Delta Tau Delta returns after 27 years
For first time in 22 years the college has allowed a new fraternity to gain recognition from Lafayette.
Detla Tau Delta will be joining Greek life at Lafayette, back on campus after their charter was withdrawn in 1988.
DTD and Chi Phi interest groups were involved in Lafayette’s newly created recognition process since November of last year. DTD, who has been organizing and preparing for about a year and two months, will have the status of colony for at least the next year, when they can apply to become a chapter.
The Chi Phi Rho Chapter, who has been trying to come back on campus for about five years, will be able to reapply and enter the same process for the possibility of gaining colony status next year.
The new status will allow DTD to, among other things, become an associate member of the Lafayette College Interfraternity Council and use resources available through Lafayette’s Fraternity and Sorority Advising.
“[DTD has] recognition from the college, so they can operate fully like other chapters here,” Advisor to Fraternities and Sororities Dan Ayala said. “They can for example, start to organize community service events, participate in philanthropy, partner with other fraternities and sororities to sponsor events.”
President of DTD Dan Lupia ‘16 (Full disclosure: Lupia copyedits for us. He did not copyedit this story) received a letter from Ayala last Friday notifying him of the decision to grant his fraternity colony status. The letter outlined how DTD must now act at the step just before chapter status.
“We’ve kind of reached the culmination of our first round of effort but we still have a lot of work ahead of us to show Lafayette that they made a good choice and to show them that we will be doing our best in improving life on this campus,” Lupia said.
The letter also highlighted the areas what DTD did well and what they can still improve in the realms of their distinctive contributions, mission and diversity.
Chi Phi Interest Group President Michael Altman ‘16 also received a letter from Ayala noting the committee’s decision and areas of improvement that could have been made to Chi Phi’s presentation. He said he was disappointed in the committee’s decision, but is glad another Greek organization was allowed to come back on campus.
“All of us, the alumni and the undergraduates, are profoundly disappointed in the committee’s decision. And I mean profoundly disappointed,” college liaison and Chi Phi Rho Chapter advisor Jerome Blakeslee ‘70 said. The Rho Chapter has recognition from their national branch, but not the college.
The group must confirm they still want to work towards colonization by Nov. 13, according to the letter Altman received. Blakeslee said they will reapply as soon as they are given the opportunity.
The letter listed reasons the committee did not let Chi Phi back on campus, such as not articulating what it meant to be a “True Gentleman,” one of the key ways members of Chi Phi defined their standards of who they would recruit.
Other reasons in the letter included that Chi Phi was unclear about how they would add value to the campus, there were no efforts to make the group more diverse and that GPA of certain members did not meet Interfraternity Council standards.
Altman said that it was unclear what the committee was grading the groups on, and that they had points in their presentation that talked about the ways in which Chi Phi would add value to the campus.
Chi Phi has plans to discuss the committee’s decision with Ayala in the upcoming week. Ayala declined to comment on the content of the letter.
Blakeslee said that he plans to make a deal with the college so the college can use Vallamont after the contract is up at the end of the semester, but he does want to wait till after the facts about the decision making process become more clear before he begins discussing the deal in depth.
DTD will not have a house on campus, but can request housing for their group similar to block housing.
Kyle Yarawsky, the advisor to Lafayette’s DTD colony, said the new fraternity’s main goal in the coming year will be to focus on recruitment. DTD’s current size is 26 members, 12 of which will graduate this May. Ayala said the group needs to recruit around 50 to match the size of current fraternities, about 65, by next fall.
Throughout the process, the college said they could only allow one interest group to become a colony, because there is only one fraternities and sororities advisor that could help a group integrate on campus in the colony stage.
“At the same time at the opposite end of it too, I don’t think any national organization would be interested in coming here knowing that we were going to flood the market with four or five groups at a time,” Ayala said, “especially if [Lafayette] couldn’t provide them any kind of sustained interest or resources.”
After a ceremony at Lafayette with the Moravian College DTD chapter planned for Nov. 8, they will be an officially become a colony in the national DTD organization’s eyes. DTD is expected to submit a full chapter application by September of next year.