Tau Epsilon Phi returns to Towson University

By Gabriel Donahue, editor-in-chief

For the first time since 1985, Tau Epsilon Phi has returned to Towson University and is attempting to reestablish itself on campus. 

The fraternity was approved to begin its expansion efforts at Towson in fall 2023, according to the director of Fraternity & Sorority Life, Roodinz Vital. He oversees the Interfraternity Council, which will welcome a new fraternity to campus per year for the next three years. 

The new Tau Epsilon Phi chapter, Tau Sigma Upsilon, is in provisional, or “colony,” status and searching for its refounding class, according to an email from Veronica Rand, who works for a Greek life consulting firm partnering with the fraternity.

New fraternities must find a founding class of at least five members, and that is expected to happen within its first year, Vital said. However, Tau Sigma Upsilon wants to initiate a refounding class of 10 members, he said. 

Kirill Reznik, the alumni advisor for the group, said they were hoping to initiate the founding class last semester but did not meet that goal. 

“We’re hoping that, once the [recruitment] process starts up again this semester, we’re able to finalize that refounding class and move forward with new member education and then initiation,” Reznik said. 

Tau Epsilon Phi is a social fraternity, though Reznik said it prioritizes philanthropy and community service. Members should complete two community service or philanthropic events per year. 

One of those must benefit the national charity Our Military Kids, he said. Our Military Kids is a non-profit that offers “extracurricular activity grants to children and teens of deployed National Guard, deployed Reserve, or post-9/11 combat wounded, ill, or injured Veterans in treatment,” according to its mission statement.

Tau Sigma Upsilon will participate in Meet the Greeks, one of the university’s recruitment events, Vital said. It will also be at the Involvement Fair and will be rushing this spring. 

It is not uncommon for a group to dissolve within its first few years, Vital said. Tau Epsilon Phi’s Towson chapter did not make it out of colony status in 1985, Rand said. 

Tau Epsilon Phi was founded in 1910 at Columbia University “on the principles of friendship, chivalry and service,” its website states. It is a historically Jewish fraternity, founded by Jewish men who were excluded from other organizations, but no longer recruits exclusively Jewish, according to Reznik. 

Nachala Waters contributed to this article.

Note: This article has been updated to better reflect Rand’s position in relation to Tau Epsilon Phi. An earlier version considered her an expansion team member.

Gabe Donahue has held numerous positions within The Towerlight. He started as a writer before becoming the News Editor, and now he serves as Editor-in-Chief.


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