Delta Chi visits DePauw, looks into returning

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Delta Chi headquarters sent two staff members to DePauw University between Oct. 28 and Nov. 8 to engage with students and staff in the possibility of the fraternity's return to campus.

As of 2011, Delta Chi was not allowed to participate in formal recruitment due to low membership retention and increasing debt. 

“Delta Chi requested the opportunity to come to campus and explore the level of interest of our students for a possible return to campus as a colony, because of their long history with DePauw,” said Eric Wolfe, assistant director and coordinator for fraternity life at DePauw.  

According to a DePauw article published on Feb. 4, 2011, Delta Chi has a 128-year legacy on DePauw's campus; it was the fifth chapter of the fraternity established, two years after the organization's founding at Cornell University in 1890. The DePauw chapter of Delta Chi is the fourth-oldest active chapter in the country.

Delta Chi has left DePauw before, but on different terms. When founded in 1890, Delta Chi was strictly a professional fraternity for law students. DePauw's School of Law closed in 1895, according to "DePauw: a Pictoral History," and Delta Chi didn't return to campus until 1928, six years after the national fraternity ditched the professional identity to be a social fraternity. The building on Locust Street dates back to the 1928 return of the chapter.

Their presence within the last two weeks has not been the first time Delta Chi has recently tried to return to DePauw. Last year they attempted to come back on campus, but decided against returning after discussing this possibility with Interfraternity Council, Campus Living and Community Development and students. However, current President of IFC Jim Perry thinks Delta Chi’s return would benefit DePauw’s campus.

“I think that it could be positive to have them on campus, as DePauw has had more chapters in past history and they bring back a rich tradition to the fraternity experience,” Perry said.

On the other hand, there are mixed views on whether or not Delta Chi’s return to campus would have a positive effect on our Community.

“I don't know if it is the smartest thing, simply because fraternities already struggle with numbers,” sophomore Michael Jennings said. “First we need another sorority before we bring another fraternity to campus.”  

Many students are also wondering why DePauw would want to support the presence of another fraternity before the support of another sorority’s arrival.  

Sophomore Christina Seung agrees, “It seems odd that they would add another fraternity when there’s already ten on campus.”

Students are not the only ones questioning Delta Chi’s recent arrival on campus. The possibility of them returning on campus and participating in recruitment in the next year is being discussed by IFC.

“I know many IFC exec members and chapter presidents met with Delta Chi representatives,” said Senior Cody Watson, student body president. “Additionally, IFC is in the midst of discussions about the impact Delta Chi would have on recruitment and the campus as a whole.”

Delta Chi’s return to campus not only would require support from the study body but they must be approved through an IFC expansion process in order to participate in IFC’s formal recruitment. 

“Delta Chi's return to campus is welcomed as long as there is student support for the colony, which includes, but is not limited to, adequate support from other IFC fraternities and unaffiliated men who wish to join Delta Chi,” said Eric Wolfe.

The two members from headquarters continued to hold a presence on campus during the two week time period by stopping by sorority homes, tabling in the Student Union Building, and passing out Delta Chi fraternity buttons.

Ultimately, after the two-week period a meeting was held with about 12 students interested in learning more about Delta Chi and their plans to make a come back on campus.