Only 11 months after the idea of starting a new Duke fraternity was hatched among two friends in a Pegram dormitory room, the brothers of Delta Tau Delta received official recognition from the Intra-Fraternity Council late Tuesday night.
By unanimous vote, the IFC approved DTD as its fifteenth member, ending a vigorous and almost-year-long effort to revitalize one of the nation's largest fraternities, which left Duke in 1994 after more than 60 years on campus.
"We were all really impressed with their presentation," said IFC President Brett Green. "They are a real diverse group of guys and are interested in a lot of different things. If you ask me which fraternity they most resemble, I couldn't tell you. They are a different breed, but a good one."
Accompanied by four DTD alumni and one national representative, local chapter president Peter Fernandez and vice president Matt Tait--the duo that thought up the original idea--presented the process by which the fledgling group was formed and the vision its members have for the future.
"We talked about the history of the process, how it all came to be and why we chose DTD," Tait said. "[We explained that] we're a group of guys that embrace truth, courage, faith and power."
The fraternity was founded on two tenants, diversity and community service, Tait said. Its members come from all corners of the country and from around the world, represent different socioeconomic backgrounds and are "different types of people."
"We have guys who like to party and guys who are devout Christians," Tait said.
In its infant stages, DTD has already completed many community service projects and will adopt a local elementary school, where all members will be required to volunteer several hours a week.
Although Tuesday night's vote was a major step for the Deltas, they still have much work ahead of them.
Green said DTD is now expected to take part in all IFC events, including the upcoming Greek Week and the Halloween charity carnival. In early January, the fraternity will be allowed to participate in the formal new member recruitment process.
Tait said the group hopes to double its current membership of about 30.
"But we would be very content with a smaller pledge class that brought good things to the fraternity and enhanced our brotherhood," he added.
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Although the Deltas will not benefit from the use of a formal fraternity section, almost all of its members are blocked together this year in houses E and F, and plan to reserve Kilgo Quadrangle commons rooms during recruitment.
The Deltas are not eligible to apply for a residential section until they are chartered by the national fraternity--one of the three largest in the nation. The group is now considered a "colony" in the eyes of nationals, and must prove itself over the next 10 months, including obtaining one of the three highest fraternity-wide GPAs on campus. Green said the Deltas will not have voting power on the IFC until nationals recognizes them, likely to occur in fall 2004.
If all goes according to plans, the Deltas--currently comprised almost entirely of sophomores--could have a section by the original members' senior years. The brothers have also reserved 202 Watts, one of the most popular off-campus fraternity houses, for the 2005-2006 school year.
Tait noted that students interested in rushing DTD should know that its pledging process does not include any hazing.
"Our pledging is about hanging out with guys, and brotherhood-building, not one where you are completely broken down," he said. "We want them to bond together as a pledge class and then bond together as a fraternity."