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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Diversity, equity official to leave GW in July
By Jenna Lee, Assistant News Editor • June 8, 2024

Tau Kappa Epsilon to expand membership, recharter this spring

Taylor Nathanson, a recruitment chair and the former vice president of TKE, said the chapter had the second-largest recruitment class of any on-campus fraternity last semester.

Almost a year after returning to campus, GW’s chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon is trying to establish itself as one of the University’s largest fraternities next semester.

TKE has recruited more than 40 members since it reopened in January, three years after the former chapter was shut down after an investigation into drug use. Chapter leaders said they haven’t struggled with recruitment given the fraternity’s prior reputation from being kicked off campus – and they are now working to reach membership standards to officially charter in the spring semester.

TKE was the first chapter to return to campus earlier this year following the removal of several Greek chapters from campus for conduct violations. At least four other Greek chapters will reopen in the next three years, including Pi Kappa Phi in fall 2019, Phi Kappa Psi in spring 2020 and Sigma Phi Epsilon in spring 2022.

TKE leadership said the chapter has struggled to make enough money to hold more social events because of low membership, but they anticipate boosting the number of members in the spring which will bring in more money through membership fees.

Mark Detlor, the president of TKE, said the chapter is working to meet national requirements – like maintaining a 2.5 GPA for the chapter and complying with TKE’s national risk management guidelines – to charter as an official chapter.

“We feel we have been a positive addition to the University and hope to become an asset in strengthening the GW community,” Detlor said in an email.

He said the chapter added seven sophomores this fall, and he wants to recruit at least 20 members during the spring – putting TKE’s membership size on par with the largest fraternities at GW, like Kappa Alpha and Kappa Sigma.

“If our fall 2018 pledge class is an indicator of what is to come for future recruitments for TKE, I’m excited for what that future holds,” he said.

Taylor Nathanson, a recruitment chair and former vice president of TKE, said the chapter had the second-largest recruitment class of any on-campus fraternity last semester.

Nathanson said the current members are too young to remember why the chapter was initially removed from campus, adding that no potential new members mentioned concerns to him about the chapter’s previous reputation involving drug use.

“When chapters get kicked off, they do it in such a way that none of those people are still affiliated with the organization, so it’s totally new essentially,” Nathanson said.

Nathanson said the two main goals for the chapter for the rest of the academic year are recruitment and philanthropy. He said the chapter plans to actively recruit students from the Mount Vernon Campus through tabling and residence hall storming – something other Greek chapters do not do on the campus – next semester as part of the group’s plan to become an 80- to 100-person chapter.

“We’ve only been going for a semester and a half at this point,” he said. “We’re looking to really flush out the numbers, so recruitment is definitely the area that we’re concentrating on.”

Nick Kimble, the national expansion coordinator for TKE, said he lived on campus last semester to help the chapter reach out to potential new members.

“It’s building a brand and getting people to buy into it,” Kimble said. “It’s what people are capable of being when TKE is at its best.”

Kimble said when any Greek chapter is reopened on campus, it can be difficult to maintain a sense of the chapter’s culture after the group’s initial founders graduate. He said that when a chapter’s “founding fathers” leave, the chapter’s culture can “die off.”

“Keeping that culture, keeping that drive, keeping that hope for the future alive is going to be one of the biggest challenges,” he said. “It’s not insurmountable, and I believe that the men can do it with resources invested, continual visitation and the caliber of the young men that they’re recruiting.”

He said the previous TKE chapter closed because its values did not align with those of the University or the national chapter, but recruiting people who align with those values has been a priority this year.

“There was a lot of time and effort put into making sure that the group of men that we recruit and the values they live by are up to our standards,” he said.

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