The chapter’s members at West Virginia Wesleyan College have sought to continue to teach the core values; Truth, Honor and Personal Integrity.
The Delta Xi Alumni Association, along with West Virginia Wesleyan College and the Chi Phi National Office, has decided to suspend active operations at Delta Xi for 2 years.
The plan, backed by the College and the Chi Phi National office, is to return to Wesleyan in the spring of 2017, however, there are significant costs associated with our return.
Showcase the house as a "Great Place to Live".
We need individuals, or groups of men, who are willing to lead as a Captain's or as Pledge Class Representatives. It is acceptable, and encouraged, to team with another Brother(s) to share these responsibilities. Please contact any of the names above that fit your appropriate time period to volunteer.
Our mission has been to keep the house up to WV Code and help the Brothers of Chi Phi meet the expectations of Chi Phi National and WVWC Inter-Fraternity Council. As for the project to reorganize Chi Phi Fraternity in 2017, we are going to try to raise funds to fix-up/improve the house and afford the cost of the National Representatives to organize and rush men, spring of 2017. We feel we need to fix-up/dress-up the house to make it a place where a new group of guys would want to live.
As for legitimate and representative body, we have been operating as an organization of Chi Phi Fraternity since the purchase of the house at 67 South Kanawha Street and distributing a cash flow of tens of thousands of dollars per year. Delta Xi WV Foundation owns the house free and clear, which means we have NO mortgage. Any records of accounting can be seen at the office of Jim Okonak, whenever your time permits.
The four other fraternities are thriving. Theta Chi and KA have both closed down and reorganized with much success. At present, their numbers are very strong. Each time these chapters closed and reorganized, their alumni used the down time to repair, remodel and improve their chapter houses. Greek membership as a percentage of total students has been stable, and has actually shown some growth in recent years. With WVWC’s student body growing, there should be an opportunity for additional growth in Greek/fraternity membership.
At Wesleyan, fraternities are one of the few ways students are allowed to live off campus. The college tries to fill up the dorms and not let people live off campus. Therefore, we feel that Chi Phi has an attraction for guys wanting to get out of the dorms, and live off campus.
Another item you may not be aware of is, the Coaches of all sports at Wesleyan have banded together and do not allow their athletes to live in a Fraternity house if they receive scholarships to attend and play at Wesleyan. This limits the number of brothers that can live in the house.
When we get ready to start recruiting a new band of brothers, the Chi Phi National will send 2 or more people to Wesleyan for 6 weeks or so, and then they will send another person for a week or two, and then another for a week or two. The Chi Phi National has a defined process that is followed to establish a new group of guys to form the new active brotherhood. We will start in the spring of 2017, and the new group of Brothers will become active and start living in the house the fall of 2017.
This is not a new situation for Chi Phi National, they do this regularly for both establishing a brand new chapter or re-organizing an old chapter. It is basically the same process to the National. The success rate for this recruitment is 80-90%. Delta Xi is actually unusual in this re-organization process because we have NOT done it so far in 50 years. Per Doug Grimes, a re-organization is more the norm that the exception. And as you may or may not know Doug Grimes actually worked for Chi Phi National for about 10 years. One of his jobs during some of those years was this actual thing of going on campus to start or re-organize a chapter.
At Wesleyan, Theta Chi has shut down and re-organized twice, and KA has done the same once. Per John Bohman, each time this was done the group came back with more numbers and were a stronger bunch of guys.
Once the new group is established in the Spring of 2017, they will then become active and can start living in the house in the Fall of 2017. After we have guys living in the house again, we start generating cash back to Delta Xi and start to get ourselves back to a financially sound organization.
This will be the start of our success. Success can also be measured when we get quality guys, and the numbers of new brothers is more what we expect. And then we keep adding with each new pledge class. Back in the days of the early 70’s, we had 50-60 guys in the fraternity.
