More than two years after Miami University’s chapter of Phi Delta Theta (Phi Delt) was suspended, the fraternity has recolonized and is looking forward to recruitment in the coming weeks.
In 2017, the chapter was suspended by its national council for violating their risk management policies. This came nearly two centuries after Phi Delt formed at Miami in 1848.
Last semester, Phi Delt consultants, or members of their recolonization team, began the process of finding members for their new chapter. Now, the organization consists of 20 “founding fathers” and aims to recruit around 30 more this spring.
“Becoming an official chapter is the biggest hurdle in front of us,” refounding president, sophomore Alex Kalix, said.
Kalix never saw himself as a “fraternity guy” going into college, but after becoming a founding father of Phi Delt, he decided to run for president.
“I saw the opportunity to shape an organization to be one that I would have wanted to join if it was offered to me as a freshman,” Kalix said.
After becoming an established chapter, Kalix’s next goal will be to grow and “build a reputation as the gentleman’s fraternity on campus.”
Alumni relations chair junior Jon Pax says the formation of a brotherhood of gentlemanly scholars is “not your traditional thought” when you think of the word fraternity.
“We’re trying to break the stigma attached to Greek life,” Pax said. “In my opinion, [our chapter] will be very different than what Phi Delt was before, and what much of Greek life here on campus is now.”
Although Kalik has a goal to expedite the process and become an official chapter in six months, it usually takes nine months to a year. And, in addition to the normal roadblocks, Phi Delt’s chapter house is subleased to Kappa Alpha Order (KA) until 2021.
“We’re basically starting from the ground up,” junior refounding warden Kevin Burakowski said. “Even from a financial and housing standpoint, we’re starting all over.”
Starting over includes filling positions and subcommittees, putting new management positions into place and working on recruitment.
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“There are a lot of things that could hinder us going into recruitment — but we’re not going to let them,” Burakowski said.
Phi Delt, which has had dry housing since 2000, doesn’t plan on running into any of the issues that faced the previous Miami chapter. Alcohol is prohibited in a dry house, but members can still drink outside of the premises if they choose to do so.
“We need to hold ourselves up to an even higher standard,” Burakowski said. “We can remember our past, what the chapter was before we came in, and use that to help guide us and help us make smarter decisions into the future.”
Phi Delt will be holding rush events, where students can meet and talk with members of the fraternity, this week at the Farmer School of Business.