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Sigma Phi Beta named chapter of the year

President: First largely gay fraternity to win award at large university

 by Charlsy Panzino
 published on Friday, February 15, 2008


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Members of Sigma Phi Beta had a reason to celebrate after they beat 24 other ASU fraternities to win the Chapter of the Year award last week.

Sigma Phi Beta, the national and predominantly gay fraternity, founded at ASU in 2003, won the award for their campus involvement, academic performance and community service, among other efforts, said Steven Tran, Sigma Phi Beta's president.

Sigma Phi Beta is the first predominantly gay fraternity to win this award at a large university, Tran said.

"The issues and values that we believe in provided us a vision," Tran said. "The strength of our brotherhood, dedication to service, and responsibility to the community were only some of the reasons why we received this award."

Other factors included the fraternity's enthusiasm and commitment to its community, Tran added.

Sigma Phi Beta raised more than $800 for Phoenix's Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network in its annual philanthropy by spreading awareness of the realities faced by local youth including bullying and harassment, Tran said.

The fraternity also led a clothing drive, helped plan the most successful Relay for Life event for the Greek community and donated thousands of dollars to the American Cancer Society and the Caesar Chavez Day of Service, Tran said.

The members' "undeniable passion for this organization" also helped the fraternity win the award, said member and Spanish senior Joel Herrera.

"More than a common fraternity, SPB has given many of us a space to showcase our talents and grow on a personal, emotional, academic and professional level," Herrera added. "It was our president's vision for this year to win chapter of the year."

This win has shown that Sigma Phi Beta can compete with every other national fraternity, Herrera said, and it will inspire those who may have had doubts about putting themselves out there.

Tran said the fraternity's accomplishments show the acceptance and progressive support that Greek brothers and sisters provide.

"We have definitely changed hearts and minds, and the support form within the Greek community has been outstanding," Tran said.

Tran said he hopes other gay organizations see similar chances for success like his fraternity has achieved.

"We have shown ourselves and others that the potential within all individuals regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression is endless," he said.

Reach the reporter at charlsy.panzino@asu.edu.



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