Phi Psi reinstated at university
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 19:04
A group of students are working to reinstate the fraternity Phi Kappa Psi after a 20-year hiatus.
Adam Cantley, the assistant director of fraternity and sorority life, stated in an email message that the Phi Kappa Psi chapter at the university was founded in 1985. The national organization closed it in 1992 because members did not meet their financial obligations, he said.
“Once a chapter is no longer recognized by their national organization, they cannot be recognized by the University of Delaware,” Cantley said.
Sophomore Billy Cohen is one of the co-founders working to bring the fraternity back to campus. He said he and other members plan to make the new chapter different from other existing fraternities by working together to personalize the group’s image. Cohen said his goal is that the fraternity brothers will be involved in the local area.
“I hope that we’ll be able to work a lot with the community and offer just a well-rounded frat,” Cohen said.
The group is not officially taking pledges yet but is trying to recruit new members through social media and meet-and-greets at local restaurants, Cohen said. He said recruiting started off slowly, but recently, there has been increased interest from students. More than 30 members have committed to the fraternity, Cohen said.
Cantley said he has been in contact with the national Phi Kappa Psi organization since last spring and has been working with them since. The national organization plays the biggest role in bringing a new chapter to the university, he said.
“A student cannot start an organization that will be recognized without university support and the support of a national organization,” Cantley said. “We usually have one or two requests each year from individual students, but without the support of a national organization it doesn’t go very far.”
The process of beginning a new chapter is a difficult task, Cantley said. Sophomore Timothy Bonk, a co-founder of Phi Psi, said the university officials, including Cantley, are fully supporting the project.
He said he and other founders are also working with two representatives from the national organization during the early stages of recruitment. The organization sent the representatives to live in Newark for the next five weeks, Bonk said.
“It’s all pretty new still,” Bonk said. “But right now they’re helping us learn how to get the word out and just get a feel of how to set up informal rush events, so that when they’re gone we can handle it ourselves.”
He said the initial members recruited this semester will not be considered pledges, but rather a founders group. This offers further incentive for students to join because they will be able to skip the pledging process and also be remembered as a pioneer of the university’s Phi Psi chapter, Bonk said.
“The biggest reason to join this fraternity over others is the ability to come back in 10 to 15 years and be able to say you helped create what the fraternity has become,” he said.
The founders of the new chapter have not started fundraising for things such as events, speakers and trips, but Bonk said they have monetary support from the national Phi Psi organization.