O’Reilly: A look into the Iota Nu chapter of fraternity Sigma Nu

Posted on December 07, 2011 in Greek Corner, Perspectives
By Patrick O'Reilly

The Iota Nu house proudly displays its history while welcoming students inside.
Justicia Barreiros
The Iota Nu house proudly displays its history while welcoming students inside.

 

Ever wonder what action movie star Harrison Ford and pro quarterback Archie Manning have in common? Aside from rugged good looks and a bankroll large enough to choke a Wookie, both American icons share eternal bonds of brotherhood — the same bonds of brotherhood forged in the hearts of Sigma Nus every where.

 

Since its formation at USM in 1975, the Iota Nu chapter of Sigma Nu has been a visible presence and force in the Greek life scene on campus. Its iconic three story house at 24 School St, prominently adorned with the Greek letters ∑N directly in the heart of Gorham Village is hard to miss indeed. The house itself has stood strong since 1812, a testament to the strength of the brotherhood contained within. Boasting a membership of 568 brothers since its formation in 1975, Iota Nu strives to provide a place where young men can flourish as students and brothers, as well as provide a framework for networking with brothers from all different walks of life.

 

Sigma Nu is one of only two affiliated Greek organizations at USM that provides brothers the opportunity to live off campus communally in a chapter house. Its house just received 80,000 dollars worth of renovations to its common rooms, kitchen and living quarters this summer.

 

“Our chapter house provides an affordable alternative to dorm living and gives brothers a sense of autonomy and independence while still being able to be involved in Gorham campus life,” said Jesse Miller,  commander of Iota Nu.

 

Graduating senior Jarret O’Connor had this to say in regards to living in the house, “Living [in the chapter house] is never dull. You’re never bored, there’s always someone hanging out.”

In addition to the chapter house, the large yellow building next door to the right known as The New England Center For Ethical Leadership is owned by several notable Sigma Nu alumni. The center, as it is affectionately referred to by brothers, is equipped with a large kitchen, a business style boardroom and, more importantly, a social area with pool, ping pong and poker tables.

 

As an organization Sigma Nu wholeheartedly dedicates itself to civic service and philanthropic donations. The organization maintains close ties with the American Red Cross and regularly sponsors blood drives both on and off campus, as well as participating in annual community service events with Portland based nonprofit The Iris Network.

 

This semester, Iota Nu raised over $1,200 — the largest amount donated by any team — to sponsor USM student Matt Fish in a walk for the visually impaired. Sigma Nu brother Eric Curtis said not only was the event a huge successes monetarily, but that “community service events are the most fun we have together, working for the greater good, and hey, being in the spotlight never hurts.”

 

This barely skims the surface of such a deeply rooted chapter. Interested students are encouraged to contact USM student and brother Tyler Tholl at tyler.tholl@maine.edu with any questions. The brothers of Iota Nu extend an open invitation to any and all USM students for next semester’s rush season, which takes place during the first three weeks of each semester.

 

Is Iota Nu for you?

 Patrick O’Reilly  is a therapeutic recreation major in his junior year. He is also a brother of the Iota Nu chapter of Sigma Nu