House makes first bids at UND

HOUSE Recently chartered fraternity continues recruitment as it returns to campus.

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House makes first bids at UND

Keisuke Yoshimura

Keisuke Yoshimura

Keisuke Yoshimura

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Members of recently chartered Alpha Tau Omega fraternity play football on their lawn during their recruitment week. Photo by Keisuke Yoshimura.

One of UND’s fraternities, Alpha Tau Omega, has been making a comeback to campus and is experiencing many changes as a recently chartered chapter.

The group received its charter on Apr. 27, 2013. When a fraternity or sorority gets its charter, its chapter is an official fraternity or sorority and is recognized on a national level.

For Alpha Tau Omega, becoming chartered was a huge accomplishment.

“It was the proudest moment of my life,” Chapter President Brice Pinkowski said. “I had a lot of help from other members and it was satisfying to know as a president I accomplished my goal.”

The fraternity was chartered after finding out during spring break 2013 it only needed a few more members to join. The fraternity was able to find more men to join and accomplished a goal that began long ago.

In 1922, the group was the second fraternity to join UND’s campus and they built their home on the corner of University Avenue and Cambridge Street. In 2007, the house suffered a lot of damage in the flood of 1997 and the number of people in ATO was low. As of result, the house was closed and demolished.

In late 2008, 12 men, along with help from their national chapter, began an effort to bring ATO back to campus. Before becoming a chartered fraternity, the group first became a colony. A colony is a fraternity working toward becoming nationally recognized  and becoming initiated members.

The men worked to recruit more members into the fraternity by hosting events, talking to people on campus and calling men who might be interested. Once the men had reached the number they needed, they received their charter and became initiated members.

The fraternity is continuing recruitment this semester and recently had its most successful recruitment to date -— 13 new members — which will soon be added to the current 42. It is still recruiting, and hopes to have 50 members by the end of the semester.

The next step for the chapter is to raise money to build a new chapter house, which is set to begin construction in summer 2014. The house is scheduled to be built in two and a half to three years. Images of the house can be found on www.atodultanu.org.

The group will need to raise approximately $1.3 million dollars to build its house. It is estimated that it currently has about half of their target amount. Brothers plan to fundraise by selling bricks that people can buy and inscribe, which will be laid on the walkway to the new house.  Other fundraising plans include having events for alumni to attend and getting more in touch with them.

Oct. 20, ATO will be hosting “Dance from Alpha to Omega.” This event, which will be held at the UND Wellness Center, will raise money for the Safe Kids program.  The event will be a dance marathon to see who can dance the longest.  Students interested in participating can show up to the Wellness Center at 1 p.m. on Oct. 20 to register. The marathon will start at 2 p.m., and the cost to participate is $7.

“I want to acknowledge how hard everyone in our chapter has worked,” Pinkowski said.

Ashley Marquis is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at ashley.m.marquis@my.und.edu.

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