FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Phi Delta Theta?
Phi Delta Theta was founded in 1848 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. It is one of the oldest and most respected fraternal organizations in the United States. The fraternity is comprised of more than 170 active chapters in 43 states and Canada, and has initiated over 200,000 men into its brotherhood. Phi Delta Theta was founded on the principles of friendship, sound learning, and moral rectitude. The Mississippi Beta chapter of Phi Delta Theta was founded in 1990. Despite its relative youth, the chapter has been quite successful at MSU. Over its first ten years on campus, the chapter was the fastest growing chapter of Phi Delta Theta in the nation and has twice been awarded the Founder’s Trophy, the International Fraternity’s highest award of excellence. The chapter is comprised of approximately 98 men and over 509 alumni. The men of the chapter are commonly known on campus as “Phis” or “Phi Delts”.
What are some of the benefits of Phi Delta Theta membership?
Social Development & Leadership – Fraternity men learn how to respond socially to many different situations—fine tuning their social skills and learning how to interact with diverse groups of people. Our members learn how to be confident, effective leaders. The chapter provides members with many formal leadership opportunities and a chance to use their individual skills for a greater goal.
- Networking - Fraternity men meet a lot of people! Not only are members given opportunities to network with other members of the chapter and their families, but our members work together with other students (both Greek and non-Greek) in countless campus organizations. These connections are valuable assets to our members after graduation.
- Graduation Rate - Statistics indicate that, on average, fraternity men are more likely to finish their college degree and graduate with a higher GPA than non fraternity men. That has certainly held true in our chapter and at MSU, where the all-fraternity GPA is consistently higher than that of all male students.
- College Experience - The undergraduate experience of fraternity men is significantly different from that of other students. On average, Greeks become more involved in university activities and have opportunities to meet exponentially more people during their time on campus. Greeks typically make return trips to their alma mater far more frequently than independents and are more likely to be generous donors to their university later in life. Phi Delt alums often revisit their alma mater for MSU sporting events and for chapter events. Our alums are active in the MSU Alumni Association and consistently give back to the fraternity and to the university that gave so much to them as undergraduates.
Aren’t fraternities expensive?
Not really. Our dues are quite reasonable, especially when compared to dues assessed by other chapters on the MSU campus. Members living in the house enjoy considerable savings versus the expenses of living in an apartment. Rent charged by the chapter is comparable to the cost of a campus dorm room, with many more amenities, including DirecTV service, and in-house meals.
Who advises the MSU chapter?
Chapter management is coordinated on several levels between the Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity organization and the students themselves, with input from chapter alumni:
- Chapter Officers: The daily operations of the chapter are conducted by the chapter’s elected executive council (president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, two rush chairmen, pledge trainer, social trainer, and house manager) as well as a number of other non-executive elected officers. The executive council as well as the full active chapter hold weekly meetings where chapter business is conducted.
- General Headquarters: Our chapter must follow strict operational guidelines established by the Phi Delta Theta General Headquarters in order to maintain our charter. The fraternity’s General Headquarters sends chapter consultants to campus periodically to evaluate the performance and compliance of the MSU chapter.
- Housing Corporation: The chapter house is owned and managed by the Mississippi Beta Housing Corporation, whose board of directors is comprised of five chapter alumni and two active chapter members. The Housing Corporation is responsible for all capital fundraising activities, house renovations and improvements, recurring house maintenance and fire safety, and the employment and supervision of the house director and kitchen staff.
- Alumni Board: The chapter has an eight member advisory board comprised of chapter alumni of various ages. These men are charged with ensuring that Phi Delta Theta at Mississippi State continues to be a chapter of excellence. The board advises and mentors chapter officers in the areas of leadership, risk management, administration, and financial management.
Can parents get involved with the chapter?
Absolutely! Our members’ parents are encouraged to join the Parents Association. This group is very active and works closely with the chapter, assisting with important chapter events including formal rush and homecoming. The Parents Association has recently raised funds used to purchase equipment for the chapter house, and often tailgates with our members during home football games. This active group a great opportunity to get to know our members and other parents.
What social events does the fraternity host?
The chapter enjoys a full social schedule with a band party for every home football game, including an expanded Homecoming Weekend schedule. In the spring semester, the chapter hosts a black tie formal, Spring Band Party, and various events for Super Bulldog Weekend. Phi Delt also hosts numerous sorority swaps during the fall and spring semesters as well as a full summer rush schedule. The chapter's full social schedule is posted each semester on msuphi.com.
Does the chapter participate in any philanthropy events?
Indeed. Every year, the chapter hosts an all Greek charity volleyball tournament, with the proceeds benefiting a charity of the chapter’s choice. In recent years, the chapter has been able to raise approximately $30,000 with each event for worthy organizations such as the ALS Foundation (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Phi Delt is also an active participant in charity events hosted by other fraternities and sororities on campus.
What is the best way to stay informed of chapter news & events?
Sign up for Phi-Mail, the chapter’s free email news service! Whenever chapter news or event information is released, you’ll be the first to know--it will be emailed to you automatically. Click here to sign up!
