Emily Driscoll

Located on Tallawanda Avenue, the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house stands empty until plans to renovate the house are complete. (Jordan Kessler)

For the past two years, Phi Delta Theta has been absent from socials, philanthropy events, and campus altogether. But their hiatus is about to end as the alpha chapter of the fraternity recolonizes and awaits their charter so that they can return to the Greek scene.

“I can speak for all the guys in saying that this is a great organization,” said Kyle Schnurbusch, sophomore and president of Phi Delta Theta. “Since this is the alpha chapter, we’re a little nervous because it’s a lot of pressure, but we have a lot of great guys and we’re really excited about it.”

The charter can be granted after a six to nine month colonization period, along with the establishment of 35 members – Phi Delta Theta currently has 27.

According to Steven Good, the director of expansion at the Phi Delta Theta headquarters, the fraternity was kicked off campus by their national headquarters in fall of 2004 because the group was not following proper risk management procedures. After making an agreement with the Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and Leadership to return to campus in two years with no association to the old group, the decision was made to make a fresh start.

“I was not in my position at the time of their suspension, but according to a report from the Miami University public information office, Phi Delta Theta was found to have violated hazing policies and did not appeal the suspension,” said Chris Taylor, associate director of the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution.

The refounding members are trying to move forward in reestablishing themselves in Greek life, keeping in mind the lesson

they’ve learned.

“We’re recruiting the right guys and we will be involved in any way possible,” Schnurbusch said. “We’ve learned from (our mistake) and are building to make sure it doesn’t ever happen again.”

The national headquarters and the local chapter are coordinating efforts to set up new programs which will direct the future of the chapter

at Miami.

“The refounding father class, our new colony, will be recruiting other upperclassmen before the new member recruitment in the spring,” Good explained. “We have a new member educator who is putting together a program for the future and working with a staff to further develop

the program.”

As for their meeting place, the Phi Delta Theta house will begin renovations during winter break. The renovation will include both exterior and interior construction made possible by alumni donations, which have netted almost $3 million dollars toward scholarships and the house.

Schnurbusch acknowledged that while the group only been off campus for two years, it might be a bit of a challenge to reemerge into the Greek community.

“We have a lot to live up to and when we can’t live up to those expectations, it hurts our reputation,” Schnurbusch said. “But we’re bringing this fraternity back stronger than ever and it will be a fraternity that will be here from years

to come.”

For now, Phi Delta Theta is planning social and philanthropy events with other fraternities and sororities and working on

spring recruitment.