Editor's Note: The article has been updated to reflect the total number of members after initiation.
The Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity will be officially joining the Interfraternity Council on campus this upcoming fall.
DKE has been a nationally recognized fraternity that has upheld its organization's values and is now in the process of becoming incorporated on the University of Richmond campus, Dan Mahoney, junior and president of the IFC, wrote in an email.
“DKE won’t officially be on campus until next semester, because they are still in the process of being officially approved by the university and making sure they are in compliance with everything that being on campus requires," Mahoney wrote. "But their president will be attending IFC meetings as a non-voting member for the rest of the spring.”
DKE at UR was founded as an interest group in 2002.
"At that time the university had no space or interest in adding another fraternity, so DKE continued to operate, with a nationally recognized charter, as an off-campus organization," wrote James McGuire, junior and president of DKE, in an email.
Coming onto campus was always one of the fraternity's goals, McGuire said in an interview.
“We feel a little bit outside of the Richmond community as it stands now," he said. "We want to get more involved, do formal recruitment with the other fraternities and be recognized and treated the same way other fraternities are.”
The fraternity has its national charter and has been nationally recognized by DKE headquarters since 2002. However, the IFC has never recognized it on campus.
DKE has difficulty finding potential new members, and potential new members have difficulty finding DKE during recruitment because the fraternity is not on campus, McGuire said. Two years ago, DKE had 25 members. Now, it has 36 and is looking to grow even more once it is on campus, McGuire said.
”I would say we’re most excited to finally be a part of the Richmond community,” McGuire said. “I think that we are sort of viewed as not as legitimate as other fraternities because we’re not recognized by the school. I think being recognized by the school will add a legitimacy and credibility and get our name out there.”
Once DKE is officially recognized by UR on campus, the fraternity will have to adhere to IFC standards of excellence, including hosting philanthropy events and meeting GPA requirements. DKE will have to comply to IFC's risk management policies and pay dues to IFC to help pay for programming such as Color Wars throughout the next year, Mahoney wrote.
Meg Pevarski, the assistant director for Greek life, wrote in an email that DKE can apply to join the IFC for full membership after a lengthy recognition process.
“We are excited to welcome Delta Kappa Epsilon as an associate member of the Interfraternity Council at the University of Richmond," Pevarski wrote. "Our recognition process is lengthy and once they have met all of the benchmarks and requirements set forth by the university process, they will be able to apply for full membership and recognition within the Interfraternity Council."
Once DKE is officially approved, it can apply for full membership.
The goal is to become a full IFC member by the end of this semester, so that it is ready to go in the fall, McGuire said.
DKE held its first official philanthropy event with Best Buddies on campus on Saturday, March 30. Best Buddies is an organization dedicated to creating friendships and opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“In terms of how bringing DKE onto campus will benefit the Greek community at large, I think they are really well positioned to work closely with Best Buddies and fill a philanthropy niche that no other chapter is available to at this time,” Mahoney wrote in an email.
DKE also created a fundraising page for its philanthropy event for donations, raising $827 and beating their $500 goal. All donations went to the Special Olympics.
Contact news writer Morgan Tolan at firstname.lastname@example.org.