Sigma Pi Fraternity


A group of seven men started an interest group to form a new fraternity at SUNY Potsdam in March, 1981.  A colony of Sigma Pi Fraternity was founded on September 16, 1981 with 25 members.  They received their charter as the Epsilon-Omega chapter on November 5, 1983.
1983 SUNY Potsdam yearbook
At some point fraternity started a female affiliate group, The Emeralds.  It disbanded around 1988.  In 1997 Sigma Pi purchased the house at 18 Elm Street, formerly owned by Theta Chi. According to one alumni: "Sigma Pi purchased Theta Chi's house and painted the windows to match their colors but left one window red in honor of Theta Chi."

In 2006 the fraternity is cited by the Town of Potsdam's code-enforcement department due to the condition of their house.  They also lost their national charter and recognition from SUNY Potsdam that year, after several legal and disciplinary issues.

In 2010 the town of Potsdam purchased the house at 18 Elm Street for $61,781, with the intent to turn it into a courthouse.  The 1890s home is later demolished and a new town hall is built on the property and occupied in early 2013.

Colors: lavender, white and gold


18 Elm Street


  1. As a founding father of the Sigma Pi (Epsilon Omega Chapter) fraternity in the early '80's, I'm totally dismayed with our chapter being banned by SUNY Potsdam. I'd like to learn 'both sides' of the story, however for all of the good work, the brotherhood, and our commitment to Greek life, it is such a waste of so much good.

  2. The final story I read about Sigma Pi was that three members went to Van Housen hall to fight another student who had been texting with one of their girlfriends.

    According to the story in The Racquette, the three Sigma Pi brothers were beaten up by the single guy in the Van Housen, known as the music school dormitory. The fraternity was suspended not long afterwards.

  3. As a member at the time of our banning the above story never occurred and it's the fist I've ever heard the rumor. We were one of the first houses to be banned in what turned out to be a complete sweep of Greek life from SUNY. The school started out with the goal of eradicating Greek life and as of this fall they have almost completely succeeded. Now, we didn't make it to hard for them. There was a fight in the parking lot next to the police station with another Greek house, one of member fell off a porch roof and is now a paraplegic, and we were caught throwing a massive messy party after we were put on "double secret probation". These events directly resulted in our house losing our recognition.

  4. To the founding father who posted on March 10th--- What carl said is correct. Suny was doing everything they could to eradicate greek life. The college town of potsdam in 2010 was vastly different than it was when you founded the chapter. Meetings were held with the administration at SUNY to get on the same page as the school...our sides of the story, or recommendations to steer clear of trouble, and all of our philanthropic contributions were totally ignored with condescending totalitarian mindsets.

  5. Shall we get together and try to reform our chapter? When I was founding father President, the intention was to create a true and everlasting brotherhood. I am on facebook if anyone is possibly interested.

    Sincerely, Drew Bennett

  6. I was President for 2 years in the 1980's. I was an active alumni ubtil the mid-90's. I saw the University intentionally dismantle the Greek system; and I no longer donate to SUCP. At one point, ee were the largest house on campus. It truly breaks your heart to see what happened.