For many years the brothers of Iota Theta Zeta put aside $3 a month from their dues so that the chapter might one day fulfill a dream and build a house. The 1986 opening of the house marked a new era for our brotherhood and for fraternity life at Arkansas State University. For the first time brothers were able to come together in their own place — for living, socializing, studying, meeting and engaging in a game of volleyball or playing catch.
That also gave our younger brothers some tremendous challenges in the form of a mortgage, utility bills and much greater financial responsibilities.
We endured a major challenge when heavy storms struck the campus in 1998, tearing the roof off the house and causing much damage inside. Later, a neighboring fraternity took advantage of the situation by stealing many of our composites and throwing them into the pavilion pond. Fortunately, our insurance covered most of the damages to the house.
In 2001 the House Corp. undertook a campaign to raise funds for paving the parking lot at the house, but the effort fell short of the amount needed. A second loan was taken to complete the job, and that increased the financial pressure on the chapter.
Within a couple of years the combination of higher costs, lack of responsibility by some active members and too little alumni involvement left the chapter in serious financial trouble — behind on operational bills, unable to meet the monthly notes and failing on obligations to the national organization.
In 2004 we almost lost the chapter. But a reorganized Housing Corp. board worked with national officers to conduct a membership review, and actives whose behavior was unbecoming of gentlemen for whatever reasons were expelled. An Alumni Control Board was formed. We were left with a smaller, but responsible chapter — much more like the one most alumni remember. Within a year we were able to return control to the zeta officers, and financial obligations were being met.
The corner had been turned.
Since then we’ve built on that foundation. The chapter has returned to campus prominence — academically, socially, athletically and spiritually. Alumni involvement has continued to grow. The chapter has met its monthly financial obligation to the House Corp. for more than five years, and as a result we’ve been able to pay the bills on time and even do minor maintenance (and some emergency repairs).
We’re asking every alumnus to do whatever you can to help — whether it be a one-time check, a multi-year commitment, a monthly or quarterly donation or whatever.
And whether you can make a donation or not, we could use your support in helping us contact your contemporaries to solicit their support.
Roy Ockert, Treasurer LXA at ASU Inc. 3617 Alabama Road Jonesboro, Ark. 72401