Theta Tau officially joins campus

Members of Theta Tau pose with their letters at the chartering ceremony on Sept. 23. Photo courtesy of Lauren Kafka/Theta Tau

After two years of establishing a presence on campus, Theta Tau joins as a professional fraternity

In the fall of 2015, the University of San Diego’s business engineering fraternity, Theta Tau, was established as a colony. Two years later, on Sept. 23, the fraternity became an official chapter on USD’s campus.

Since Theta Tau’s introduction to campus, its members have been striving to prove to the national fraternity that they understand what it means to be an official chapter. In order to do this, they first had to gain a substantial number of members. At the beginning of the colonization process, Theta Tau had roughly 20 members, and is now an organization of about 60 students. 

Junior engineering major Lauren Kafka joined Theta Tau at the beginning of her sophomore year in 2016 and shares some of the other events and benefits. 

“As a fraternity, we have social, philanthropic, and career development events,” Kafka said. “Social events include bid day, big-little reveal, bonfires, game nights, and banquet. Career development events include reviewing resumes, plant tours, guest speakers, and panels. One of our big service events is assisting a local middle school with a science fair.”

An increase in the number of members created the opportunity to host professional events and increase involvement within the USD community. The fraternity hosts events for its members to explore the world of professional engineering, allowing students to see what the profession is like outside of the classroom: last year Theta Tau took a trip to Stone Brewing Company to see what a brewing engineer does.

The fraternity also contributes to campus philanthropy events. Theta Tau will have a booth at the annual Relay for Life event and also plans to contribute to the Torero Dance Marathon this year. Their involvement in campus events has and will continue to prove to the national fraternity that they are serious about positively represent -ing Theta Tau on campus. 

Within Theta Tau there are several different committees to keep the organization running smoothly. The academic committee ensures all members are academically eligible and abiding by the national fraternity rules. The finance committee budgets members’ dues for philanthropy events, professional events, and various other chapter functions. The service committee works with the fraternity’s philanthropic endeavors and involving Theta Tau in campus events. Finally, the brotherhood committee strives to strengthen the relationship between brothers by hosting brotherhood events and other bonding experiences.

The year 2017 had the first graduating class with members of USD’s chapter of Theta Tau. This fresh alumni base has led the alumni committee to connect students to postgraduate opportunities. Additionally, the fraternity hopes graduate brothers will return to Theta Tau meetings to speak with and encourage current, younger members.

Chandler Rogers, senior and current President of Theta Tau, shared some of the professional benefits of joining the fraternity. 

“Since we just had our first alumni group we want to see what we can do about connecting members to alumni who are in the working world,” Rogers said. “I personally got an engineering internship through a previous brother so I know Theta Tau helps connect everyone.”

Members of the fraternity must be either a math, computer science, or engineering major. While Theta Tau is recognized as a ‘fraternity’ and refers to members as ‘brothers,’ male and female students are welcome to join. Additionally, in order to become a member, students must be at least a second-semester first-year.

“We want to make sure people are serious about engineering and serious about joining Theta Tau,” Rogers said. “You know first semester they might still be excited about an engineering major and then by second semester when classes get harder they might want to drop. We just want to make sure our brothers are serious about being a member before they join.” 

Theta Tau cannot deny any members based on their GPA. However, it is important for members to maintain a strong GPA. Potential new members with lower grade point averages will still be initiated and then existing members in the academic committee will work with students to boost their GPAs. 

“Basically every brother is a resource,” Rogers said. “We want to elevate everyone so if you have a low GPA, we may restrict you from certain activities but as long as you show some kind of improvement, you can become more involved.”

Kafka shared reasons why students join Theta Tau in order to enhance their college experience. 

“People should consider joining Theta Tau because of all it has to offer,” Kafka said. “The brotherhood, philanthropic, and professional aspects of Theta Tau are the reasons people should want to join.”

The recruitment process is once a year in the beginning of the fall semester. Recruitment for the 2017-2018 school year has concluded. After recruitment, pledgeship is an eight-month-long process with weekly meetings every Sunday.

Celina Tebor | Feature Editor | The USD Vista