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  #1  
Old 01-15-2008, 11:07 AM
oldu oldu is offline
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two groups with the same name

Given the limited number of options for arraging the twenty-four Greek letters, as-well-as the restricted methods of communications 100-150 years ago, it is surprising that more organizations did not come up with the same name. It is a real challenge for a founding group today to find a name not already in use by a social fraternity or sorority, or some professional society.

Kappa Alpha had originally taken the name Phi Kappa Chi until they determined how confusing it would be with Phi Kappa Psi already on campus. Little did they know that up north another Kappa Alpha had already existed for forty years. It never became a serious issue because the southern group became known as Kappa Alpha Order and (until just recently) limited its growth to the south. The northern group became known as Kappa Alpha Society, expanded little and confined its chapters to Canada and the northeast U. S.

The Adelphean ladies at Wesleyan College originally chose Alpha Delta Phi as their Greek letter name until they discovered that there was a northern fraternity by the same name. They changed the Phi to Pi to avoid confusion. Their sister group at Wesleyan selected the name of Phi Mu unaware that at Elmira College (a ladies only institution in New York) a group had been using the name for twenty years. They may have never known of the duplication because the Elmira group died in 1911. Interestingly, also at Elmira, another group took the name Kappa Sigma! It too ceased to exist around 1911.

The Chi Phi fraternity that we know today is actually an amalgamation of three different groups by the same name. The first was founded at Princeton in 1854. Another Chi Phi group was founded at Hobart College in 1860. A third Chi Phi organization was founded at University of North Carolina in 1858. The first two groups, having lost most of their chapters during the Civil War, merged in 1867. All of their five remaining chapters were in the north. Following several years of negotiations, the northern and southern branched of Chi Phi were united in 1874, bringing the new fraternity a total of twenty active chapters. The early Baird's Manuals listing for Chi Phi distinguished the chapters by which of the original organizations they had belonged.

There are countless cases where a local society took the name of an already existing organization. The issue was usually resolved fairly expediently when they sought affiliation as a chapter of a national fraternity or sorority. However, there is a Sigma Pi at Illinois College that predates the national organization by more than sixty years. Delta Psi (a part of Delta Upsilon from 1850-1854) exists as a local at University of Vermont with no connection at all to the national fraternity of the same name. There is also a Phi Mu Delta at Carson-Newman College that predates by more than seventy years the small national fraternity by the same name.

Delta Phi Epsilon, an N. P. C. sorority and a professional foreign service fraternity, share the same name. This has never become a serious problem as the two organizations rarely cross paths to cause any confusion.

Of course, there is often much confusion when chapter designations duplicate a national fraternity or sorority name. Eyebrows rise when a young man says he is from Delta Gamma (meaning chapter) or a young lady proudly claims membership at Delta Chi!

There are probably other examples of name duplications that Greek Chat members can share with us.
  #2  
Old 01-15-2008, 11:46 AM
LaneSig LaneSig is offline
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The Founders of Sigma Chi originally named our fraternity Sigma Phi, not realizing that Sigma Phi already existed in the east. Our name was not changed because of the original Sigma Phi, but because a rival fraternity at Miami (they suspected Beta Theta Pi) broke into their chapter room and stole the original ritual. When the Founders rewrote the ritual, they changed the name to Sigma Chi.

I am an alumn of the Theta Chi chapter of Sigma Chi. It sometimes causes confusion. We would often get information mailed to us as the Theta Chi fraternity.
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  #3  
Old 01-15-2008, 11:51 AM
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NutBrnHair NutBrnHair is offline
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I understand there are two Alpha Lambda Taus. My Dad was a member of the first one which later merged with TKE, I believe.
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  #4  
Old 01-15-2008, 01:47 PM
LXA SE285 LXA SE285 is offline
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Alpha Delta Sigma, the multicultural sorority founded at the University of Alabama a few years back, shares its letters with a national honor society for advertising majors.
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:00 PM
BlueNYC2 BlueNYC2 is offline
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i understand back in the days when communication was more difficult, but today with the advent of the internet and other forms of communication, there should be no reason for groups to have more than one name. if you're gonna have a 3 letter org, there are 13824 possible letter arrangements. i know there are bout probably between 200 & 300 already taken up by Social, Honorary, Music, Service & Professional orgs, but you still got a whole lot left to choose from.
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:05 PM
Tom Earp Tom Earp is offline
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As was said, the advent of the PC!

