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New Culturally Based Fraternity on Campus
Iota Phi Theta ® Fraternity Inc. is a predominantly African American fraternity.
Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 4-11-2013
Mankato, Minn. – Iota Phi Theta ® Fraternity Inc., an international fraternity with membership in both the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), the governing organization for the nine traditionally African-American fraternities and sororities, has established a chapter at Minnesota State University, Mankato, becoming the first culturally based Greek lettered organization to have an official presence on campus.
The local group, now known as the Theta Theta Chapter, and referred to as “The Iotas,” was granted a charter by its International Board of Directors on March 6 and full recognition was granted by Minnesota State Mankato’s Interfraternity Council (IFC) on Tuesday.
“This is a historic moment for MSU, its Greek community, and the men who have worked hard for the last year and a half to make this a reality,” said John Bulcock, assistant director of student activities for Greek life at Minnesota State Mankato.
The five men who will “cross,” or be initiated into the organization at Minnesota State Mankato, are Tyrone Carter, James Gregory, Tibyus Hill, Maurice Smith Jr., and Darone Spears. The staff advisor to the Iotas is C. Maxille Moultrie, director for the Center for African American Affairs and a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.
For more information, contact Bulcock by phone at 507-389-6076 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iota Phi Theta ® Fraternity Inc. is the youngest of the “Divine 9,” the predominantly African American fraternities and sororities that make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council. It was founded at Morgan State College in Baltimore, Md., in 1963. The organization, billed as a “social service fraternity,” has partnerships with organizations that promote cultural education, health and youth development, and the addressing of the pattern of “father-less-ness” in the African American Community.
At the conclusion of Tuesday’s Interfraternity Council recognition meeting, Moultrie said that he is proud of the young men and that the process of bringing the members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council to campus has been in the works since at least 1999. Moultrie also stated that he remains optimistic about the continued expansion of Greek Life and retention efforts at Minnesota State Mankato.
Iota Phi Theta ® Fraternity Inc. is known for its partnership with INROADS, a program that works to connect underrepresented students with salaried internship opportunities. The international organization is now made up of 249 chapters in 40 states, Japan, Korea, and the Bahamas. Its motto, “Building a Tradition, Not Resting Upon One,” is one thing that attracted Tibyus Hill, current secretary of the organization, and the initial group to Iota.
Carter, Gregory, Hill, Smith Jr. and Spears started working towards official recognition 18 months ago, approaching Bulcock about wanting to start a new fraternity. They researched organizations and contacted Cedric Ware, Minnesota state director for Iota Phi Theta, about getting started. Ware has assisted throughout the process, providing support for the Theta Theta Chapter and two other Twin Cities-based chapters.
Prior to officially adopting the fraternity’s name, the men were tasked with forming a Recognized Student Organization and learning the functions and processes that come with operating like a fraternity. They adopted the name “Brothers With a Purpose” and were granted associate member status by the Interfraternity Council.
Since that beginning, the group has focused on educating its members about the international organization’s history and operations. They have participated in weekly community service projects and have worked collaboratively with other student organizations on campus to do programming that enhances the college experience for others, especially students from traditionally underrepresented populations.
The group looks forward to enhancing its community service and philanthropic efforts, growing its membership size and helping to grow the presence of National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations on campus. During the presentation requesting official chapter status, the group noted that, by 2015, it is the hope that five of the “Divine 9” fraternities will have a chapter at Minnesota State Mankato.
Members of Minnesota State Mankato’s Theta Theta Chapter will celebrate the milestone with events taking place as part of Iota Phi Theta’s Midwest Regional conference April 11-14. The conference will bring together members from eight states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin). A future on-campus event commemorating the chapter’s establishment is being considered.
Another colony, Phi Kappa Theta, has been recognized by the Interfraternity Council and is aiming for a November chartering date.
The Minnesota State Mankato Greek community has been present on campus for more than 50 years and is comprised of approximately 400 students from 13 fraternities and sororities. The community’s core values are leadership, scholarship, philanthropy and friendship.
Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,413 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.