WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Sept. 19, 2019 — A campus open house was held on Sept. 18 to unveil the improvements made over the summer at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house, located at 588 Van Meter Way, West Liberty.
One of four Greek houses owned by the university, the two-story wooden frame home is located just a short walk from campus.
Though the house is owned by West Liberty University, the fraternity members were willing to make some big improvements that included refinishing floors and painting.
“We first decided to finish the floors after we noticed that it could be done easily and it would make a big improvement. We wanted to make the house look better for guests and for our brothers when visiting,” said Jonathon Howard, a junior who serves as chapter president this year.
Howard is from Wheeling and has been in the fraternity for nearly two years.
Currently, the chapter has 14 active members, plus about 90 alumni who have gone through the chapter since it began about five years ago. Jacob Mauzy, Conlin Halterman, Hayden Blazer (house manager), Sean Travelstead and Trevor Kessel live there now.
The brothers rented the equipment to do the improvements over the summer. All materials like paint, brushes and clear coat sealant were provided by WLU maintenance.
“About six or seven of us did the work,” Howard said.
The floors are refinished to a golden oak color and walls were painted a clean shade of ivory. Décor includes two prominent animal trophy heads in the front room near the mantle.
One of the trophies, a West Virginia black bear, was shot by fraternity brother Jacob Mauzy of Petersburg, W.Va. He bagged the animal using a 243-caliber rifle.
“I was actually deer hunting when I saw the bear, just sitting under a tree eating acorns. So I checked to make sure it was bear season and shot it. It was a big surprise,” he explained.
It looks perfect alongside the front room mantle and sports a WLU ballcap. On the other side of the mantle is a deer head, bagged by another member of the fraternity.
“That’s what I like about our fraternity, it is so diverse. There are guys from rural areas that hunt and fish and guys from cities and urban areas. We all get along and learn a lot from each other,” Mauzy said.
The national organization of Phi Delta Theta was founded in 1848 at Miami University.
The Phi Delta Theta house is an alcohol-free house, which is part of its national stance, caused by the heightened attention to hazing incidents. The fraternity stresses helping every individual to meet his true potential, according to its website, phideltatheta.org.
“The professional and personal development you receive from the other brothers and those out working in the field is unmatched.”
The WLU chapter of Phi Delta Theta plans to have a philanthropy event later this fall and raise money for its national charity, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).
WLU has 10 Greek organizations on campus, including national chapters of Chi Omega, Alpha Xi Delta, Phi Delta Theta and Theta Xi, according to Kate Billings, who is the director of Student Activities and oversees Greek life. The remaining organizations are local sororities and fraternities, including the sororities Delta Theta Kappa, Lambda Psi Sigma and Beta Rho Epsilon and fraternities Chi Nu, Kappa Delta Kappa, and Beta Theta Gamma.