Sigma Gamma Phi History

In the spring of 1989 there was a small group of women at the State University of New York at Potsdam and Clarkson University campuses that wanted to rush a sorority and pledge together. They rushed and didn't care for what the houses all had to offer. After rushing they wondered why they couldn't create their own sorority. Ed Weaver of the fraternity Sigma Pi - SUNY Potsdam (and friend of the women) was asked if he knew of any way they could start a sorority, and if he could recommend a sorority. Ed's sister, Penny Perez, was a sister of Arethusa at the SUNY Geneseo chapter, and he knew that she loved being a sister there. He suggested they get in touch with her. The group of women got in touch with Penny and all went well. Geneseo was interested in helping another chapter start. During this time period the women found that the Lambda Chapter of Arethusa was present in Potsdam back in the 1930's. With this foundation in place, the friendship and sisterhood with Geneseo began. The women met with the Greek association at SUNY Potsdam and stated their story. They were told that a constitution needed to be drawn up and approved by the association. With a skeleton sample in hand, they were off to work on the constitution. Hopefully, there would be a pledge class in the Fall of 1989! The Greek association at SUNY had previously regulated that at least 25 women would be needed to start the chapter. All appropriate rules and regulations had to be followed -- all women needed to rush each and every house on campus before having their own founding bid night. Before the rush parties began the women had a misfortune, a couple of the women's grade point averages had fallen below the school's designated allowance to pledge during the past semester, and one woman did not return to school. The needed number of 25 was not there--only 22 were available. The women got together and thought about the predicament. They decided to hold an informal interest party to see if they could find more women who might be interested in starting a new house. On a rainy Wednesday night in September 1989, a group of about seven women found their way to the Barstow Apartments on Market Street in Potsdam, some alone, some in groups. There they found 22 women on a mission to start a new sorority on the campus. Six of them decided to be part of this historical event. Twenty eight potential Arethusa pledges and founding sisters were ready to go!

Now Arethusa Sorority is a social and service sorority. There is more than one chapter but our particular chapter is located in Potsdam, NY. Our Greek letters are Sigma Gamma Phi with the colors of navy blue, kelly green and white. The chapter was established on October 14, 1989. Our mascot is the dolphin. The chapter is made up of both Potsdam and Clarkson girls, all with very diverse backgrounds and interests and we presently reside on Pierrepont Avenue.

 

 

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