Michael Fischer, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, announced last Tuesday, Oct. 22, that the formerly banned Triniteers fraternity are officially reinstated on campus””effective immediately. The fraternity will be able to recruit a new active class this year and resume all regular functions, with certain limitations.
“One key condition is that they can only recruit first-year students, and the other key condition is that the alumni are graduates of the university only during those times when the fraternity enjoyed the full privileges of fraternities and sororities at Trinity,” Fischer said.
Because of past issues with violations during pledging, the Teers will also have a shortened orientation period of two weeks this year. The new conditions aim to help the fraternity make a fresh start and a clean break with its recent past. Despite wanting a new beginning, Jeremy Boyce, a Triniteer alumnus, voiced the group’s wish to include upperclassmen.
“We don’t want to exclude anyone who would want to be a part of [the organization]. We want to give them the same opportunity that everybody gets. We would like to be able to have that and now that restriction is in there now, but hopefully with some dialogue we can continue with the university and maybe they’ll pull back on that,” Boyce said.
The alumni group also wishes to eventually include as many Teers as possible who were associated with the faternity while it was suspended. Not all those who have pledged as a Teer, however, will be let into the group.
“Even for those guys who’ve unofficially been involved, we want to give them the same opportunity that everyone else is going to get. There is no automatic in. You need to be a good student. You need to be upstanding within the university. You need to be someone that as alumni we’d be proud to say that you are a part of our organization,” Boyce said.
The Triniteers will become one of the five Greek life organizations that have been re-chartered over the past year and a half – the other four are Gamma Chi Delta, Chi Delta Tau, Bengal Lancers, and SPURS. Fischer referenced a “blueprint” that aims to safeguard the success of fraternities and sororities on campus, which reflects the administration’s view of Greek life in relation to the formerly suspended Greek organizations.
“It’s been in the spirit of the blueprint that we have reinstated the groups that we have reinstated,” Fischer said. “There’s other work going on under that blue print. There are some committees right now that are working on communication, orientation and standards. All of this, I think, was inspired by that blueprint and the positive commitment that that blueprint expressed.”
Those in charge of Greek life look forward to having the Teers fulfill a niche that was left open among fraternities.
“It’s nice to bring back a sort of old tradition that we’ve had that’s kind of been lost for a while. Some people might not be used to it at first, but I think that in the long term its good to bring back a group that has already such a big alumni base,” said Jeremy Erdman, senior and co-chair of the Fraternity and Sorority Council.
Alumni have played a huge role in bringing the Triniteers back to campus. They made the push to re-charter the organization and plan to continue playing a key role in overseeing the activities of the fraternity, especially as they take on a new active class this year.
“There’s mechanisms put in place to make sure that, even as the year goes on there’s alumni advisors; making sure that things are right, and if there are things that slip up, then they’re the ones [fraternity members] go to. They’re the ones to consult with to make sure they are guiding in along with the process,” Boyce said.
The university hopes that returning Greek organizations will encourage more alumni support and involvement here at Trinity for years to come.
“I also think that [sororities and fraternities] can be helpful in keeping alumni engaged with the university,” Fischer said. “Part of the blueprint has been to increase alumni involvement in fraternities and sororities, and I think that that involvement is good for the university. It’s good for the students, and it’s good for the alumni,” Fischer said.