TKE fraternity returns to U campus

Tau Kappa Epsilon held its initiation Oct. 15 and already has 30 members.

Chelsey Knutson

After seven years away, the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity has returned to the University of Minnesota and hopes to obtain a house on University
Avenue next year.

Mitchell Higgins, chapter educator of the fraternity, decided to bring the fraternity back to Minneapolis after his experiences with TKE at the UniversityâÄôs Duluth campus, he said.

“I had great experiences in the fraternity in Duluth, so I had to bring it with when I transferred,” he said.

Higgins contacted biochemistry and economics sophomore Richard Shneur, who was interested in greek life and knew other people who were as well. Shneur, now vice president of TKE, started contacting people and the fraternity got its start.

TKE president Brent Stensrude joined the fraternity because of the bad light that has been reflected on the greek community the past few weeks.

“I want to get the greek system back to what it should be,” Stensrude said.

TKE shut down in 2003 because of financial hardship, Higgins said.

Shneur joined the new fraternity as an opportunity to start something that was a reflection of what he wanted it to be.

“By starting something new, we can get guys that have the same interests and want a brotherhood,” he said.

Since the fraternity is brand new, any member can have an impact on the direction it will go, Shneur said.

“We are all going to be founding fathers of the fraternity,” Stensrude said.

Members do not join TKE for wealth, rank or honor, but for personal worth and character âÄî the motto of the fraternity, Higgins said.

TKE members want to build relationships with other fraternities, Higgins said.

“We donâÄôt like to put up walls,” Higgins said.

There are almost 30 members of TKE after only five weeks, Stensrude said.

The fraternity is looking at what members want to get out of the fraternity during the recruiting process, Shneur said.

“They should want to join the fraternity for the right reasons,” Stensrude said, adding that the social aspect of joining should just be one of the benefits.

The members should want a brotherhood, a house on University Avenue, to do well academically and to do philanthropy events, Shneur said.

TKE hopes to have a chapter house next year, Stensrude said. Previously, the fraternity held a house at 1901 University Ave. S.E., but the UniversityâÄôs Intramural Sports office now occupies that building.

Alumni have been handling the process of finding a house and the financial aspects of it, Higgins said. Initiation was Oct. 15, but the fraternity is still open to new members, he said. There will be other initiations next semester.