After being absent from campus for the past six years, the Beta
Theta Pi fraternity is beginning the process of recolonization.
Beta was originally colonized in 1986, but was eventually closed
The fraternity was closed when its actions were not representing
the organization well, said Ethan Braden, associate director of
“From day one a Beta represents something much larger than
himself,” Braden said. “The actions of one chapter do speak a lot
to those throughout North America.”
While Braden did not know if there was a specific incident
involved in the CSU chapter’s closing, he said it probably had to
do with hazing or alcohol.
Once a fraternity or sorority is closed there is not a set
amount of time before a new chapter can be started at CSU.
Braden said Beta chose to wait more than just two or three years
to allow any negative feelings to dissolve over time.
From the students’ perspective, they don’t really have any idea
of the fraternity’s past, said Jackie Weiner, assistant director of
Greek Life. “Usually when a group is gone long enough there’s
really no implications for the new group,” she said. “They have
been gone for a while so they don’t really need to worry.”
Starting a new chapter of a fraternity is an involved process
that includes a seven-week founding father educating process.
“The founding fathers are entrepreneurs of a life-changing
experience,” Braden said. “They’re truly creating their own
These founding fathers will learn the basics of running a
fraternity, including how to manage a budget, form a constitution
and bylaws and organize philanthropic projects. Twenty-five to 30
men will be chosen to be the founding fathers and help with these
“Starting a new fraternity is very hard because you’re starting
from scratch.” Weiner said. “At the same time though it’s very
The challenge of starting a new fraternity is one thing that
drew Jesse Lauchner, senior business major and the Associated
Students of CSU president, to become a founding father.
“You have the opportunity to take it and make it into what you
bought into it to be,” Lauchner said. “You’re setting up all the
structure, all the foundation for long-term success.”
In order to achieve long-term success and prevent the fraternity
from repeating its history, Beta has three strategies. The
strategies are to recruit quality men, build a strong culture of
excellence and have a supportive advisory team, Braden said.
“Beta wants to develop leaders who are responsible gentlemen,”
said Alexis Kanda-Olmstead, assistant director of the Honors
Program and leadership development adviser for Beta.
In 1997, the national organization for the fraternity invested
money, time and manpower to developing the Men of Principle
Initiative. This initiative was designed to realign the
fraternity’s actions with its principles.
“We’ve asked them to carry Men of Principle in their back
pocket,” Braden said.
The Men of Principle Initiative involves lifelong friendships,
cultivation of the intellect, responsible leadership, responsible
social conduct and commitment to the community.
“I got into Beta for this sole reason: to be part of what the
fraternity exemplifies,” Lauchner said. “There’s a lot to say about
how something starts and how it’s going to endure.”