The Chapter House
What is the chapter house like?
The Phi Delt house is located on Sorority Row, next to the Delta Delta Delta House and directly across the street from Phi Mu Sorority. The house measures approximately 12,000 square feet and sits on a one acre lot. Upstairs, the house has 18 bedrooms that can serve as single or double rooms with two large, newly renovated bathrooms at both ends of the hallway. Downstairs, the house has a newly renovated parlor room, fully furnished with new leather couches, an entertainment center, trophy case, and various other novelties; a pool room with a big screen television and a new full sized pool table; a chapter room that doubles as a dining area in coordination with the chapter’s meal plan; a laundry area; and full house director’s suite. The back of the house offers a basketball court and two large wooden decks lined with benches and patio seating areas. The decks overlook a full sand volleyball court on our lot below.
What kind of amenities are available in the chapter house?
- DirecTV - Each bedroom and downstairs television is connected to DirecTV service, which includes over 150 channels (with local networks), a generous sports programming package (including all regional Fox Sports channels), and 18 premium movie channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.).
- High Speed Internet access – The chapter is pleased to now provide members and residents with free Internet access through a connection to Mississippi State’s high speed network. Each individual bedroom is hard wired for Ethernet access. In addition, wireless internet access is available from anywhere in the chapter house and on the back decks for our members’ convenience.
- Laundry – The chapter offers house resident’s free use of two commercial combo washer/dryer units located in the downstairs area of the chapter house.
- Utilities – All utilities (electricity, water, etc.) are included in rent charged to members who live in the house.
- Telephone – Landline telephone service in individual rooms is not included, as our members have shown a strong preference to use their cell phones in lieu of local landline service. House residents can easily sign up for a landline phone number through MSU Telecommunications if they so choose, or use one of a number of broadband Internet phone companies for a very reasonable monthly charge.
- Fax - The chapter fax machine, on a dedicated line, is located in the housemother's suite and is available to any chapter member for sending or receiving. The fax number is (662) 325-7848.
- Campus Shuttle Service – The campus shuttle system has a stop on the Gray Route just steps away from the front door of the Phi Delt house. The shuttle runs every weekday from 7:30am – 5:00p.m., providing students with free, quick, safe transportation to all areas of campus.
Does the house offer a meal plan?
Yes. The chapter has a fully commercial kitchen and full time chef who prepares nine hot, homemade meals every week. The meal plan, designed and supervised by the house director, is very affordable and, as our chapter members will certainly attest, the food is much better (and healthier) than standard cafeteria food. Lunch is served Monday through Friday, and dinner is served Monday through Thursday nights. A salad and beverage bar is available with every meal and included with the cost of the meal plan.
Does the house meet fire codes?
Yes. The chapter house is regularly inspected by the fire marshal from the Starkville Fire Department. In addition, the house is monitored by a networked fire alarm system, capable of automatically dialing the local fire department. This system is on a regular maintenance contract with a local security company. Separate from the fire alarm system, the house has a sprinkler system with outlets in every room of the house (including bedrooms). The chapter conducts fire drills every semester in the presence of the Starkville fire marshal and has emergency exit plans posted in every bedroom.
Fraternity Rush & The Pledge Semester
What is Rush and when does it take place?
Rush is the process by which new members join a fraternity. Phi Delta Theta participates in formal and informal rush.
- Formal Rush – Takes place at the beginning of the fall semester and is organized by the MSU Office of Greek Life and the Interfraternity Council. Prospective new members (“rushees”) sign up for the selection process and are brought to all fraternity houses to meet the members and learn about each chapter. Formal rush lasts one week and concludes with Bid Day, marking the end of the mutual selection process. The chapter’s Summer Rush functions precede formal rush and give rushees a better opportunity to meet our members before their first day of classes at MSU. For more information on formal rush, visit the Interfraternity Council website. For more information on Summer Rush, visit msuphi.com.
- Informal Rush – Takes place year round. Informal rush is meeting and getting to know potential new members at chapter functions, sporting events, campus organizations, traveling rush events, summer rush, etc.
How does the pledge process work?
Pledges learn about the fraternity and get to know every active member of the chapter. Pledges attend regularly scheduled study halls and emphasis is placed on their academic achievement during this, their first semester in the fraternity. After a satisfactory pledge semester, pledges are then initiated into full fraternity membership.
Phi Delta Theta, like most other MSU fraternities, run two pledge semesters—fall and spring. The fall pledge class is selected in formal rush and is usually a bigger group of new members. The spring semester is the result of informal rush activities and is normally smaller in number.
What about pledges’ grades?
Pledges must achieve a minimum standard grade point average in order to be initiated into the chapter. Our pledges consistently achieve an average GPA higher than the all Greek average and well above the all men’s average. The chapter takes academic achievement very seriously.
What about hazing?
Phi Delta Theta General Headquarters has a strict no hazing policy to which all chapters, including Mississippi Beta, must adhere. Our chapter strongly enforces this no hazing policy and has adopted similar policies in our chapter bylaws. For more information on Phi Delta Theta’s hazing policy, please visit the general fraternity website at phideltatheta.org.