Theta Chi seeks reinstatement
Published: Friday, February 21, 2014
Updated: Sunday, February 23, 2014 16:02
After announcing its long-awaited return last semester, the Theta Chi fraternity is making strong strides towards reinstating a permanent chapter here on campus.
Members from the national headquarters of the group shut the UNH chapter down in the early ‘90s due to the risky behaviors and actions of some their members as well as others in the community.
In an article published in The New Hampshire last semester, MaryAnne Lustgraaf, director of the MUB and then temporary coordinator of Greek Life, said that the fraternity had always planned on returning back to campus, it was just a matter of when.
“They chose to wait this long so our community could catch up with national standards,” Lustgraaf said in the article. “Is it a perfect Greek community now? No, but it has made such strides. There are some people who make mistakes but it’s nothing like it was 10 years ago.”
During the interview, Lustgaaf explained the strides the overall Greek community here on campus has made itself, using the collective statistics on increase GPA requirements and the decrease in high-risks behaviors to prove her point.
Though only having started back in December, Erin Courville, the new coordinator of Greek Life, can already see that the community is continuing down this path.
“I feel that I’m still learning what UNH is and what the students are like,” she said, “but I do know that they students are very independent and very driven.”
With this history in mind, the current recruiters are doing their part to mend their past reputation and change the entire atmosphere of Greek Life in a way that would make all the university’s various fraternities and sororities a much more cohesive and collaborative community.
For Tanner McCullough, a leadership and education consultant from the Theta Chi headquarters, the best place to start is by choosing members who exemplify three characteristics: involvement on campus and the community, leadership skills, and academic integrity.
“We’re being selective and trying to pick wisely,” he said. “We want members who you’re not just going to hear about when they’re advertising their parties on the weekend.”
McCullough also made it clear, during a general information meeting about the fraternity, that the group would also do whatever they could to further benefit the university as a whole, saying that he hopes the group will continue to support the infrastructure that has allowed them to be here.
“We have a saying that goes, ‘Alma mater first, Theta Chi for Alma Mater,’” he said. “If we don’t approach the school and work towards making it better, it’s not good.”
For many of the already pledged members, this selectiveness and promise of working towards a greater good is what drew them to the fraternity in the first place.
“I know what it is I want out of a fraternity,” Patrick Farrah, a freshman business administration major, said. “We’re setting up some pretty high standards right off the bat. We’ve all seen the stereotypical fraternities and Theta Chi is a good opportunity to add some variety.”
“I had my mind set on not joining a fraternity,” Malone Soeun, a sophomore political science major, said. “But there are going to be a lot of opportunities in this new chapter. We’re really going to be what makes this fraternity.”
“We are trying to bring all the fraternities together and show we’re not all about the stereotypes,” McCullough said. “We’re trying to do more than just bring a group of guys together.”
Even with a conscious decision to move towards this goal, Courville believes that the change would happen regardless.
“When you have a new group come on, it really brings life in to everyone else [in Greek Life], and what their mission is and what they’re suppose to be doing,” she said. “I’m hoping very much so that they’ll branch out more to the community ... and create a more collaborative bond with the typical UNH student who might not want to go Greek. I’m definitely looking forward to see what’s going to happen next.”
Those interested in learning more about the group can contact McCullough at (678) 544-3517 or email@example.com or visit their website.