DU members move to 123 Packard for fall 2019

123 Packard Ave. is pictured on Feb. 12. Alina Strileckis / The Tufts Daily Archives

Members of the currently suspended fraternity Delta Upsilon (DU) are now living in the newly acquired Tufts property at 123 Packard Ave., according to Dean of Student Life and Engagement Christopher Rossi. After the university ordered the suspension of DU operations in June, DU brothers who had planned to live in the fraternity house for the 2019–20 academic year were granted permission to stay at 123 Packard for the fall 2019 semester.

According to the Student Life website, in June DU was, “Found responsible for disorderly conduct; physical abuse and reckless endangerment; and inaction in an alcohol-related medical emergency.”

The site does not elaborate on the specific violations; however, Tufts has suspended the fraternity until Sept. 1, 2022.

“If approved to return from suspension, the chapter will be on disciplinary probation for a one-year period, will have the opportunity to regain use of the house in September 2023, and a Residential Life student staff member will be placed in any chapter facility used by Delta Upsilon,” the site says.

Now, as Tufts students occupying a university-owned resident hall, the DU brothers living at 123 Packard are subject to Tufts University guidelines. This is a change from their former living situation at 114 Professors Row, which was independently owned by the Delta Upsilon Corporation.

According to Krithi Ram-Junnarkar, a Haskell Hall Community Development Assistant (CDA) who makes rounds at the house, the house is substance-free, and this status is enforced by a student house manager

“I have had minimal interactions with the brothers besides a few lockouts,” Ram-Junnarkar, a sophomore, told the Daily in an interview. 

The university purchased the house at 123 Packard from the Theta Delta Chi Corporation last year for $2 million. This acquisition was made after Tufts dissolved recognition of Theta Delta Chi (TDC), another Tufts fraternity, in October 2017, Rossi told the Daily in an email. The former residents, the TDC brothers, vacated the space after the conclusion of the spring 2019 semester. 

The university’s acquisition of 123 Packard is part of a larger plan to improve student living on campus, according to Rossi.

“It is in the best interest of the university to have long-term control and ownership of buildings on campus for reasons related to safety, ongoing maintenance and repair, and consistency in the student experience,” Rossi said.

Before their suspension, the DU brothers were already scheduled to relocate from 114 Professors Row to  123 Packard in order for the property at 114 Professors Row to undergo renovations, according to Rossi. Due to the aforementioned suspension, they are no longer able to operate 123 Packard as a chapter facility.

However, according to Ram-Junnarkar, the university has not tried to be secretive about their arrangements for the members of DU

“[The members of Delta Upsilon] are in a transition phase where the frat has been shut down but they need a place to stay because they can’t be in their house,” Ram-Junnarkar said.

The university is currently in talks to enhance residential life on campus with the potential acquisition of 114 Professors Row. In the event of purchase, the university plans to focus on vital renovations starting with addressing safety concerns, according to Rossi.

“The house is in need of major renovation, including much-needed attention to safety issues, and we believe there is an opportunity to enhance on-campus living options through a strategic acquisition,” Rossi said.

Despite the university’s potential acquisition of the former DU house, there is still a future for Delta Upsilon at Tufts

The Dean of Student Affairs Office and the Office of Residential Life and Learning, which includes the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, has been in regular contact with Delta Upsilon International regarding the chapter’s status,” Rossi said.

In the event that DU elects to return as an organization once its suspension has elapsed, the university is open to the fraternity’s potential return to campus. Rossi also extended this goodwill to other Greek organizations currently suspended.

“There is a path for DU to return to campus regardless of whether they return as a residential chapter facility, as is the case with all Greek organizations,” Rossi said.

In the spring 2020 semester, students from the new Civic Semester program will move into 123 Packard, forcing the DU brothers to move out. The 12 Civic Semester students may be joined by Tufts students returning from study abroad, according to Joshua Hartman, director of Residential Life and Learning.