Biola officials announce change in dorm names [Updated]

Biola’s Sigma Chi and Alpha Chi dorms will be dropping the “Chi” to eliminate confusion with well-known sorority and fraternity chapters.

Harmony Wheeler, Writer

Sigma Chi and Alpha Chi will lose the “Chi” in their names this year, a Biola release announced last week.

“Most students already refer to these halls simply as Sigma and Alpha, so it makes sense to shorten the names,” dean of students Danny Paschall said. “It will be easy for students to make the transition.”

The change comes after legal representatives of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority and Sigma Chi fraternity asked Biola to change the dorm names to eliminate confusion. The groups only asked that “Chi” be removed from the dorm names, alleviating Biola leadership from the trouble of renaming the halls completely.

Biola dorms not affiliated with sorority, fraternity chapters

According to Biola’s release, Alpha Chi Omega has more than 200,000 members in more than 130 collegiate chapters and 200 alumnae chapters nationwide, and Sigma Chi is one of the largest college fraternities in the world with more than 200 active chapters and nearly 300,000 members.

Biola’s Sigma and Alpha dorms have never been affiliated with Alpha Chi Omega or Sigma Chi. Thus, the need for change. Facilities and Residence Life said they do not know when the “Chi” will be removed from building signs.

Leaders predict easy transition

Residence Life leadership said they consider the change benign.

“In my brain, it is kind of like an update and might bring some new energy and excitement to the building,” sophomore Alpha resident assistant Drianna Litton said. “I think the name change might be harder for the alumni to deal with, but as for the girls living here, it is already only Alpha in most of our brains.”

Associate dean of Residence Life Beth Tabor lived in Alpha as a student and previously worked as a resident director in Alpha.

“I am really glad it is staying Alpha,” Tabor said. “I feel the same way about Sigma. I was attached to the place and the history, but not ‘Chi.’ Truly, it is the students who make up a hall culture. I believe we can keep the culture, personality and history of a place and still lose ‘Chi.’”

Name changes may stir nostalgia

Sigma resident director Michelle Santis agreed, and said that community is what truly matters. Santis said that the community has embraced the Greek symbols in dorm advertising and sweatshirts and that the change is not her favorite, but that she recognizes the change needed to happen.

“On a personal note, I think Sigma doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as Sigma Chi,” Santis said. “But maybe that is just because that’s what I’ve always known. However, the community this year is all about changing the reputation of Sigma, so maybe they will see this name change as a positive opportunity for a fresh start.”

Santis said she believes Biolans can make the change into a positive thing, even though some may have nostalgic feelings toward the old name.

“My hope is that the name doesn’t just change, but that the associations with the name will become more of a positive one in the years to come,” Santis said. “And I believe this is already happening.”

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