To put that in perspective: At the end of the Spring 2015 we had a possibility of 15 guys coming back in the fall. And they were stretching it to tell who the 8 guys at a minimum would be living in the house. In the Spring of 2015 we had 4 guys in the house at the end of the semester + one guy living there and paying the guys in the house a minimum rent + one guy who had dual residency (was forced by the college to move back on campus, but he maintained a room at the house). The latter two guys the Alumni did not know about, and did not receive compensation for. Two other guys we had asked to move out of the house by the Alumni committee, and a third was another guy who had been forced to live in the dorm because of his grades, but he maintained a room at the Chi Phi House also. When the college found out about the dual residency, he was kicked out of the college for lying to the school about his living in the house.
Determinants for success: Get enough guys in the new group to make the house profitable and returning some cash to the Alumni Fund. It takes 8-10 guys minimum to break even, and we can only house a maximum of 16 in the house due to Fire Code regulations. We need to keep the place near capacity so that we can build back up a cushion in the Alumni Fund so that when we have to put a new roof on the house, we can do so, If we need tables and chairs to eat on, then we can pay for that. When the basement floods, we can fix the problem. ( we have taken care of 95% of this problem, and have a solution for the remainder, but it takes cash to get it done).
From the standpoint of a social budget, there are economies of scale to consider. By way of example, it costs as much to hire a deejay for a party with 15 brothers as it does to hire a deejay for a hundred brothers, There seems to be a general consensus among members of WVWC’s Greek Alumni Council that 25 is a minimal number to adequately finance a social program, although 30 or more members is optimal.
Success will also be measured with Numbers of Quality guys to start, and then those individuals must keep perpetuating the future of Chi Phi with each pledge class they bring in as we go forward.
My estimate for number of the initial group of guys that we need is a minimum of 20-25, and a stretch goal of 30 will be the challenge to achieve. We also have to keep our hand on the pulse of how many of those guys will be willing to live in the house and keep our numbers there at a satisfactory level.
The College has a method to determine if a chapter at Wesleyan is properly functioning. It requires each chapter to achieve a minimum of 70% of the possible “President’s Cup” points, which are measured by academic performance, philanthropy, participation in specified campus events (Greek Week, Spring Sing, etc.) and other specified criteria. Any chapter that fails to reach the 70% mark is put on probation and required to implement an improvement program administered and monitored by the Greek Adviser, John Bohman. Failure to reach the 70% level for a second consecutive year results in the loss of the chapter’s charter, back in the early 1990s, Chi Phi was the first chapter to fail. With John Bohman’s assistance, the chapter won the National’s prestigious “Gehring Award” the very next year. However, in recent years, Chi Phi failed to reach the 70% minimum for three consecutive years, and the undergraduate leadership refused to cooperate with John Bohman on the required improvement plan.
A new property to build would probably cost minimum $100 per square foot. So, first we would need to buy an existing property, house, or lot. And a house of 3000 sq. feet or more would be $300K or more to build. So, now we have a mortgage of $225-230K+ cost of the lot. Not the best option in our opinion.
The committee will create a punch list of things that need to be done, then prioritize that list, and start at the top of the list.
We can set up work weekends where volunteers can paint, sand/prep floors, and other things that do not require a skilled person to do.
We need you at the House for this!
Today, the decision making gets done via conference call among the current Alumni Committee. Any brother that has expressed an interest has been allowed to participate.
If we get more volunteers to join our committee, then we can set up sub-committees to tackle and be responsible for different projects. Until very recently, alumni participation has been minimal. If there is an upside to closing the chapter, it is that this action seems to have galvanized a group of interested alumni that share an interest in saving and then supporting the chapter.
We have been sending out a group email to all brothers we have “good” email addresses for. Recently J.Wolfgang has joined Facebook to be part of the ROOT RANCH facebook site and reach out to those Brothers that connect via that media. Sort of forcing us old guys to get with it in the new social media world!
The Root Ranch facebook site has 243 members. J.Wolfgang email list has about 300 good/known email addresses that do not kick back.
Our method of reaching out to Brothers/Alumni is: