The 80's


The efforts to re-establish Phi Kappa Tau at the University of Texas-Austin began with an invitation by the Inter-fraternity Council to join the Greek community in the Spring of 1979. Many factors indicated that the fraternity could be successful in developing a chapter, including strong local alumni support, a strong and supportive IFC, interest in Greek life from the student body, a strong Phi Tau chapter at Southwest Texas State in nearby San Marcos and a strong national commitment to expansion. National representatives visited the campus, met with the fraternity advisor and other University officials and set goals and guidelines for the new colony to follow. Recruitment efforts began with advertisements calling for students to take the challenge of starting their own fraternity on campus. By the summer of 1979, a core of approximately 12 men made up the colony. During that summer, three members attended the National Convention in Knoxville, Tennessee, learning a great deal about recruitment techniques and chapter management. Recruiting activities took place in various cities in the state later that summer, most hosted by Beta Alpha alumni.

The summer of 1980 was occupied mainly with a search for suitable housing and recruitment of incoming freshmen. The "pre-rush" activities consisted of parties and personal letters. By the end of the summer, a lease had been signed for a house and preparations made for participation in formal rush. The fall semester began with a week of formal rush which all fraternities participate in. The expectations of the colony for a small group of associate members were not realized. Therefore, the goals of the group had to be re- established and open rush took on added importance. In that time, the original members of the colony were initiated. The colony was beginning to look and act like a fraternity and spirits were high, looking forward to the spring. Although membership was close to chartering requirements, some major organizational refinements still had to be made. The summer was filled with program writing, calendar planning and house renovation. By the end of 1981 the colony was notified that the requirements for chartering had been met, and the National Council had approved Beta Alpha's re chartering. This pumped new enthusiasm into the brothers as the strong, growing colony could finally look forward to that for which they had all so diligently sought.

The following fall semester found many men joining who had been contacted late in the preceding spring. At this time, most of the recruiting for the colony was done through acquaintances of the members. In that semester, the colony became much better organized and specific goals were re-emphasized by the National Headquarters. The IFC and National representatives instructed the colony on how to conduct rush and helped with recruiting techniques. It took until the next spring to incorporate these valuable ideas into the program. The spring of 1980 saw great progress in recruiting results, and, in turn, the highest number of initiates up to that time. Great strides were made in alumni relations as the Board of Governors became more active and talk of new housing surfaced. Morale was high as the brothers began to see positive results due to their efforts and progress was made in the pursuit of a charter. Invaluable aid in recruiting was provided by the brothers of Gamma Psi chapter, as they provided manpower and set a good example on how to have fun and rush at the same time.

On February 6, 1982, the Beta Alpha charter was signed, exactly 39 years after the first UT charter was signed. Looking back on that eventful weekend, the brothers still remember the excitement and spirit of brotherhood. It may have taken them a little longer than expected, but it was well worth the time. The chapter is enthusiastic in everything they do, from budgeting to community service. If all present associate members are initiated, the chapter will have tripled in size within one year. New housing arrangements are being pursued with an active alumni involvement. The brothers of Beta Alpha would like to thank everyone involved throughout the colonization and chartering efforts. After returning to campus, the Beta Alpha chapter grew immensely and by 1982, they had 46 members.