Tau Kappa Epsilon House Corporation Closes Fraternity House For 2017-2018 School Year

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Tau Kappa Epsilon’s Pi Chapter House Corporation announced on the chapter’s website the fraternity house will be closed for the duration of the 2017-2018 school year due to “many ongoing problems experienced during the past school year.” Fraternity members who were slated to live in the house were advised to make other housing arrangements.

The announcement from House Corporation President Thomas Becker specified a lengthy list of transgressions, including: the actives and their guests continuing damage and disrespect of the property and its contents to an extent never seen or experienced before, particularly during the fall semester; the failure to abide by TKE and Pi Chapter traditions, standards, rules & regulations; the late return of housing  contracts and other required documents; the late payment and non-payment of financial obligations by too many members; many police visits to the property; violations of State College Borough ordinances and Pennsylvania statutes at the property; IFC and University Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life sanctions and fines for inappropriate or disallowed activities on fraternity property; and the board’s perception that, despite having many outstanding individual members, there was a lack of group acceptance of responsibility and accountability for too many of these failures & problems.

During the break, the House Corporation plans to renovate the house in time to re-open by the fall of 2018, assuming the fraternity has repaired itself and adheres to the standards of its alumni.

To date, no other fraternity chapters have announced the closing of their houses for the upcoming school year. The Interfraternity Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

You can read the full letter from the president of the chapter’s house corporation below:

Dear Fraters,

At its May 20, 2017 special meeting, the Pi Chapter House Corporation board voted NOT to re-open its property at 346 E. Prospect Avenue to the use of Pi Chapter during the 2017-2018 PSU academic year.  Therefore, all actives who anticipated living in the house were advised to find and make other housing arrangements.  The actives had been informed and reminded during the 2016-17 year that closing the Chapter House was a possibility if care of the property and group conduct did not improve. A letter that was sent to the Actives can be viewed HERE.

The house also will be closed to all alumni activities during this period.  The board of the House Corporation has every hope and expectation that Pi Chapter TKE will continue as an active Penn State fraternity this fall and will take the next year to make itself into a much stronger chapter in full support and compliance with many of the much needed new Greek Life policies that have recently been issued by the University.

This board action is a result of many ongoing problems experienced during the past school year, among them being: the actives and their guests continuing damage and disrespect of the property and its contents to an extent never seen or experienced before, particularly during the fall semester; the failure to abide by TKE and Pi Chapter traditions, standards, rules & regulations; the late return of housing  contracts and other required documents; the late payment and non-payment of financial obligations by too many members; many police visits to the property; violations of State College Borough ordinances and Pennsylvania statutes at the property; IFC and University Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life sanctions and fines for inappropriate or disallowed activities on fraternity property; and the board’s perception that, despite having many outstanding individual members, there was a lack of group acceptance of responsibility and accountability for too many of these failures & problems.

This coming year will be a year of severe scrutiny of fraternities at Penn State, and the board must be comfortable that, when we do re-open, the active chapter members and the board are on the same page going forward as to use of the property and conduct occurring on it.  We expect even more new University regulations and policies being issued during the summer and for the next academic year, and those too will be required of all our members upon re-entering the chapter house.

Moreover, due to the system-wide fall-out from the Beta Theta Pi tragedy and the resultant review of existing and promulgation of new regulations being formulated by the University, we believe a year of reconsideration to refresh and recharge the values, traditions, mission and commitment to fraternalism of Pi Chapter TKE is both healthy and advisable. During this time we’ll undertake some badly needed renovations of our property by cleaning, repairing, painting & restoring it to its former impressive appearance for the benefit of both actives and alumni.  We want it again to be the home to which you all feel comfortable returning, which, unfortunately, is simply not now the case.  Most importantly, we must all work together with the University, TKE National, IFC, our neighbors, our actives and their leaders to update our policies and programs to meet the challenges of the current times at Penn State and to insure a bright and healthy Pi Chapter future.

Again, we have every expectation of re-opening the house to our members in the fall of 2018, by which time the interior renovations will be completed.  Meanwhile, we want to assure you that the financial condition of the corporation remains sound due to quality stewardship and management of the past dozen years.  A year of closure can be weathered in exchange for the long range benefits to our beloved Pi Chapter.  The board members of Pi Chapter House Corporation look forward to working with any of our alumni and all of our actives in re-energizing Pi Chapter TKE to help mold a much brighter future for our “fraternity for life”.  More than ever, your continued support of Pi Chapter and its house corporation alumni board members is sincerely requested during the forthcoming year.

YITB,

Thomas M. Becker ‘69

President

Pi Chapter House Corporation, TKE

Photo By: Gareth Brangan
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Elissa Hill

Elissa is a junior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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