The Triniteer fraternity will return to campus this semester for the first time since 2015. The Triniteers, one of the oldest fraternities on Trinity’s campus, were put on probation in fall 2015 after failing to follow the requirements for re-chartering set in 2013.
The Triniteers have a long history of probation — they were suspended for nearly a decade in 1991 following the death of a new active, and again in 2006, only to be reinstated in 2013. The most recent probation was meant to encourage the Triniteers to focus on its traditions and values.
“We feel the time is right now for the organization to relaunch in the tradition that they have on campus that is really storied,” said Jeremy Allen, assistant director for fraternity and sorority life. “They’ve been around for a long time so this is their opportunity to re-charter in a really positive and meaningful way. I hope that they’re an organization that comes back that their alumni can be proud of.”
This fall, recruitment for the Triniteers will be led by a committee of 11 Triniteer alumni, including Jeremy Boyce, class of 2003 and associate director of admissions, who was a Triniteer during his time at Trinity.
“We’re working together to initially put together the criteria,” Boyce said. “We really understand that this is kind of the last chance for us to be able to make this happen for the Triniteers and we want to do it the best way possible. We have to set up a strong foundation of strong men who are strong students with a great reputation on campus, a clean background that can represent us well, and they’re very involved in the campus community.”
One requirement of the current re-chartering of the Triniteers was to wait until everyone associated with the Triniteers was no longer at Trinity.
“There are no people who are Teers or are associated with Teers,” Boyce said. “There was no underground element, there was nothing like that.”
However, Ryan Smith, a fifth-year senior, came to Trinity as a first-year in the fall of 2013, became a Triniteer in spring 2014.
“I am excited for the opportunity to return to campus as an active fraternity,” Smith wrote in an email. “Upon returning, I hope to foster the longevity of the Triniteers while better representing Trinity and the core values held by our fraternity. The Triniteers were intentionally suspended until after the initially expected graduation dates of our active members. However, as a fifth year senior, my enrollment at Trinity has exceeded the duration of our suspension.”
According to Boyce, anyone who claims to be part of the organization since 2015, when any “underground” activity could have occurred, is not officially recognized as a Triniteer.
“Anyone who has claimed to be a Triniteer since the last attempt failed is not associated with the Triniteers,” Boyce wrote in an email. “They are not recognized by the Triniteer alumni and they will NOT be part of the future of the Triniteers or recognized as Triniteer alumni. If they are in possession of any Triniteer memorabilia, it has been done without the knowledge of the organization.”
Benjamin Mulford, who graduated in spring 2018, joined the Triniteers in 2013, and claims to be involved in the organization throughout his time at Trinity.
“I served in a variety of roles for the Teers, including risk manager and secretary, but my main job was as the president,” Mulford wrote in an email. “I served as the president from spring 2015 technically up until my graduation in May, even though we were suspended from campus for the latter part of my Trinity career.”
Boyce joined the Triniteers while they were an underground organization following the 1991 suspension.
“When I started off with them they were an underground organization and there were years of history between the organization and university,” Boyce said. “What attracted me to being a part of it is that it fit a need that wasn’t there in any of the other fraternities at the time. It was an interesting mix of guys. We wanted to bring the club back, so we were fortunate enough to be able to do that during my junior year.”
Mulford is ecstatic that the Triniteers are able to return to campus this year.
“I am thrilled that other young men will once again have this opportunity to join this storied organization, and I look forward to meeting these future Teers,” Mulford wrote. “I hope the new guys will be able to work proactively with the Trinity administration to be the kind of organization that the university truly wants on campus, while also being able to maintain the identity of the Triniteers. I can’t wait to see the future of the Triniteers, and I am excited to see who my new brothers are when I return to campus later this year.”
Mulford described his decision to join the Triniteers as the best social decision he made while at Trinity.
“I count my friends in the Teers amongst the closest friends I have ever made anywhere,” Mulford wrote. “Though we got suspended from campus during my time as a Teer, which was unfortunate, I do not regret the choice I made to join the Triniteers at all. It was easily one of the best parts of my college experience.”
Boyce hopes that the Triniteers will come back as a strong organization.
“My goal, and our goal as alumni, is to bring this club back to where it is one of the strongest organizations on campus,” Boyce said. “We want to create a strong foundation so that the history is allowed to continue and those people who are involved with the organization want to be able to have that organization to come back to and connect with. I’m under no illusion that it’s going to be perfect, but we know that we’re going to have a good foundation of young men who will make sure that the Triniteer name is actually around here for hopefully another 70 years.”
Students who are interested in the Triniteers can contact Jeremy Boyce at email@example.com. Information about the Triniteers will also be available at Greek 101.