Dear Fellow DU Brothers,
I hope and trust this message finds you and your families well.
As you are aware based on my last communication, a decision has been reached by the Delta Upsilon Alumni Board in conjunction with the members of the active chapter, Delta Upsilon International Fraternity and Bucknell University to temporarily close our local chapter, effective at the end of the spring 2015 semester. When I took over as the President of the DU Alumni Board, I never dreamed we would be traveling down our current path, and the Alumni Board feels that it is important that we all have the same information about the decision.
The principal reason that our chapter is closing is that the current brothers have been unable to attract and retain new members. The difficulty in recruiting new members stems from a negative perception of the house that is shared by a number of students at Bucknell. Throughout my tenure on the board, the University has been supportive of our efforts to make the House a success, including the provision of an extended period for rush this year. However, with just seven active brothers for Fall semester 2015, the level of active membership is well below the minimum occupancy threshold established under our lease with Bucknell for us to maintain the house as an active fraternity.
This decision was not taken lightly. Our Board and Delta Upsilon International Fraternity took a significant amount of time discussing our options and working with current brothers and the University to address the challenges. However, those challenges proved insurmountable given the sentiment towards DU among current students.
Pursuant to the lease with the University, we have also now been officially notified that the University has elected to repurpose the House and its associated property. With the construction of several new academic buildings, completed or planned, the present chapter house will be essentially surrounded by non-residential structures in the near future.
Based on the master plan for the University, the repurposing of the House was inevitable. As part of any repurposing and consistent with the terms of our lease, the University will be responsible for providing the Demosthenean Chapter of DU a replacement free standing housing facility elsewhere on campus. We will keep you apprised of any future developments regarding this matter.
As I have previously indicated to you, the Alumni Board, the University and Delta Upsilon International Fraternity remain committed to the re-opening of the Chapter following a mandated closure period and as soon as our new House can be constructed.
As Alumni Brothers, we need your support to ensure the successful re-opening of the Demosthenean Chapter of DU at Bucknell. We will be seeking your support to achieve the following:
- Increase representation and participation on the Alumni Board. We would like to grow the current membership of the Alumni Board from our current nine members to fifteen over the next six months. Please contact any Alumni Board member if you are interested in serving on our Board.
- Establishment of a New Building Committee to work with the University on the design and construction of the new house. This committee would also be responsible for maintaining our archives until they can be moved to the new house.
- Raise funds to meet the “start-up” costs of reopening the house. We need to be in a position to ensure the successful launch of the house by providing the necessary funding.
We realize this is a very difficult period in our history but we will be able to succeed if we have the broad support of our Alumni. We are also encouraged by the successful re-colonization of other chapters at Bucknell in recent years, and that we will be able to bring our chapter back to a place that makes each of us proud.
The primary focus of the Alumni Board at this time is to ensure the re-opening of our House and the successful return of Delta Upsilon to Bucknell. To this end, we would like to hear from you regarding your thoughts, concerns and wishes regarding the re-opening of DU at Bucknell. Please feel free to reach out to me or any other of the Alumni Board members listed below.
We look forward to reinstating DU at Bucknell with your support.
We are also looking forward to another successful Reunion Weekend on May 30th . The Alumni Board will be hosting a band party at the house beginning at 1 PM and concluding around 5 PM on the rear lawn. We look forward to seeing all of you at the house.
John J. Zaharchuk ‘81