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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Fraternity reorganizes in hopes of becoming a chapter

By Rita Totten

Jay Wilgus, assistant dean of students and a Phi Delta Theta fraternity alumnus, said the Phi Delta Theta house on campus is being restructured in an effort to reinstate the organization as a chapter. The group returned to campus two years ago as a colony and is working to meet qualifications in order to gain chapter status.

Because of a hazing incident in 2006, alumni and general fraternity shut down the Phi Delta Theta house and revoked its charter, the document that officially recognizes the house as a chapter of the national fraternity. In order for the men of Phi Delta Theta to qualify to have their charter reinstated, they must be ranked among the top three fraternities in grades, have every member in some sort of student leadership role and have 35 or more active members, Wilgus said.

It’s trying to make a comeback, but Wilgus said alcohol was one of multiple factors involved in the decision to re-evaluate the chapter, along with the chapter’s inability to comply with the terms of recolonization.

National Officer Scott Mietchen said Phi Delta Theta has been on the U campus since 1914 and that restructuring is needed to ensure that the group remains on campus.

Mietchen said there would be a change in leadership roles in the group. For now, all leadership positions within the Phi Delta Theta colony have been suspended.
“A member of the fraternity who was initiated at another school is managing the facility,” Mietchen said.

Both Wilgus and Mietchen said there was no single incident that promoted the re-evalutation. However, Wilgus said rumors that alochol was found on the Phi Delta Theta residency are partly true but not the sole cause of the push to restructure the chapter.

“Periodically, chapters do internal evaluations to make sure the chapter leadership and membership is in order,” Wilgus said of the restructuring measures.

Jake Moore, a senior in philosophy, said the members were unaware of any specific reason for the restructuring but were awaiting alumni’s decision regarding membership.
“We don’t know why they are kicking people out or keeping people,” Moore said.

The Phi Delta Theta alumni and national officials made a collective decision to conduct a re-evaluation of the colony, Wilgus said.

Wilgus said he is involved in two ways with the situation at the Phi Delta Theta house: both as an alumnus and as the assistant dean of students. Wilgus said he wanted it to be clear to everyone that there was no conflict of interest.

“I have intentionally distanced myself from the chapter,” Wilgus said.
The Interfraternity and the Greek councils on campus will not play a part in the reorganization of the Phi Delta Theta colony.

“We try not to bring other colonies to campus while this group is trying to get established,” Wilgus said.

Although there is no time limit for a house to remain as a colony, Wilgus said the national fraternity saw a need to refocus the efforts of the house to meet its goals.
“It’s time to get it done,” he said.

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