Delta Chi at the University of Maryland was just your average group of guys. They valued brotherhood, camaraderie, philanthropy, and occasionally accidentally caused twenty grand worth of damages at a hotel after an away weekend. It could happen to anyone.
And like any fraternity after a major fuck-up, they paid their dues. They paid for the damages, underwent a chapter evaluation, and worked hard to clean up their act. Members who didn’t uphold the values of the “new” Delta Chi were removed. The fraternity’s focus shifted from parties to philanthropy. Knowing the chapter’s standing was up for reevaluation in December 2015, at the conclusion of the upcoming semester, the fraternity was working hard to ensure the betterment of their image.
The fraternity was put on probation on February 3, and since then has done the following.
- Self-evaluation and removal of 16 members whose values did not match those of the fraternity, and disassociation with Delta Chi’s satellite house.
- Put on three philanthropy events: Bowling for Soup which raised 516 pounds of food, Delta Chi Day which raised money for charity, and participation in TerpThon for which they raised over $6,000 (the fourth highest earning chapter on campus).
- Revamped its judicial system and expectations, and held a mandatory risk management presentation for the chapter, so that all members may fully understand the new policies.
- Recruited 20 new members with a collective GPA of 3.2. As a part of the new pledge program, each new member shadowed an executive board member or chairman to expose the new members to leadership roles.
- Reimagined their academic strategy, offering help to any and all members struggling academically, checking in on GPAs regularly, and offering a rewards system to brothers with the top and most improved GPAs of the semester as an incentive to succeed.
- Self-elected to go on social probation, and agreed not to have an away weekend for four years.
- No fights have occurred. No vandalism has been attributed to Delta Chi members.
- A conservator was appointed.
- Chapter members completed STEPUP! Training, a risk management program to determine when a member is too drunk, and how to help.
- The chapter invited James Bond to conduct a training. He did not respond. After several email attempts, they arranged a judicial training session for the first week back in the Fall.
- Co-sponsored an IFC-wide risk management speaker.
- Invited staff from headquarters to visit and help evaluate the chapter in both the spring, and the fall.
The chapter president Jack Canavan attended monthly meetings with Brian Golden, UMD’s IFC advisor, to discuss and help manage the chapter’s progress. These guys have really gone above and beyond to try to right their wrong. They got rid of SIXTEEN members, which couldn’t have been easy, in an effort to change their standing with the university. Canavan was even recognized for his leadership skills during Greek Week. The chapter did miss one March 1 deadline (just 25 days after it was assigned), due to the chapter house — which is owned and maintained by the university — flooding on February 11, causing members to relocate for three weeks while the damage was repaired. The assignment was completed upon their return.
It sounds like these guys were really trying. And they have another entire semester before their re-evaluation to continue to be fucking awesome and show the university that they are capable of change.
But UMD said “JK. We’re going to kick you off campus now anyway.”
Both Delta Chi and the entire Greek community were recently informed that the chapter would be removed from campus “based on the chapter’s inability to meet the expectations set forth by both the Fraternity and the University.” There is no reason that fraternity should have been capitalized, and I just thought I’d point out that grammatical error for the world to see.
The Diamondback Online cites reasons like GPA, failure to meet deadlines (the deadlines that, as previously discussed were a result of an extenuating circumstance), and — get this — complaints from neighbors about the Delta Chi satellite house. Remember the satellite house comprised of members who were removed from DX? The satellite house that has absolutely no ties to the fraternity? “All the members living in this satellite house were removed during the membership review;” Canavan told TSM, “however, the university still inextricably linked our chapter to that house and attributed any incidents at that house to the fraternity.”
Canavan feels that this was largely done behind the fraternity’s back:
The Department of Fraternity and Sorority life did not contact me at all before this decision was made. They did not allow me to speak on behalf of my chapter, present them with what we had accomplished, nor defend ourselves. In fact, the Director of the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Matt Supple, failed to respond to me in any way and instead forwarded my attempt to meet with him to a lower staff member in the department.
Ultimately, he feels the university elected to remove the fraternity “prematurely and arbitrarily,” and pleaded to the other chapter presidents:
Although our chapter has had no negative incidents this semester, has contributed positively to the Greek community, and has improved greatly in many facets, DFSL believes we do not deserve to be a fraternity anymore. This information directly contradicts letters from DFSL that said our recognition status would be reviewed at the end of the Fall 2015 semester, has no basis based on our behavior this semester and threatens to set a dangerous precedent. If DFSL can removed our chapter simply because they don’t think we’re bought in to being a Greek organization anymore the same could happen to you.
Canavan argues that “the wrong decision was made,” as the “chapter has worked tirelessly over the last semester to improve ourselves, make a serious culture change, and positively impact the community.” The worst part, he feels, may be the lack of aid from DFSL. “A department made to represent fraternities and sororities should support chapters as they attempt to make positive change rather than wait for the opportunity to pounce on them and remove them.”
He hopes that people will remember his organization for the good it has done, rather than this disgusting incident, in which a group of college guys were taken advantage of by a system that’s out to get them. My words, not his..