Four years after a suspension for alcohol and hazing violations, Beta Theta Pi, Theta Delta chapter, is returning to the Ohio State campus with a $5 million housing project.
The fraternity’s former house, built in the 1960s, was torn down to make way for the new house. The project is funded by the chapter’s alumni, according to a fundraising brochure.
“The focus is on having a state-of-the-art facility that can cater to any need,” said Jeff Ruick, a fourth-year in marketing and president of Beta Theta Pi. “The emphasis is on flexibility.”
The fraternity’s suspension began in April 2012, and they were reinstated two years later in January 2014.
A letter from the fraternity’s national headquarters said the OSU chapter, founded in 1885, “sustained a culture that was incongruent with university and Beta Theta Pi values,” while violating conduct standards and policies of OSU and the fraternity.
Beta Theta Pi was required to complete several educational workshops with newly recruited members before the chapter could return, said Ryan Lovell, senior director of sorority and fraternity life and parents and family relations at OSU, in an email.
Those workshops emphasized values, bystander behavior and planning for success, Lovell said.
“We work diligently with the national organization to make sure that when groups return they do not return to challenges they have seen in the past,” he said.
Ruick said he believes the new house will keep the fraternity’s many years of history intact while taking the emphasis away from the old traditions that got the fraternity in trouble four years ago.
“This house will show what we are about,” Ruick said. “We are setting the standard for Greek housing. We are going to be setting the standard for what it means to be an excellent chapter on this campus.”
The new Beta Theta Pi house is set to be completed by the summer, with members slated to be able to move for Fall Semester 2017.
“I think this new house will be a symbol of a new beginning for this chapter,” Ruick said. “Emphasizing on educational spaces and team-building spaces will show what we are about.”