Tuesday Beta Theta Pi fraternity made their pitch to Elon staff, Greek students and members of the community that the men of Beta should be the newest greek organization on campus.
The new Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Dan Faill, announced, that there would be a new Interfraternity Council organization coming to campus and now the choice is down between two fraternities: Theta Chi and Beta Theta Pi.
Members of Theta Chi made their expansion presentation Monday night.
For Beta Theta Pi, the tone was more focused on changing the overall Greek culture and providing opportunities for all kinds of young men on campus, especially those who might have never have considered joining a fraternity.
Beta Theta Pi was founded by a group of men at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 1839. Since then is has grown to include 134 current chapters and colonies.
Currently there more than 8,000 active members with an average chapter size of 63. There are more than 130,000 living alumni. $850,000 was given last year by alums to current and future Betas for scholarship and leadership experiences.
The average GPA for Beta Theta Pi is 3.2 and 82 percent of all Beta chapters hold a higher GPA than all other national fraternities.
Beta Theta Pi requires at least a 3.0 GPA and involvement in at least one other student organization before being able to accept bid.
Core values include: Mutual Assistance, Intellectual Growth, Trust, Responsibly Conduct and Integrity. Whether on campus, at a conference or in casual conversations, the organization prides itself on focusing on building men of character and breaking the mold.
"When you think of 'Total Frat Move' and the stereotypical fraternity man, that's not who any of us are," John Hubbard, Director of Expansion for Beta Theta Pi said. "Sometimes when we are put in large groups, we make dumb decisions, and so helping to develop our men and our members to make sure they can make smart decisions and they can do fraternity right and really try to redefine what it means to be a fraternity man. Not just being an organization that's a social drinking club but a values based organization that's going to help develop its men and its members."
The mission for Beta Theta Pi is "To Develop Men of Principle for a Principled Life." This leads to the current initiative deemed "Men of Principle," which calls for a higher standard of living for not only Beta Theta Pi chapters but also for all Greek organizations, especially in the wake of negative pushback many fraternities have experience across the nation.
Such steps for the "Men of Principle" initiative for all chapters include:
- A five-person trained and active advisory team
- Alcohol-free recruitment
- Elimination of the rogue "National Test" (also known as "The Shep Test")
- Commitment to a 100% hazing-free pledge program
The fraternity does not have one united national philanthropy but rather encourages each individual chapter to seek out organization that are in need of assistances based on their own local circumstances.
David Schmidt, CEO of Beta Theta Pi, was present and help conduct the presentation while also had assistance from alumni, current members and other national staff.
Schmidt told the crowd that of the last 50 colonies that Beta Theta Pi has started, all but one is still active.
All parties who were a part of the pitch recognized that Elon and Beta Theta Pi believe that the university and fraternity would mesh well together with each other's commitment to engaged learning, diversity and developing global citizens.
"There's a natural fit," Hubbard said. "We can both develop our students to make sure that they can have a large impact both here on campus and in the community but also afterwards."
One alum stood up and said, "You have a great campus here, and a lot of good things going on. You just need a Beta chapter."
As previously reported by Elon Local News, Faill, Director of Elon's Fraternity and Sorority Life, explained the process for bringing a new fraternity to campus:
"So of the 72 national fraternities that belong to the NIC [North American Interfraternity Conference] we reached out to the 60 plus that are not here [on campus]. So we just sent an open letter saying, 'If you're interested please send us your materials.' We had 17 groups submit their expansion materials to Elon. The Expansion Committee then took those 17 reviewed them down and narrowed them down to a candidate pool of which we selected two and made those recommendations to Dr. Jackson for the final who's going to come to campus to present. And so those two groups were Theta Chi and Beta Theta Pi."
Faill said that after Beta Theta Pi presents, the Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, National Panhellenic Council and the Expansion Committee will make a recommendation to Fail. Fail will then take a recommendation to Dr. Smith Jackson, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, who will then make the decision on which fraternity will be accepted.
Faill said that a main reason for bringing on a new fraternity was because more than half of the men that went through recruitment were turned away due to current chapters keeping a small size for their pledge classes.
Whichever organization is chosen will then be able to start recruiting in February 2016 after formal recruitment and then in the fall start their colony, according to Faill.
This new fraternity would come to campus Fall 2016 superseding the dismissal of Sigma Pi and Pi Kappa Phi, which, if allowed, would return to campus Fall 2017.
This decision, according to Faill, is expected to come sometime in November.