Creating visibility and opportunity for GBTQ+ members via scholarships, mentorship, programs, and events.
The Chicago Society serves as a resource for GBTQ+ undergraduate brothers, alumni, and volunteers. Through social events, fund raising, professional networking, community service, and mentorship, the Chicago Society sustains a GBTQ+ network to support each other and the mission of Sigma Phi Epsilon. Our work is inspired by the challenge issued by Grand President McCleary in 1987:
Sigma Phi Epsilon was a leader in eliminating racial and religious discriminatory clauses in its membership requirements. Sigma Phi Epsilon should exhibit vision and courage in the areas of minority membership and leadership in its chapters. This fraternity must take an active role in appreciating the equality of all people.
To that end, we advocate for a fraternity that welcomes all men and work to ensure they feel they belong and have a natural place in the organization. We work to make sure we are seen in institutional leadership and that our members are connected to their own history by highlighting individuals and stories that have often been marginalized from the Fraternity’s official narrative.
The Chicago Society draws its name from the 46th Grand Chapter Conclave held in Chicago, Illinois in 1999. There, Conclave voted to extend the 1959 decision to open membership to all races, religions, and creeds to include sexual orientation. In adding sexual orientation to SigEp’s non-discrimination clause in the Grand Chapter Bylaws, the Fraternity recommitted itself to building a more inclusive and diverse membership. On August 2nd, 2015, the SigEp National Board of Directors unanimously approved policy clarifying that any individual who identifies as a man is welcome to seek membership in the fraternity.
The 1999 Conclave ratified what many had recognized for decades: that GBTQ+ brothers had volunteered and given of their time, talents and resources to effect positive change in Sigma Phi Epsilon.