Chi Phi v. Lafayette: Trial Underway

A trial is currently underway in Easton, PA over the restriction on Chi Phi re-establishing its chapter at Lafayette College. It is a very complicated case with the centerpiece being a 100-year-old fraternity house with the name, “Vallamont.” The house is owned by a Chi Phi Housing Corporation, and sits on land owned by the college. In 1909, both parties signed an agreement saying that Chi Phi can occupy the house as long as the chapter remains active.

In 2005, the chapter closed due to repeated risk management/behavioral issues. In the meantime, Lafayette has used the house as overflow housing and fraternity housing. One of the key questions in the trial is whether the closing of the chapter means it was “inactive.” Chi Phi says that they had an agreement to return to campus following a six-year absence. When they applied to the board last fall, they were denied the board deferred that request and no action was taken. Chi Phi then stated that they would return without board approval, recruit new members and return to Vallamont.

In the meantime, the Lafayette Board of Trustees has instituted a three-year freeze on new fraternities and sororities while completing an assessment on the future of Greek Life on campus. This decision was the result of an extensive study that included a 280 page report. That report was presented to the board at about the same time as the Chi Phi appeal to return to campus. This website provides details about the various studies and efforts happening at Lafayette.

The trial is continuing this week. However, it is just a small piece in a much bigger process happening at Lafayette.


About deanharwood

Interested in talking about current events in the fraternity/sorority world.
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3 Responses to Chi Phi v. Lafayette: Trial Underway

  1. William Rappolt says:

    This article is not correct. The house is owned by the Chi Phi chapter at Lafayette which was built at Chi Phi’s expense and to be used as long as Chi Phi has chapter members as undergraduates. Chi Phi’s application to be re- recognized was never denied but it was not acted upon, in violation of the 2005 agreement having met the criteria negotiated in that agreement. The college is in violation of that agreement. In testimony by Dr. Jim Krivoski on Monday August 13, the college concedes that they have no authority to stop any student from joining any organization be it Chi Phi, the Catholic Church , the Masons, or what ever.

  2. Pingback: A Response from Lafayette Chi Phi – Rho Chapter Alumni | Fraternal Squib

  3. Most of what is written in this original posting is bassed on inaccuracies of the Morning Call article referenced above. There’s a reply to this posting clarifying some of the misconceptions. See:

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