In fraternities and sororities, traditions and ceremonies are a way of life — a lifestyle that is hard to ignore and harder to forget.
Despite their house having been shut down by the University of Idaho and their charter being taken away by their national chapter, the former fraternity members of Delta Chi are staying positive by keeping their brotherhood strong and their traditions alive.
Nick Miller, former president of Delta Chi, said although it is much harder without everyone living in the same house, they try to organize some of the functions they used to do while living at Delta Chi. Recently, Miller said they informally organized one of their trademark functions, Polyester Wedding.
“It’s cool to see something like Polyester Wedding actually happen. When we lived at the house, it was hard to maintain a lot of the events we did every year because of the pressure from the university and the police,” Miller said. “Even though we still all hang out, everyone is busy a lot of the time, so this kind of event gets everyone together at one place — some people I saw at Polyester Wedding I hadn’t seen all semester.”
Polyester Wedding is an annual Delta Chi themed event where each member chooses a date and dresses up in vintage clothing. Themed functions were not only put on at Delta Chi, but take place at most Greek fraternity houses.
Peter Horan, a former social chair of Delta Chi, said he helps organize the informal events.
“All the communication is facilitated through a Facebook group we’ve always had for the house,” Horan said. “Without a chapter, now its main function is to loosely organize how we used to put together our events.”
The Facebook group finalizes all the details, Horan said, such as the kind of event they are having, where it will be hosted and the date that works.
“Having an event at an off campus location is a lot less pressure than when we lived at the house,” Horan said. “It’s a lot different not being at the house, but still nice to get everyone together.”
Not only do the members try and get together socially, but Cody Arrasmith, a Delta Chi fifth year said as an upperclassmen, he encourages underclassmen to stay positive about maintaining their brotherhood and friendship despite not having a charter or a house.
“Our friendship between each other is still the strongest,” Arrasmith said. “Our brotherhood was not just about living in the house together–it was the people in the house that made it what it was.”
Arrasmith also helped with organizing polyester wedding, which he said was one of the first times all year everyone came together as friends.
“We put on informal, themed events like this because we can all enjoy ourselves and reminisce about the old days,” Arrasmith said.
Miller said although it is unfortunate they got shut down, it is nice not worrying about the pressure UI put on him as the president, along with the rest of the Delta Chi members.
“We were receiving so much pressure from the university and it caused a lot of tension and anxiety throughout the house. In a way, it’s kind-of relieving — we don’t have to worry about anything negative that’s going on or getting in trouble,” Miller said. “We can hang out with each other without worrying about what I’m doing or what he’s doing — now it’s nice just to see people.”
Miller said Delta Chi will be back on-campus in spring 2015 It’s just a matter of getting their charter back from nationals and waiting until the lease with Steel House runs out. In the meantime, however, he said it is nice to maintain some of their traditions.
“Putting on some of our events is cool–it keeps a little bit of our traditions alive,” Miller said. “It will never be what it used to be at the house, but for us (the seniors), we had multiple functions, like Polyester Wedding, that we did every year. Keeping it alive in some version shows the underclassmen a little glimpse of what it used to be like.”
Michelle Gregg can be reached at email@example.com