The brothers of the Delta Chi fraternity are settling into their new home on the Hill after several years and two attempts at getting a house.
In 2009, Delta Chi was brought back to Lehigh’s campus without a house and it has since been trying to return to the Hill. On its first attempt to secure a house on the Hill, the fraternity went up against the brothers of Pi Kappa Alpha, who ultimately received the house.
This time around, Delta Chi chapter president Philip Vendola, ’17, said that Pike was a huge help with preparing the housing presentation as the fraternity explained the responsibilities of having a house over dinner.
The building, which previously housed the Delta Phi fraternity, underwent several renovations over the summer. Along with new floors and a freshly painted chapter seal, Delta Chi created a room dedicated to its history.
Chapter Vice President Patrick Wendler, ’16, said the room is like a museum of old Delta Chi memorabilia.
“We have this room where we can see the legacy that was left before us,” Vendola said.
Delta Chi plans to keep adding to that legacy. Wendler said he is excited to come back and see his composite photo on the wall as a reminder that he was a part of this exciting time.
“It’s something that I wish I had access to as a new member, just to appreciate the history that much more,” Wendler said.
This semester there are 12 members living in the house. Vendola said there would have been more, but the fraternity encouraged its members to keep their off-campus leases, just in case the Delta Chi didn’t get approval to move into the house. He said he hopes the number will be much higher next year.
Even though not everyone is living in the house, Vendola said it only took a couple days to feel closer to his brothers. Before living in the house, the only time the fraternity would gather as a group was at chapter meetings and events.
Now, the brothers eat meals together and see each other every day as opposed to only on certain occasions.
“It makes it actually feel like a family,” Vendola said.
Wendler said that not only it is good to be around all his friends, but that having a chapter house makes it easier to organize events and meetings. He said when Delta Chi was an off-campus fraternity, planning events was much more complicated because it required members to meet at off-campus houses.
Another benefit of having the house is a common, centralized meeting space. When members were sprawled out all over campus, it was difficult to get everyone in one place. Vendola said the fraternity hosted a large alumni event last weekend, which would not have been possible without the house.
Vendola said he thinks the house will also allow for a more genuine interaction with new members.
“It allows us to show the rushes clearly how we act as a brotherhood,” Vendola said.
Ashley Baudouin, interim director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, said this is a great opportunity for Delta Chi.
“We are excited,” she said. “We are always happy to see a chapter come back.”
For the brothers of Delta Chi, the opportunity is one where they can leave a physical legacy on campus.
“The day that the letters were put up on our house was a really amazing day for us,” Vendola said.