fathers out of the students who received bids over the past two weeks during the initiation process.
More commonly known as FIJI, the fraternity will pledge 77 students after a seven week-long process that consisted of three interviews for each student.
Marvin Sagastume, a freshman combined computer science and business administration major, is one of the students who completed the process and received a bid.
Sagastume said he heard about FIJI through his friends at another Northeastern fraternity. He said they encouraged him to go to the information meetings and see if he’d be interested in joining.
“I liked what I heard from the information meeting and so I signed up for the one-on-one meeting,” Sagastume said. “The first one went really well so I decided to keep going with it. The whole process is basically, you get three meetings one-on-one. From there, they’ll decide whether you’re a good fit for the fraternity or not, and whether they will give you a bid or not.”
Josh Cox, a field secretary for FIJI national who works to develop new chapters, said students must meet the criteria of FIJI’s values as well as the minimum GPA standard of 2.5 in order to receive a bid.
The fraternity will start out as what is known as a colony—undergoing a probationary period in which the new chapter must meet standards of community service, philanthropy and academic achievement set by the national organization.
Colin Treanor, the director of growth for FIJI national, said a lot of planning has gone toward a support system that will guide the colony through its first 18 months and offer assistance even after it becomes an officially recognized chapter.
“Our big help is typically graduates,” Treanor said. “That’s something we have had a lot of success with here in Boston. We have a lot of really involved grads who want to help mentor and advise this chapter.”
Due to a strong presence of FIJI graduates in Boston, Treanor said they’ve had their eyes on creating a chapter at a university in the city. When Northeastern expressed interest in an expansion of its Greek Life to organizations around the country, Treanor said FIJI was one of five fraternities negotiating with the school.
“When the university is ready to bring a new fraternity on campus, they start contacting national organizations, saying, ‘Hey, Northeastern is ready for expansion if your organization wants to apply for a spot,’ and so we did a presentation of our organization,” Cox said. “That was about a little more than a year ago. Ultimately we were slated for spring of 2017.”
Once the school established interest in FIJI, Northeastern and fraternity representatives created a timeline for implementing the new chapter into the university.
“We try to find a timeline that we think would be the best fit,” Treanor said. “We try to plan it with enough time that we can coordinate extra support for the new chapter because it’s a tough thing to start a new fraternity.”
Because of Northeastern’s N.U.in program, Phi Gamma Delta made the decision to open the fraternity on campus during the spring semester rather than the fall.
The students who received bids for the fraternity attended a retreat three days before the ceremony on Thursday where they met each other for the first time.
“Now that I’m in it and after meeting the group of guys at the retreat, we are already so close,” Sagastume said. “Our goals and ideals are really similar, and it’s going to make us want to be the best fraternity on campus.”
Editor’s Note: The News’ managing editor James Duffy has accepted a bid to FIJI.
Photo by Lauren Scornavacca