Cindy Folefack
Mercury Staff

Phi Delta Theta works to overcome first year obstacles, encourage involvement

A newly chartered fraternity introduced its inaugural class this semester.

Phi Delta Theta got its start on campus in August 2015 as an interest group. New recruits known as “Founding Fathers” gained traction for the fraternity while the organization took steps to become an official chapter. Nearly two years later, Phi Delt welcomed its first official class of new members, known as the Alpha class.

Electrical engineering sophomore Gabe Cobarrubias, serving as Phi Delt’s public relations manager, said the fraternity faced obstacles trying to establish a chapter on campus.

“There were times when it would be difficult to raise money or reach a certain number of members to become a chapter,” Cobarrubias said. “Overall, it was difficult, but it was an enjoyable experience too. It was definitely worth it.”

The recruitment process includes eight weeks of new member classes, where the chapter’s Phikeia Educator, who prepares new recruits for initiation and future leadership in the chapter, teaches students about the fraternity’s history. The members also complete tests, quizzes and projects throughout the eight weeks. If they receive a passing grade and meet the fraternity’s academic requirements, the students are initiated.

As a newcomer to the Metroplex, neuroscience sophomore and new member Hunter Tranchina said he found a welcoming community in Phi Delt.

“I actually rushed for two fraternities, but Phi Delt just seemed more committed,” Tranchina said. “They were always asking me to hang out outside of the rush events, and I was getting messages daily, which was really appealing to me having moved from out of state.”

Phi Delta’s inclusiveness played a role in computer science sophomore Dylan Capece’s decision to join the fraternity.

“A lot of people are very introverted on this campus, and I wanted to branch out in a community that accepts diversity and helps you become a better version of yourself,” Capece said.

Cobarrubias said Phi Delt plans to use its age to its advantage by establishing a good foundation for future members.

“Since we are new, we don’t have a legacy or a reputation,” Cobarrubias said, “Everything that we do, all the traditions that we create, will affect what Phi Delt is going to be like in 20 years.”