GW eyes DTD, SAE houses

The former Delta Tau Delta fraternity house at 2020 G St. will be vacant this summer while property owners decide the future of the townhouse.

Delta Tau Delta closed its chapter in February following hazing allegations. Organization leaders met within a few days after the chapter closed and decided to allow residents to remain in the house until the end of the semester.

A private housing corporation comprised of Delta Tau Delta alumni currently owns the property.

The lease for the house expires at the end of May and will not be renewed, said Jeremy Rohen, president of the housing corporation.

“There is no chapter, so we would not renew the lease,” Rohen said.

Rohen declined to comment on the corporation’s viable options for the property, but said that “nothing has been done with the University” in terms of selling the house to GW and “no plans are written in stone.”

Linda Schutjer, associate general counsel for GW, said she does not believe the University is currently corresponding with property owners.

“At this point, I am not aware of those kind of approaches,” Schutjer said. “GW has not talked about negotiating with them.”

The University is interested in purchasing the Delta Tau Delta house, located at 2020 G St., Schutjer said. She also said GW would like to acquire the former Sigma Alpha Epsilon house. The Sigma Alpha Epsilon housing corporation gave the property to the national fraternity foundation this summer because of several housing violations and low resident numbers.

GW owns the majority of property on the block including a 2028 G St. house, which the University purchased from the Sigma Nu fraternity in February 2000.

“We’re always interested in buying property within Campus Plan boundaries,” Schujter said.

She added that the General Counsel has had “discussions with the owners of the SAE house” in the past.

Frank Ginnochio, an attorney for Sigma Alpha Epsilon, said the owners are planning to sell the property, but he does not know when.

He added that it is “difficult” to tell whether the owners will sell the house to the University and that they will “probably sell it to whoever will offer the most.”

Ginnochio said he is “not aware of any negotiations” with the University.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon operates as an off-campus fraternity, meaning it does not receive funding and is not recognized by the University or the Interfraternity Council. The Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity as well as the”APES,” a group that formed from former Alpha Epsilon Pi pledges three years ago, also operates off campus.

Several Delta Tau Delta members declined to comment as to whether they would form an unrecognized group.

James Russell, executive vice president of Delta Tau Delta International, said he does not think GW’s former chapter members are forming a group.

“In terms of operating underground, I am not aware of any Delta Tau Delta groups operating in that environment,” Russell said.

He added that he does not condone unrecognized groups, saying it is “a problem across the Greek world.”

“We certainly can’t stop them from living together; they do have freedom of association,” Russell said.

Delta Tau Delta is eligible to return to campus in 2007. The fraternity must coordinate with GW’s Student Activities Center to create a new pledge class.

All former Delta Tau Delta undergraduates are likely to have graduated by 2007, allowing the new chapter to begin with a brand new pledge class, Russell said.

“We are looking forward to returning to GW,” Russell said.

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