2000
New Institute Associations Will Reach More Young Adults
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“New Institute Associations Will Reach More Young Adults,” Ensign, June 2000, 70–71

New Institute Associations Will Reach More Young Adults

For more than 30 years, the Church’s Sigma Gamma Chi fraternity and Lambda Delta Sigma sorority have provided a spiritual, service, and social network for young adults. Beginning this fall, all the chapters of these two organizations will be part of the newly organized, more broadly inclusive Institute Men’s Association or Institute Women’s Association.

The change is being made in order to draw in more young adults: the new associations can organize at institutes not affiliated with a university and on college campuses that do not have a Greek fraternity or sorority system. Potentially, every institute in the world could organize chapters of Institute Men and Institute Women.

The presidencies of Sigma Gamma Chi and Lambda Delta Sigma will become the advisory boards for the Institute Men’s Association and Institute Women’s Association.

Dan Jones, president of Sigma Gamma Chi, who will serve as an advisory board member of the Institute Men’s Association, explained that these new organizations will involve single young adults between the ages of 18 and 30, both student and nonstudent. “I can see the potential for great good in reaching out to so many more young single adults.”

Jeannene Barham, president of Lambda Delta Sigma, who will serve as an advisory board member of the Institute Women’s Association, and Brother Jones both stress that the basic structure of the organizations will remain the same, with members participating in the same spiritual, service, and social activities. Nothing is being taken away from the current system. Rather, it is being strengthened and expanded.

The 70 Sigma Gamma Chi chapters and 180 Lambda Delta Sigma chapters already in existence may choose to keep their Greek names, but they will function as chapters of the Institute Men’s Association and Institute Women’s Association, operating under the same guidelines and the same advisory board. In all chapters, U.S. collegiate traditions such as rush and initiation ceremonies will not be practiced. Area and chapter advisers will continue to work with area directors and institute directors.

Institute students at the University of Texas-El Paso. (Photo by Barbara Jean Jones.)