View Full Version : How Do You Restart An "Inactive" fraternity?
09-16-2010, 03:06 PM
I once saw an odd little book that had info on hundreds of American college fraternities..most of them inactive. Suppose I decide that I want to resurrect a long-dead fraternal organization-how would I do it?
Assume I'm rich..can I just set up a house near a locall college and hang out my lambda phi omicron chi sign, and invite prospective members in?
Or is there some arcane rites that once must observe, to retart a long dead fraternity?
09-16-2010, 03:12 PM
You mean dead nationally, or dead on your particular campus?
If it's the latter, and you want to use their name, you'll need their permission/agreement.
If you just want to form a fraternity, you can do it and call it whatever you wish, though it would be more of a social house unless recognized as a fraternity by the college. But some colleges do have informal fraternities off campus; they are not sanctioned by anyone and the college has no control over them (there have been some rather ugly pledging incidents on some of them, where pledges died due to unregulated hazing).
If you want to revive a fraternity that's entirely dead, you would have to look into trademark issues, though it's likely trademarks have lapsed.
09-17-2010, 07:46 AM
If the fraternity is active on other campuses, then you should get into contact with either one of them or the state/national, etc. offices to find out what you should do.
If the fraternity is truly dead (e.g. no meetings have been held and no inductions made since 1945), then the trademarks, if any, are probably lapsed and you probably could use them, but I would personally want to track down old members to learn from them and be formally inducted, if possible, thus providing a real continuity with the old frat. If the fraternity has been inactive for a few decades, there should be enough members to hold a reunion meeting to induct you. If the fraternity died during the colonial administrations, good luck.
A good example of a fraternity (though not a college one) that has been restarted multiple times is the Ku Klux Klan. I think it has been held that there are no longer any trademark rights on the KKK and that anyone can start a Klan group, as the original Klan legally vanished, and with it, the rights to its name.
09-17-2010, 08:46 AM
A good example of a fraternity (though not a college one) that has been restarted multiple times is the Ku Klux Klan.
Wow, if the nerds had called them, it would have been a totally different movie.
09-17-2010, 09:41 AM
Typically this type of situation requires you to have a person that has been attending the institution for 10yrs+ without getting a degree, but they are the life of the party and a true leader. Also, it helps to have a Dean that is the arch-nemesis of this person. Once you have those ingredients, everything will fall into place for your fraternity.
09-17-2010, 09:47 AM
Typically this type of situation requires you to have a person that has been attending the institution for 10yrs+ without getting a degree, but they are the life of the party and a true leader. Also, it helps to have a Dean that is the arch-nemesis of this person. Once you have those ingredients, everything will fall into place for your fraternity.Why not hold a toga party to discuss the matter?
09-17-2010, 09:22 PM
09-17-2010, 09:33 PM
I hate "Just Google it!" answers, but in just looking around on a few national fraternity Web sites, there are lists of inactive chapters, and instructions for reactivating them. Usually, it involves the work of interested alumni and the national organization along with the students.
From what I understand, reactivated chapters get their original chapter designator back; if they were the "Gamma Chapter", they'd be restored as Gamma, not as Phi Rho. It's the equivalent of keeping a low user number or 1999 registration date on the SDMB if you return after a long absence.
vBulletin® v3.7.3, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.