Organization and Historical FAQs:
Q: What is Sigma Alpha Mu?
A: Sigma Alpha Mu was founded in 1909 at the City College of New York as a fraternity of Jewish men.
Q: Does one have to be Jewish to join Sigma Alpha Mu?
A: Sigma Alpha Mu was founded by Jewish men, but we are no longer exclusive to men of the Jewish faith. We welcome all men of good character. We do partner with some Jewish organizations like Hillel and Chabad, as well as encourage Jewish recruitment.
Q: Where do you have Fraternity chapters?:
A: The Fraternity currently has approximately fifty-two undergraduate chapters and colonies and thirty alumni chapters. For a complete chapter roster, see our Chapter Roll.
Q: What is the Fraternity structure and how is it governed?
A: The Fraternity organization is comprised of three legal entities; the operating entity (Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity, Inc.), The Sigma Alpha Mu Endowment Fund, and the Sigma Alpha Mu Foundation. The Fraternity is governed by the convention, which elects a board of directors (called the Octagon) comprised of seven alumni and one undergraduate. The Octagon elects four officers (Supreme Prior, Vice Supreme Prior, Exchequer, and Recorder) who govern in between official board meetings. The Endowment Fund is governed by seven Trustees who are appointed by the Octagon for two-year terms. The Endowment Fund is an LLC, and is "owned" by the Fraternity. It's purpose is to provide financial support to the Fraternity, and to assist chapters and house corporations with housing needs. The Sigma Alpha Mu Foundation is a separate legal entity that can accept tax-deductible contributions. It's purpose is to provide financial assistance to the Fraternity for its educational and leadership programs, and to provide scholarships and financial assistance to SAM members.
Q: Is there a Fraternity Staff and HQ?:
A: Yes for both questions. The HQ of the Fraternity is located at 8701 Founders Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268. The Octagon employs a professional and adminstrative staff that handles day-to-day operations. The staff is led by Executive Director Leland D. Manders.
Q: I've heard that hazing is still a problem on today's college campuses? Will my son be hazed?
A: Hazing is strictly prohibited by Fraternity policy, university policy, and by most states' laws. SAM's educational and leadership development programming is oriented toward teaching constructive new-member orientation. If you suspect that your son is being hazed during his candidacy, please immediately contact the Fraternity's Executive Director via phone (317-789-8338) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What are the costs of joining?
A: Dues and Fees for SAM are established by delegates at our annual international convention. Lifetime Membership Fee (upon joining) = $370, Undergraduate Annual Dues = $95/year, Risk Management Contribution- see next question. Additional, local chapter dues and fees are established by chapters independently of the international organization.
Q: What is the liability insurance charge?
A: SAM has a risk management program that, in addition to training and educational programs, provides liability insurance coverage for chapters, chapter officers, national officers, volunteer leaders, and house corporations. The cost of the program is assessed to each chapter (called a Risk Management Contribution), based on the 3-year average number of chapter members. The base fee during the 2012-2013 academic year is $242.50/per member. This fee might be higher (if the chapter has risk management violations, or has conducted high-risk programming). The fraternity offers discounts of up to 50% of this fee when chapters meet certain risk-reduction criteria (e.g. alcohol-free housing, extra training, high academic performance, etc.).
Q: Are scholarships available to members?
A: Yes. The Sigma Alpha Mu Foundation will grant over 140 scholarships totaling over $150,000 to members of the Fraternity during the coming academic year. The scholarship application process takes place during the winter months and grants are announced in early March of each year. The application form can be found on both the Fraternity's web site and the Foundation's web site. In addition, new members are eligible for a grant from the Guller Scholarship Fund if they achieve high academic results during their candidacy period.
Q: Is there a housing option?
A: Housing differs from campus to campus, but Sigma Alpha Mu will work with a chapter if their wishes are to achieve housing. Some houses are managed by local housing corporations, which are usually managed by SAM alumni.
Q: Does the Fraternity have a national philanthropy?
A: Yes. Each year, our chapters raise thousands of dollars (in 2011, over $40,0000 was raised) for the Judy Fund of the Alzheimer's Association. This fund was established in memory of the late wife of a fraternity alumnus. Overall, our chapter members raised over $360,000 last year for various national and local charities.
Q: Why should I join a fraternity if I already have a group of friends?
A: A fraternity is an opportunity to not only build a brotherhood of friends, but it helps build yourself into a stronger man through community service, philanthropy, and leadership skills that will translate through all your stages of life.
Q: If I am interested in starting a new chapter, what do I do?
A: Contact email@example.com for more information.