Fraternity attempts return to campus

The University will be adding another fraternity if Phi Delta Theta is successful in their recruitment attempts, which date back more than a year. Starting Sept. 22, Phi Delta Theta, an alcohol-free fraternity , will be renting the former Delta Delta Delta sorority house on 10th Avenue. They will be renting the house for two months, but the only people living there will be two consultants from the fraternityâÄôs national headquarters in Oxford , Ohio, who will be helping with recruitment. Adam Johnson, a former member at another school, who also started the fraternityâÄôs Twin Cities alumni club, said the house will serve as a temporary headquarters for the effort. Phi Delta Theta first came to the University in 1881, but was suspended in 1991. Johnson, who is from St. Paul, said the reason for the suspension was financial. âÄúThey actually owned two houses at the time,âÄù Johnson said. âÄúThey lost a decent amount of membership due to graduation or whatever and I think they got in over their heads as far as finances were concerned.âÄù This is not the first time Phi Delta Theta has tried to return a chapter to campus. Last summer, it started colonizing and a Phi Delta Theta interest group was started. It became an official student group, but dissolved. Alex Houck, who is listed as the president of the group on the UniversityâÄôs website, said he wasnâÄôt a part of it anymore because the chapter wasnâÄôt getting enough help from the national organization, and that it was becoming too stressful. Johnson said the members from the student group ended up joining other fraternities. âÄúThey were all freshmen,âÄù he said. âÄúThey had other priorities.âÄù If the fraternity is successful this time around, it might only be a couple of months before they start looking for a permanent house, Johnson said. âÄúWe will definitely be getting a house on campus, as nice as we possibly can. It definitely will be dry and, hopefully, on [fraternity row] or as close to it as possible,âÄù Johnson said. Johnson said that having a dry house is more conducive to success, and that he thinks it would be difficult for the fraternityâÄôs house to be located near many sororities, all of which are dry, if they did not have a no-alcohol policy. It would seem difficult to recruit members for a fraternity without a house, but Dustin Struble, national director of expansion with Phi Delta Theta, is optimistic. âÄúWith communication the way it is today, itâÄôs very easy for a group of guys to assemble, have weekly chapter meetings, have community service events, social events, brotherhood events, through the utilization of things like Facebook and everything else thatâÄôs out there,âÄù Struble said. Struble said the chapterâÄôs goal for recruitment is 35 to 40 members.