Bairds was at one time the best place to look, but evne they have a much more watered down directory.

When I started a local I named BX, I knew there were no Nationals of that name. But I found out later there there were more locals with the same name. After affiliation, the point became moot.

The combonation of letters as BlueNYC2 said are huge.

Try Greekpages.com and see which beginning letters are most popular.
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  #7  
Old 01-15-2008, 07:55 PM
DSTRen13 DSTRen13 is offline
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There's an Omega Phi Alpha local fraternity in California that just recently became affiliated with DU. They retained the Omega Phi Alpha as their chapter name and are very proud of their long local history.

It's caused a little confusion before, and Google searches pull up a lot of their stuff.
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:16 PM
JonoBN41 JonoBN41 is offline
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There have been two fraternities named "Theta Kappa Nu".
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  #9  
Old 01-15-2008, 08:24 PM
Senusret I Senusret I is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSTRen13 View Post
There's an Omega Phi Alpha local fraternity in California that just recently became affiliated with DU. They retained the Omega Phi Alpha as their chapter name and are very proud of their long local history.

It's caused a little confusion before, and Google searches pull up a lot of their stuff.
I was so surprised when I read they went national! But good for them. I am sure it was a long and hard decision to be made among lots of undergrads and alums.
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  #10  
Old 01-16-2008, 11:04 AM
Ch2tf Ch2tf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LXA SE285 View Post
Alpha Delta Sigma, the multicultural sorority founded at the University of Alabama a few years back, shares its letters with a national honor society for advertising majors.
Hijack:
I hadn't heard about ADSig until you posted this and prompted me to look them up, although I did hear about the situation that their founding arose out of.

As another aside, I have to say that I hate when organizations write non-members into their "external" histories.
  #11  
Old 01-16-2008, 12:01 PM
DSTRen13 DSTRen13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ch2tf View Post
Hijack:
As another aside, I have to say that I hate when organizations write non-members into their "external" histories.
Curious as to what you mean by this? I don't want you to have to call out anyone by posting examples, but I'm just not sure what you're referring to.
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  #12  
Old 01-16-2008, 12:11 PM
Ch2tf Ch2tf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSTRen13 View Post
Curious as to what you mean by this? I don't want you to have to call out anyone by posting examples, but I'm just not sure what you're referring to.
Mostly in younger orgs, but when they write their histories and post it on their websites as well as in other public venues and it includes info like "we were looking at another org but decided not to go that route, or we split from another org" because they didn't exemplify true sisterhood, etc. etc. I just feel like it is unecessary and draws attention away from the group itself. Most of the time (if not all of the time) the orig group isn't reference by name, so it's not like its a "buyer's beware" sort of warning, so I feel like what is the point. If it played such a significant role in the forming of your organization then let it be known to members and pledges as it seems to be what most GLOs would place under private info anyway, but why post it?

For example, many people know the history behind the split between DST and AKA, but DST isn't putting that on websites and such. It distracts, imo, from what the organization (not DST here, but orgs that do this) is (trying to be) about.
  #13  
Old 01-16-2008, 06:31 PM
Senusret I Senusret I is offline
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^^^ Yeah, I definitely understand that point of view. I mean, it's important info, but has little to do with the value of the org. Only raises questions.
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  #14  
Old 01-19-2008, 09:13 AM
oldu oldu is offline
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The original members of the Saturday Night Club in Richmond had intended to take the Greek letter name of Sigma Phi. When they approached the college committee for approval, the professor in charge pulled out a copy of Baird's Manual and showed them of an organization by that name already in existence. After a long pause, the young chairman of the group said, "Doctor, there has been considerable discussion among our men about the name of our organization and you have decided a question which we could not decide for ourselves...since there is already a Sigma Phi we shall call our fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon."
  #15  
Old 01-19-2008, 10:55 AM
texas*princess texas*princess is offline
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do you ever post anything that is not greek-history related?

just wonderin'.
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