Friday, August 11, 2006

Beta Turns Around at University of Iowa

Filthy Fraternity Now Clean

They were ordered out of their filthy fraternity house two years ago.

Now members of University of Iowa's Beta Theta Pi are ready to finally move back in, and fraternity brothers say health and safety code violations are a thing of the past.

"The idea was to certainly clean and gut everything," says Jeff Rundel, Beta Resident Advisor.
As we first reported in 2004 -- the University of Iowa suspended Beta Theta Pi.

Iowa City housing inspectors found piles and piles of garbage, broken windows, faulty fire alarms...and rats. Not to mention blood on the floor from meat that thawed in the freezer.

"They trashed the house. They basically gave a bad name to Beta," says Matthew Petti, a new Beta brother.

"We saw it made national news, which we're never going to let happen again," says Beta Theta Pi member, Cody Kiroff.

The renovation cost more than half a million dollars. All that money was donated by University of Iowa Beta House Alumni.

The house is now back up to code. But, fraternity members say even more important than the change to the building, is the change in people who will live here.

It's an all new group of men -- who are looking for a new reputation.

"We were recruited on our principals. We're generally men who have never considered Greek life at the university," says Kiroff.

"Very geared toward academics, very involved on campus, and really focus on being gentlemen at all times," says Rundel.

Beta Theta Pi leaders say the fraternity shutdown was especially painful for alumni.
It's a dirty, disappointing circumstance they hope will make their fraternity even stronger.
"The support from volunteers, even non-greek faculty members willing to involve themselves with us, knowing what this used to be. It's a true testament to the change they've seen," says Rundel.

16 undergrads and one advisor will move into the house this week. Next week the men will begin recruiting more new members.