For those who think college fraternities are just like the one portrayed in “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” I’ll have you know that we never built a Deathmobile to ruin the homecoming parade.
Nor did we start a food fight in the cafeteria. At least, I didn’t.
We did have a lot of fun, though, during those few years in our late teens and early 20s. Now, it looks as if all we’ll have are the memories.
Over the weekend, a fraternity brother sent an email inviting a bunch of us to dinner and a trip to the casino, “to make up for not winning the Powerball.” Our friend Mike replied:
“Sounds like fun. Count me in. We can celebrate the end of Delts at IUP as well.”
Mike is one of the alumni who are on the board of the corporation that owns the Delta Tau Delta house. He reports that the current fraternity brothers apparently have given in to the inevitable.
“They have a deadline of Dec. 7 to get leases signed, but to date no one has even contacted the property manager about a lease. We told them that after that date, it is being rented to the general student population and they cannot hold any social functions at the house. My guess is that Nationals will pull the charter when they meet in January unless a lot happens in the next month.”
That’s a big “unless,” considering the semester is about to end, followed by a long break for the holidays.
If the national office revokes the IUP chapter’s charter, that means the end of an institution along Indiana’s Seventh Street since the Ford administration.
I could write a book, of course. But I’d be sued. There would be no way to change enough names to protect the not-so-innocent.
All joking aside, most of the fellows I know from my era – let’s say the ’80s – have gone on to be productive members of society. Our alumni have the wherewithal, for example, to have raised enough money to build a new house on the site of the old one when it finally became uninhabitable a few years ago.
The new place is nice, but for us comparatively elderly guys, it hasn’t been quite the same. So the demise of the chapter doesn’t seem as devastating as it could have been.
Still, I can speak for a lot of brothers when I say the fraternity represents a major part of our lives. In my case, I met the future Mrs. Funk at the house. Which makes a lot of sense, considering my main attraction to the place was an opportunity to meet girls.
Perhaps I’ll take my friends up on the email invitation, and we can raise a glass: Long live DTD at IUP.
Then we can start a food fight.
Harry Funk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.