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Believe it or not, our fraternity house adds to the charm of Penn State. We at Phi Sig should take great pride in both the construction and upkeep of our house since, after all, the physical structure of the house is a reflection of the character that lives within. But did you know that the Phi Sig house is ALSO a reflection of you, as a partial owner?

You read that right. All the Phi Sig alums are partial owners of the Phi Sig house.

We are— whether you realize it or not— members of a co-op. What’s a co-op you ask? A cooperative, according to Merriam-Webster, is “an organization owned by and operated for the benefit of those using its services.”

You may be thinking, “How in the world did I become a partial owner of a house and organization at 18-years-old and not even know it?” Don’t worry: we’ll tell you how it works.

“But more importantly,” you wonder, “what does all this mean to me today?”


What do I do about the co-op I didn’t know I own?

Well, one option you always have (and many of you have already been actively making this decision) is to opt out. Associations like ours are built on a give-to-get business proposition. If you make the decision not to give (which is within your rights), odds are you won’t get any value in return. Note that we only ask for voluntary donations— and we do NOT charge dues like a university alumni association— for this very reason.

But there’s always the other option. The option to study this intriguing group which you are a lifetime member of, and which you partially own. The option to engage with this group which reflects the co-op mentality and the shared values and identity of our brotherhood.

So, we thought it was high time we start enlightening you on how this cooperative you own actually functions. Against all odds (one might think), we have built the house, run this co-op and served as stewards of this building since our founding. And we do it all with support from members like you who have served as volunteers.


How does the BUSINESS of Phi Sig work?

Think of it this way: the house is a property you’re investing in. As with any savvy businessman, you want to make a return on your investment. The best way to earn big returns? Rental income. And who do those monthly rent checks come from? That’s right. Undergraduate members.

So what would happen if, all of a sudden, the house became more attractive to undergrads? What would happen if, in addition to its prime location, our fraternity house had all of the modern amenities students have come to expect in their living spaces? How much more could we charge for rent? How big of a return do we have the potential to earn?


What’s in it for me?

Well, brothers, this is, at the end of the day, a social fraternity, is it not? Invest, volunteer, get involved… and then you get to kick back and enjoy what you helped build. Come back to campus for the golf outing. Sit in the main rooms and reminisce with your old pals while enjoying all the modern amenities the market has to offer. Kickback and tailgate at homecoming while your family enjoys the atmosphere of the up-to-date charming old house.

Investing time and money into your old fraternity house isn’t just a nice thing to do to give back. It isn’t philanthropy— it’s enlightened self-interest. Because after all…


It’s just good business.