During the summer, Sigma Chi—the only fraternity on campus that both owns and operates its own house—turns into Summer Chi, an inclusive house in which the fraternity brothers rent out rooms to students both involved and uninvolved in Greek life.
The selection process for Summer Chi is completely separate from the Stanford R&DE summer draw. According to several sources, the process can be quite competitive if one is not a current member of the fraternity, as the selection committee—consisting of Sigma Chi members—gauges the applicants’ involvement on campus and willingness to live in a social space over the summer. However, if one is already a member of Sigma Chi, he is guaranteed a spot in the house.
“It’s one of the perks of being in Sigma Chi,” said fraternity brother Luis Bourgeois ’15.
“Realistically, it’s a great deal because it’s logistically simple if you are already living in the house during the year,” said fellow Sigma Chi member Alex Selowsky ’15. “I never moved out at the end of last year.”
Whether it is to get away from the housing draw, avoid expensive meal plans or steer clear of high school students, there are many reasons why students flock to Sigma Chi over the summer.
“I thought it was absurd that you are restricted to the dining plan but don’t have any say over where you live,” said Summer Chi resident and Stanford tour guide manager Justin Brown ’15.
“I definitely wanted to expand my horizons and make new friends in the house,” Brown said. “Because the kids in Sig Chi are picking the people who live here, I knew the kids I would be meeting are guaranteed to be cool. Also, the room set-ups are very nice.”
Although Sigma Chi is a fraternity house, the summer environment is very welcoming for students outside the Greek scene, according to Summer Chi residents.
“There are no preconceived notions from over the year about how it’s supposed to be [in the house],” said Patrick McCullough ’14. “Everybody is social and friendly—you definitely do not have to be involved in the Greek community to feel like you fit in.”
“I love summer at Sigma Chi because it is a great time to reach out to new people and bring them into the community,” said Sigma Chi Fall Recruitment Chair Sam Fischer ’15.
Over the summer there is one Residential Advisor who is responsible for maintaining house relations with the university. This year, Kelechi Erondu ’14 was nominated and voted by Sigma Chi members to be the RA for Summer Chi.
“I have had a lot of responsibility in terms of keeping the house afloat amidst all of the risks,” Erondu said. “We want to make sure we have a successful summer in terms of managing risk.”
“I feel like some people in this house are my family,” said Mitch Wheeler, Summer Chi resident. “It doesn’t just feel like Kelechi is living here—it feels like I have a brother here as well.”