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Spring 2019 - A Recap

Phi Psi & Greek System at DPU Face Significant Challenges

By Matt Fox ‘91

Indiana Alpha continues to perform well on DePauw’s campus. The House is “full”, has no debt and maintains significant cash for capital projects. More importantly, we just recruited a strong pledge class in January. However, there are significant challenges on the horizon which require us to rethink the Phi Psi experience. The first challenge is the significant decline in the number of men going through rush. This is due to a significantly lower DPU enrollment. Several years ago we had a freshmen class of over 700 students. DePauw is now in the low 500’s. In the fall of 2019 it could possibly be in the high 400’s for both men and women. The percentage of men actually signing up for rush has also declined. The new Greek Community Board (GCB) formed by all the Greek Living units on campus is actively trying to address this issue by hiring a Public Relations firm to help market Greek Life to students. We realized we can’t rely on DePauw to market the Greek system. In the 80’s DePauw was 90% Greek it is now in the 64% and only 54% of Freshmen men went through rush. Finally, the decline in rush can be also be contributed to the poor academic performance of freshmen men. Over 20% of the freshmen men couldn’t go through rush due to having a GPA under 2.5.

At a recent meeting on DePauw’s campus, the University announced they intend to build 4 new dorms. They are replacing Humbert & Hogate Hall and two others as well as a number of single-family houses built 20 years ago. The university has assured the Greek organizations that they are only replacing existing housing stock and not adding capacity, however, if DePauw recruitment continues to decline this could impact Greek houses. If they are building dorms to house 700 incoming students per class but only recruiting 500, there will be problems.

Phi Psi remains well-positioned; however, the board is constantly focused on “upping our game” and is committed to delivering a better experience to the guys in the house and delivering a product the current freshmen want. We’ve hired cleaning staff to assist the guys in keeping the house presentable. The number one complaint we have received over the years from alumni and parents is the house is filthy. We hope to improve the livability of the house. The active Chapter will still have to clean but by hiring cleaning staff, we hope the cleanliness will be more consistent. We are constantly renovating. We will install all new flooring throughout the house this summer. The library recently underwent a $40,000 renovation in 2018 and we have upgraded the dining room furniture. The physical structure is in great shape. We will also be working with Mom Brown to improve the food options in the house. Incoming freshmen want more food options at different times.

The entire Indiana Alpha House Corporation board is working hard to address all of these above challenges. You may ensure our success by helping in two ways: Donate your time and expertise. We have many volunteer opportunities available. Whether you are near or far there is always something to do. Finally, donate to the Phi Scholarship Fund. Scholarships are very helpful in attracting future Phi Psi’s.

 

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