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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Fraternity reinstated after 12-year absence

    The Tau Kappa Epsilon social fraternity received UA recognition two weeks ago, 12 years after leaving campus because of diminishing membership.

    The organization is in the process of getting a new fraternity house, said Seth Assar, president of Tau Kappa Epsilon.

    Assar said even though the fraternity’s membership diminished 12 years ago from about 130 to 30, the chapter left campus in good standing. For this reason, when the fraternity filed for re-recognition this year, the Interfraternity Council’s vote was almost unanimous; 26 to 1, he said.

    TKE left campus in 1994 after its fraternity house, which is now the Pima Hall dorm, was sold to the university, said Assar, a systems engineering junior.

    Stephen Lytle, one of the two senior

    We’re going to work harder on our recruitment; we (also) have a more energetic executive board. Everybody in the house is so motivated now to get everything done.

    – Jack Redavid,
    chapter adviser

    expansion consultants for Tau Kappa Epsilon International Fraternity, said it took 12 years for the organization to return because members were waiting for the expansion plan to have enough alumni and campus support.

    The local organization is considered a colony right now, he said, but the local members are hoping to become a chapter by the end of the semester.

    Assar said even though the local TKE chapter used to be one of the strongest chapters on the UA campus before it left, the organization disappeared because TKE members lost motivation to continue the organization.

    Jack Redavid, TKE chapter adviser, said he never really knew why it dissolved.

    “”We all have this big mystery as to why they went away,”” he said.

    But Redavid said he thinks the fraternity grew too fast and became incapable of staying cohesive.

    Lytle agreed and said the fraternity’s downfall was due to the recruitment of a large number of men who didn’t get along.

    “”The brotherhood wasn’t there,”” he said.

    Whatever the cause of its departure, Assar said the chapter has made changes to ensure its longevity this time.

    “”We’re going to work harder on our recruitment; we (also) have a more energetic executive board,”” he said. “”Everybody in the house is so motivated now to get everything done.””

    Redavid said he is happy the UA men will be able to share the experience he had when he attended college.

    “”TKE was part of my undergraduate experience, and I am (really) glad it can now be part of a new generation of students,”” he said. “”It’s an opportunity to bring back a history that goes back to 1956 with TKE and the University of Arizona,”” he said.

    While the fraternity now has 77 members, Lytle said it could have recruited more, but it has learned a lesson and isn’t looking for quantity of men, but their quality.

    Lytle said the chapter recruited men who have “”decent”” GPAs and are actively involved on campus or are interested in getting involved.

    Besides helping with recruitment, the Tau Kappa Epsilon International Fraternity also sponsored two of its social events and gave $5,000. But Lytle said the international fraternity did not leave without making sure the local chapter had a budget and finance plan set for the year.

    Lytle said the fraternity has started having philanthropic, athletic, community and social events and will soon have a brotherhood retreat.

    “”They’re on their way, they’ve done an awesome job so far,”” Lytle said.

    Assar said members have started raising their own money after the expansion consultants left before spring break.

    Assar is proud of the pace with which the brothers have established their colony and the number of quality men they’ve recruited.

    “”That’s huge. A process like this can take forever. We’ve managed to do in two months what some social fraternities accomplish in two years,”” he said.

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