After three months of boarded up windows and doors, the former Theta Chi house, located at 1100 W. Riverside Ave., has a new lease on life.
Ball State’s Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, the Theta Alpha chapter, is now occupying the house after leasing agreements.
The Theta Chi national headquarters revoked the Ball State chapter’s charter citing violations of Theta Chi’s policies in October 2018. All members of the fraternity had to vacate the property and cannot join other fraternities unless it is outside of the National Interfraternity Council.
In November, Scott Thomas, president of the Ball State Theta Chi Alumni Corporation, which owns and maintains the property, said the Alumni Corporation was looking to lease the house to another organization and had no plans to sell the house.
The corporation received leasing inquiries within 24 hours of the announcement of the closing from Greek and non-Greek organizations. However, Thomas said in an email the corporation desired a Greek organization for the lease.
From there, Thomas said Alpha Tau Omega was able to achieve the lease primarily because of its speed in working with the corporation and ability to begin subleasing this academic year.
Matt Smith, president of the Alpha Tau Omega alumni association, was one of the members of the association that helped the chapter with the lease.
Smith said in an email the fraternity reached out to the Theta Chi alumni leadership and the property manager in October 2018, which led to ongoing discussions in the fall before signing the lease.
David Apple, president of Alpha Tau Omega, said members moved in Jan. 3 and are currently getting situated. He said the chapter is excited.
“If anything, the house is starting to feel like a home for our chapter,” Apple said.
Apple said despite the excitement and the house serving as a reminder of what the fraternity has accomplished, it also means the chapter cannot be complacent with past success and serves as a catalyst to continually improve.
“We will use this house to break the stereotypes attached by some to Greek Life at Ball State University. We plan to continue being a positive contributor to the Ball State community,” Apple said.
Smith said the alumni are proud of the chapter’s accomplishments and said the time spent occupying the house can be optimized by improving.
The house will be used to conduct meetings, meaning the chapter no longer has to reserve rooms on campus. Apple also said the house will “further develop our chapter, our communication, our goals and an even stronger brotherhood than we already have.”
Thomas did not share lease specifics, but said the corporation agreed on terms with Alpha Tau Omega that would allow the group to stay in the home until Theta Chi’s planned return. Recolonization efforts for Theta Chi at Ball State cannot begin until fall 2021.
While there are terms for the responsibility of the house and property, Thomas said oversight of the fraternity will still be relied on the Alpha Tau Omega alumni group and national organization.
“We are very grateful for the partnership we have found with Alpha Tau Omega and feel fortunate that we have been able to provide an opportunity for another Greek organization to have a housing facility on campus while we plan for our return,” Thomas said.
Apple said the chapter’s alumni association and board of trustees are actively searching for new housing opportunities once the property transitions back to Theta Chi.