Phi Delt prepares return to campus

by Karla Kingsley | 9/30/02 5:00am

Members of Phi Delta Alpha fraternity, the white pillared house on Webster Avenue, plan to apply for rerecognition this fall and hold rush Winter term, their first since the organization's College recognition was suspended in March 2000.

Dean of Residential Life Martin Redman made the decision to suspend College recognition of the fraternity due to allegations of "dirty rushing," drug and alcohol violations and some members' attempt to burn down Chi Gamma Epsilon fraternity.

"Recognition will be suspended effective immediately, and continuing indefinitely, with the organization first eligible to apply for re-recognition in the Fall of 2002 provided it meets the criteria for recognition existing at that time," Redman wrote in an open letter to the community on March 3, 2000.

In order to achieve recognition again, the Phi Delta Alpha Corporation, which holds ownership of the house, would be responsible for the submission of a request for rerecognition.

"As of this date I have not received such an official request, although based upon a conversation with the Corporation Officer this summer I expect that such a request will be forthcoming," Redman said in an email to The Dartmouth.

Ben Steele '02 confirmed that a request for rerecognition is imminent. "We have been working very closely with Dean Redman. As long as everything proceeds according to plan, I am optimistic," he said of the house's chances at rerecognition.

During the past two years, Phi Delt members were not allowed to hold parties or other organized events under the agreement with the College they accepted in order to avoid permanent derecognition. Some students, however, noticed a party at Phi Delt with anywhere from 30 to 75 people during the most recent Green Key weekend.

Steele said that the parties included only alumni members of Phi Delt.

"Under our agreement with Redman, alums are allowed to use the house however they please, so on big weekends, alums have had informal parties, but nothing organized. We have tried to restrict use to just the alumni," he said.

If the house is rerecognized, Phi Delt alumni of all years would come to campus during the Winter term in order to conduct rush activities for a new pledge class, according to Steele.

"We don't have a specific plan yet, but the loyalty to the house is very strong, and I think that there will be an enthusiastic response from alums to come up to Dartmouth and initiate new members," Steele said.

Currently, the house's alumni have not started outlined plans about methods for recruiting new members and conducting rush, although Steele remained confident.

"I am very optimistic, and I think things will work out," he said. "We would like to get as many people interested as possible."

Steele added that Phi Delt would conduct their rush activities in a manner similar to other houses and according to the rules set forth by the College.

Phi Delt's derecognition stemmed from a letter sent by member Adam Dansinger '00 after a devastating car accident that left him paralyzed. The letter sparked an investigation in which Phi Delt was found guilty of tolerating drug use within the fraternity, dirty rushing large numbers of freshmen, harassing pledges and providing alcohol to minors.

In addition, Phi Delt was charged with failing to take action when four of its members broke into Chi Gam in Dec. 1999, igniting curtains with citronella oil on a table and stealing a small refrigerator from the house.