April 17, 2011

IFC Approves Recolonization For Alpha Phi Delta Fraternity

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Alpha Phi Delta, Cornell’s newest Interfraternity Council-approved fraternity, will hold fall recruitment and commence recolonization of its Mu Chapter this fall, pending authorization from the Vice President of Student Services Susan Murphy.

IFC voted on April 6 to approve APD’s application for recolonization at Cornell. While Murphy’s approval is still pending, Assistant Dean of Students Kara Miller, who guided IFC throughout the approval process, said she does not “think that is any sort of contentious thing, just a time thing.”

Founded at Syracuse University in 1911, APD is a traditionally Italian-American fraternity. The Mu chapter, founded at Cornell in 1922, was Cornell’s only historically Italian fraternity until it left campus during the Vietnam War. Today, the fraternity boasts more than 95 chapters, primarily located in the Northeast.

“[APD chapters] tend to be more centralized and stronger in the Northeast,” Miller said.

The idea of reestablishing APD first took hold in fall of 2009 with the arrival of Arthur Pizza ’13, an APD legacy — someone who has family members who are alumni of APD. Pizza formed an interest group of eight students that has been supporting him through the application process.

Dan Freshman ’12, president of IFC, described the application process as “a little more informal [than Panhellenic’s colonization process], yet still a long process.”

For a fraternity to recolonize at the University, its national organization first approaches Cornell to express interest. From there, it must provide IFC with “official materials, packets that explain their plans for expansion, what sort of things they would like to bring to the University,” according to Freshman.

After IFC and University officials meet with representatives from the fraternity’s national organization, IFC votes whether to approve the fraternity at its general body meeting. Finally, Murphy decides whether to accept the new fraternity for colonization.

Freshman expressed enthusiasm for the reestablishment of the new chapter.

“They definitely gave a strong presentation,” Freshman said. “It was very important and impressive that they already have an interest group of eight members who will be pledging, compared to a lot of fraternities who have come here and have not had that.”

Miller agreed that it is rare for new chapters to begin will such a large interest group. She pointed to Phi Kappa Sigma, a new fraternity that “will start from scratch with no interested new members” in the fall, as an example.

While Freshman said that APD’s history on campus will not be a “dealbreaker one way or another” for its success, he said “it is always nice for the chapter president to see that there was some sort of tradition or footprint for this fraternity to be coming in with.”

Furthermore, Miller said chapters applying for recolonization have the advantage of alumni from the University.

Michael De Lucia, the vice president of recruitment for IFC, identified recruitment and promotion as the major obstacles for new colonies. For this reason, IFC looks for a solid plan to recruit new members in chapters applying for colonization.

If Murphy approves the IFC’s recommendation, APD will begin informal recruitment in the fall, De Lucia said. He explained that Joe Rahtelli, the vice president of expansion for APD’s national organization, will be working with the fraternity closely next year.

In addition to concentrating on recruitment, De Lucia said APD will begin looking for a house on campus and securing funds to stabilize itself as a chapter.

“We really want to make sure that they have all their ducks in a row, that they have all their plans possible,” Freshman said. “As much as it is exciting to see a fraternity come to Cornell, it is as disappointing to see them close in a few years.”

In light of the death of Georges Desdunes, IFC has made changes to its recognition policy. Freshman said APD has held dry recruitment in the past and expressed confidence that the chapter will comply with changes to the recognition policy at Cornell.

“They assured us that they will be on board with the changes to come,” he said.

Because alumni and members of their national organizations guide new fraternities, they typically follow their national rules strictly, Miller said.

“We see the new groups being able to do better than the current existing groups. We have two fraternities and one sorority in the fall, and we look to them to elevate our community,” Miller said.

Original Author: Will Ryan