Historical Fraternity Rush Booklet, Part 2 of 3

18 07 2008

Going back to our fantastic fraternity guide from 1970, here’s the entry for Alpha Chi Sigma, the chemistry fraternity, located at 425 Wyckoff Avenue on North Campus (since 1955). According to the Tau chapter website, the house previously belonged to a sorority, and was built in the “silent-film era” [1]. The third floor rooms were added after the initial construction. The house became co-ed the year after this was published, in 1971.

The “demise” of Alpha Chi Sigma as an IFC Chapter is a bit unique. By the 1980s, the brotherhood consisted mostly of graduate students, and they lost interest in being a part in the IFC. From their website,

Tau lore suggests that the brothers nominated a dog to be their IFC representative at one point during this era.”

By the end of the 1980s, membership was virtually nothing, and the chapter withdrew from the IFC. By 1994, it was revived, but as a professional organization alone. Today, members still live in the house, but members of other frats can join, and it is not a member of the IFC.


The above photo is that of the Phi Sigma Epsilon house in 1970. The fraternity and all of its chapters merged with Phi Kappa Sigma in 1985, one of the largest mergers of fraternal organizations ever recorded. In the case of Cornell, where both existed, the result was that ΦΣΕ closed its house.

The house belongs to Alpha Chi Omega Sorority today.


Between 1967 and 1984, when AEPi was inactive, Sigma Alpha Mu utilized their property. Here we can see that both of these houses on the 200 block of Thurston Avenue are technically “Sammy” houses; as history would have it, AEPi would regenerate in 1984, and SAM would move to the Phillips House by 2004.

The current house is known in some documents as Phillips House, but I am unable to locate the source of the name. Possibly, it has something to do with the former landowners of where the house, at 10 Sisson Place, sits now. It was built in 1956 for Chi Omega sorority [2], and functioned as their house (save for a period when Chi Omega didn’t exist) until they folded in 2003. Sigma Alpha Mu bought the property shortly afterwards. The hipped roof is a later addition to the house (the original roof was flat).


The house of Phi Lambda Phi Fraternity, in 1970. As mentioned previously, this historically Jewish fraternity merged with Beta Sigma Rho within a couple years of this publication (by 1972-1973). Well, the house was eventually used by Cornell for its undergraduate admissions office (imho, the happiness inside died with each rejected application—the place is rumored to be haunted [3]).






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