Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity moves out of chapter house

Fraternity members said Tau Kappa Epsilon will continue as an organization on campus.

Ching Lo

Unable to reach a rent agreement with their housing contractor, Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity members have left their chapter house on University Avenue.

Contrary to rumors they have heard, TKE members said their fraternity will continue on campus.

“We are still functioning,” said fraternity President Brad Frenstrom. “We’re still here. We still hold our meetings. We still have meetings.”

Members said rent costs were increasing and it was unreasonable to keep living in the house.

Mike Goodpaster, a TKE member, said the owners would not agree on rent and repair prices with the fraternity, and wanted to start charging for use of the property’s parking lot.

“They were uncooperative,” he said.

The house owner could not be reached for comment.

With the cost of housing increasing, the members of TKE thought it would be unreasonable to keep the house and pay more while they can live anywhere at a more reasonable rate.

“We were looking for something comparable to the other houses on campus or less expensive,” Frenstrom said. “One reason why people choose to live in fraternities is because it is less expensive to live there.”

Frenstrom, who has moved to the West Bank with Goodpaster, said the fraternity lost a few members because of the move, but living in a fraternity house was not necessary for survival.

“It allows people to live together and to learn together,” he said.

According to the International Fraternity Web site, 270 TKE chapters existed around the United States and Canada as of 2003.

The chapter at the University re-established itself in 2002 and moved into the house at 1829 University Ave. S.E., according to the Student Activities Office Web site.

TKE began without a house, members said, and not having a house will make no difference.

“It’s just a luxury to have one,” Frenstrom said.