by Dr. Spencer A. Long
Many times we are asked at the Fraternity Service Center what the process is for a chapter returning to the realm or for establishing a new chapter. Although there are a number of factors that are taken into consideration in this process, it is ultimately governed by the Fraternity Laws, more specifically the Permanent Committee on Extension.
Fraternity Laws Title III Section 31.A. The Permanent Committee on Extension
- Membership. Within sixty days following the adjournment of each regular session of the Fraternity Convention, the Eminent Supreme Archon, with the advice and consent of the Supreme Council, must appoint a Permanent Committee on Extension, consisting of a chairman and not less than two and no more than six additional members, who will serve until their successors are duly appointed, in addition to one member of the Supreme Council and the Eminent Supreme Recorder, who will serve as recording secretary of the committee.
- Duties. The Permanent Committee on Extension will cause the development, amendment, and implementation of a plan for deliberate and orderly growth of the Fraternity through the addition of new or revitalization of previously chartered Chapters Collegiate, soliciting input from throughout the Realm.
- Duties of the Eminent Supreme Recorder. The Eminent Supreme Recorder will perform such duties as may be directed by the committee and will have primary responsibility for devising and implementing the committee’s extension plan.
The process starts out with an Institutional Survey of the Institution at which the Fraternity is looking to establish or reestablish an Emerging Chapter. The Institutional Survey takes into consideration items like full-time undergraduate male enrollment, institutional type, and the make-up of the Fraternity Community among other factors. The Institutional Survey also includes learning more about the institutional specific expansion policies and procedures. In cases where the Fraternity is working to bring back a chapter that could look different than if we were establishing a new chapter. Once there is an alignment with institutional fit, the proposed expansion is brought forth to the Extension Advisory Committee for a recommendation vote to the Supreme Council, and ultimately a vote by the Supreme Council for Extension.
Once approved, the Fraternity Service Center and alumni volunteers work through a series of Chartering Checklist items known as the Emerging Chapter Building Blocks. These Building Blocks are educational in nature and provide the foundation and training needed for the Emerging Chapter to be successful. After the Emerging Chapter has shown competency in the building blocks, they then submit a Petition to Charter to the Eminent Supreme Recorder for consideration.
Upon receipt of the Petition to Charter, the Eminent Supreme Recorder works with the Permanent Committee on Extension to have an Out of Province Investigation conducted for the Emerging Chapter. The Out of Province Investigation Team then conducts an investigation into the readiness of the Emerging Chapter for Chartering and makes a recommendation report back to the Eminent Supreme Recorder and the Permanent Committee on Extension. That recommendation is ultimately then voted on by the Committee before moving forward to the Supreme Council who issues a mail ballot vote of the Fraternity Convention. On average this process, from the establishment of an Emerging Chapter to the Chartering, is between 12-18 months.
This Fall the Fraternity has established or reestablished Emerging Chapters at Saint Louis University (Missouri Zeta), California State University, Fullerton (California Pi), the University of Southern California (California Gamma), and Allegheny College (Pennsylvania Omega). Looking ahead, this Spring, the Fraternity will reestablish Emerging Chapters at Western Michigan University (Michigan Delta) and the University of Iowa (Iowa Beta).
As outlined in the charge to the Permanent Committee on Extension, this article is also meant to serve as the solicitation to the Realm for input on institutions that should be considered for the establishment of new Emerging Chapters or the reestablishment of Phoenix Emerging Chapters. Please visit https://www.sae.net/contact/ and select “Expansion Opportunity” on the form.