Tufts’ newly formed Delta Tau Delta (DTD) colony is working to shore up numbers and mold a new image for itself after a pledge-induction ceremony on Thursday.
The group, currently in the midst of its eight-week pledging process, has 41 recruits but still needs a few more members to make the move from colony to fraternity-chapter status.
Campus fraternities have an average of 43 brothers, and DTD needs to exceed that number to obtain recognition as a chapter.
“While we’re not actively looking to fill numbers, reaching chapter status is a guiding force that would grant us firmer credibility,” said DTD Vice President Alex Stein, a freshman. “Right now we’re focusing more on looking for people who meet our standards as a fraternity.”
In the meantime, Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Patrick Romero-Aldaz, a DTD alum himself, said that the colony is moving in the right direction.
“We are very pleased to see the new colony doing so well with recruitment,” he said. “The group of men seems to be very strong and committed to the values of their organization and to creating a new experience for men on the Tufts campus.”
DTD, initially established at Tufts in 1889, was suspended during the spring semester of 2005 after a freshman stopped breathing at a pledge event that involved drinking. In the aftermath, chapter members admitted to hazing and providing alcohol to minors. DTD only returned to campus this spring.
As the new DTD group emerges, its members are looking to distance themselves from their predecessors’ high-profile downfall.
“As an overall organization, what we are trying to do is create a community that sets an example for student behavior, activity and service in the Tufts community, grounded in the Greek fraternal system,” Stein said.
The unconventional philosophy of those in leadership positions in Tufts’ DTD colony will prove helpful toward that goal, according to Stein.
“DTD [at Tufts] specifically attracts members that most often would otherwise not be interested in the fraternity system, specifically because our aim is to avoid the stigma associated with nationwide frats,” he said. “Basically, we don’t want to attract all people [from] one niche of the community; we would rather be a mixed salad than a melting pot.”
DTD President Chas Morrison, a sophomore, agreed.
“There is a reason why none of us joined other frats on campus,” he said. “It’s not because they are worse, but because they have different styles. We have a great group of guys, [and] we have a lot of diversity.”
As for the future, Morrison said that he looks forward to watching DTD progress into a more active player at Tufts.
“It is my hope that 25 years in the future, people will still look at DTD as a conglomerate of the most visible and active leaders on campus and see that these are the kids who make a difference,” he said.
Despite the group’s success to date, its members have suffered at least one early hitch.
During the initial recruitment period, international DTD representatives held a contest for Tufts sororities to encourage men to join the colony. The fraternity’s central leadership rewarded the sororities by donating to their chapters’ philanthropies.
Stein said that the referral contest might have been misinterpreted.
“The goal of that initiative was to stimulate further interest … in DTD on campus, but it may have been misconstrued as a numbers game,” he said.