Violations of national policies force fraternity to close

July 01, 2008

The early December 2007 closing of a Penn State fraternity by its national headquarters for repeated violations of policies requires ex-Phi Delta Theta members at Penn State to vacate their former fraternity house at the corner of Pollock and Burrowes Roads on the University Park campus.  The revocation of this Penn State chapter’s charter was reaffirmed in mid-June at Phi Delta Theta’s national convention when the national board upheld its earlier decision.

According to the deed for the property, the house may only be used as a chapter or fraternity house for Phi Delta Theta, and if not, the house must be sold. Once a fraternity is no longer recognized by its national organization, Penn State can no longer recognize it as a fraternal organization.

The dispute between the local chapter and its national office resulted from a number of violations the members incurred -- such as knowingly serving alcohol and inducting new members while suspended. The alcohol-free policy of Phi Delta Theta has been in place since 2000 and all 157 chapters in the United States are required by their national organization to abide by that policy.

Through various oral and written communications with Phi Delta Theta representatives, the University accommodated numerous requests for students to be allowed to remain in the house. Over the last six months, Penn State agreed to several extensions, with the final extension concluding on June 30.

In 2004, the alumni corporation of Phi Delta Theta approached the University and offered to sell the house to Penn State. There was a signed agreement to do so, but internal fraternity disputes among members developed over the matter and the property was not sold.

The future of the property is uncertain, according to University officials, since estimates for renovating and refurbishing the property range from $2 million to $3 million.


(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009