The former Delta Tau Delta house, once a site of raucous parties, is now home to a new fraternity: Lambda Chi Alpha.
Lambda Chi Alpha moved into the former fraternity’s townhouse after Delta Tau Delta members were forced to leave following the closing of their chapter. In February, University officials found Delta Tau Delta guilty of hazing its pledges; Delta Tau Delta’s national office then dissolved its GW chapter.
Delta Tau Delta’s housing corporation allowed its former members living in the 2020 G St. townhouse to remain there until the end of last semester; the house remained vacant during the summer while the owners decided its future.
Senior Doug Fischer, president of Lambda Chi Alpha, said that last spring, he contacted the housing corporation, which is comprised of Delta Tau Delta alumni who own the townhouse. The corporation met with Lambda Chi Alpha’s housing corporation and decided to lease the house to the fraternity.
The final paperwork was signed during the third week in August, just in time for fall move-in.
Fischer declined to discuss specifics of the lease, such as the price of rent and the length of the lease; but he said the agreement is for “longer than just this year.”
James Russell, executive vice president of Delta Tau Delta International, said the fraternity hopes to return to GW.
“Our intent is to return a chapter to the University at a time in the future,” Russell said.
He added that the Delta Tau Delta’s main office had an “agreement” with the University when their charter was suspended last year that the fraternity “would have the option of returning in 2008 or later.”
Russell said it is typical for former chapters to rent out their properties to other student organizations because it “maintains the housing option” for the future.
The Delta Tau Delta national office was not involved in negotiating the contract but was “notified when an agreement had been reached,” Russell said.
Part of the agreement between Delta Tau Delta and Lamba Chi Alpha provided for renovations to be made to the property. Delta Tau Delta’s housing corporation oversaw improvements to the townhouse’s electrical wiring and plumbing system. Walls in the building were also patched up and painted.
Lambda Chi Alpha previously had a townhouse at 2004 G St., which is owned by the Sigma Chi fraternity. Sigma Chi lost its GW charter in February 2000 after the University made several complaints to the organization’s national office, including one about a party held during a Colonial Inauguration session in 1998 that landed the fraternity on a one-year University suspension.
Lambda Chi Alpha was nearing the end of its lease on the property and Sigma Chi was “non-committal” about renewing it, Fischer said.
The 2020 G St. townhouse can house more people than Lambda Chi Alpha’s former property. There are currently 15 brothers living in the house, but Fischer said he expects 20 to be living in the house next year.
“(The house) is bigger and it’s nice to have more brothers living in the house,” Fischer said.
Following the dissolution of Delta Tau Delta’s GW chapter, University officials talked about buying its townhouse. Linda Schutjer, associate general counsel for GW, said she is “sure there were discussions” between the University and property owners of the 2020 G St. townhouse.
“I don’t think it would shock anyone to know that any properties within our campus plan boundaries are of interest to us,” Schutjer said.
Seth Cohen, Lambda Chi Alpha housing corporation treasurer, said the fraternity is “very excited” about a bigger house that “supports the needs of a growing chapter.”
He added that fraternity is one of the fastest growing on campus and the house is “needed to expand.”