Phi Kappa Sigma returns to the U after 60 years

The fraternity will gain members with the help of Phired Up Productions.

by Chelsey Knutson

Phi Kappa Sigma is returning to the University of Minnesota after 60 years, and itâÄôs hiring a professional recruitment service to gain members.

Phired Up Productions teaches fraternities and sororities how to recruit the best people they can, said Matt Mattson, president of Phired Up. The UniversityâÄôs Interfraternal Council hired Phired Up approximately two years ago to train other greek life leaders how to recruit, he said.

“Phired Up teaches the art and science of recruiting,” said Vince Fabra, a social excellence coach for Phired Up Productions.

The national chapter of PKS is on a major expansion push and is going back to a lot of their old chapters at the large public schools, Hamilton F. “Toby” Smith, executive director of PKS, said.

“Phi Kappa Sigma will bring new life into the fraternity system here,” Fabra said.

All the PKS chapter houses have an alcohol-free commitment, Fabra said.

In the past the fraternal experience was very focused on relationships and a value-based approach with less emphasis on alcohol, Smith said. “We are trying to go back to the true fraternal experience.”

Indiana-based PKS is recruiting members right now and are looking for 45 people at the University who are ready to start the chapter between now and Thanksgiving, Fabra said.

Phired Up is on campus to find those members.

Fabra has been having one-on-one conversations with possible PKS members for the past week.

PKS wants well-rounded men who outsiders wouldnâÄôt normally associate with fraternities, Fabra said âÄî “members that are open to diversity and creating a fraternity that isnâÄôt rooted in tradition,” Fabra said.

PKS does not have a chapter house on campus currently, but hopes to one day. As is PKS tradition, it would be substance free, Smith said.

“ItâÄôs an exciting opportunity to have a new group come and possibly reach out to students that havenâÄôt found a place in fraternity life,” said Chad Ellsworth, coordinator for the Office for Fraternity and Sorority Life.

“I really like it when new groups come in because they bring a new energy to the campus,” he said.

PKS has educational programs for their members, including a leadership institute every winter, called “Men of Honor,” Mattson said.

“When you get the right people together who have the right intentions it can be an incredible thing,” he said.