Sigma Pi – a national fraternity with more than a century of involvement in the greek system – is currently seeking 25 male Gauchos to become the founding members of its newest branch, the Alpha Omicron chapter of the organization.

The fraternity, which was established in February of 1948, has been inactive since 1976. According to Jim DiVita, Sigma Pi’s director of expansion, the Interfraternity Council approved Sigma Pi’s bid to start a chapter at UCSB in Fall 2006, which made it eligible to host rush activities this quarter. In addition, the organization has been working with UCSB’s Office of Greek Affairs for over a year in hopes of becoming an official university-sanctioned fraternity.

The group recently received its approval from Greek Affairs, and the new branch will be on probation for a year, during which it must meet all university Greek organization standards.

Matt Besselman, an expansion consultant for the fraternity, said representatives will be tabling in the Arbor this week and next to recruit potential members.

Organizers for the new chapter said they are looking for well-rounded individuals to become founders of the Alpha Omicron chapter. In particular, DiVita said the fraternity is interested in recruiting members that would benefit from the organization and its principles.

“We are looking for scholars, leaders, athletes and gentlemen,” DiVita said. “Basically a well-rounded individual, what we call a Renaissance man.”

He said future members of Sigma Pi would obtain many benefits from being in the fraternity, including academic and financial assistance. He also said members must maintain a 2.25 minimum GPA to stay involved.

“As soon as they become members, brothers of Sigma Pi can apply for scholarships through the fraternity,” DiVita said. “We are also the only fraternity who give all of our members a study guide written by professors from schools like Cornell and Harvard that contain study tips to help you become successful while in school.”

Besselman said members of Sigma Pi will have the opportunity to be involved with many philanthropic activities in the surrounding community and on campus. Members will also be a part of Sigma Pi’s unique Altruistic Campus Experience program, a community service project that directly benefits the university.

“Sigma Pi is the only national Greek letters association with a program like ACE. ACE is a community service project that focuses on improving your campus and every chapter has a big ACE project every year,” Besselman said. “Examples of ACE projects that other chapters have done are on-campus alcohol awareness programs or planting trees on campus.”

The founders of the Sigma Pi Chapter at UCSB will have ample help and resources available to them as local alumni and active chapters are willing to help out with the new chapter.

“We have our alumni ready to help our new members get started. We also have about 20 chapters of Sigma Pi in the area who are ready to help get this chapter on its feet,” DiVita said. “Also, we will have a representative from our headquarters come to help out about three to four times a year.”

Besselman said upon graduation Sigma Pi alumni will have access to a network of over 86,000 alumni.

“We have alumni in almost every industry you can think of who are looking for people to hire,” Besselman said. “Members and alumni can post their resume on our website to be viewed by other alumni.”

DiVita said eventually the Sigma Pi chapter of UCSB would look to find a house for its members.

“We are eventually looking to secure housing down the road with the help of our alumni in the area, but the choice of where to live or if they are going to get a house is ultimately up to the members themselves,” DiVita said.

Students interested in becoming members can stop by the fraternity’s table in the Arbor from 11 to 2 p.m. this week and next week. In addition, informational meetings will be held on Jan. 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. at 2128 Girvetz Hall and on Jan. 25 and 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. at 2119 Girvetz.