TKE Beta Pi History
1980s - Challenges and Changes
The decade of the 1980s was a time of great change for Beta Pi Chapter. This was a period of rapid expansion and success for the National Fraternity but, for the Chapter, this time was provided some of the biggest challenges the organization had faced since its very early days.
The 1980s began with membership over 100 after the initiation of the large classes of 1979 and 1980. The Chapter was on top of the world. There was room for all, money for everything, and an expectation of success. However, these successful rushes were not duplicated in following years and the number of graduates exceeded the number of initiates for several years. Partly this was due to the advent of Dry Rush, which the Chapter made serious attempts to implement although many other fraternities at Tech blatantly violated the policy. The situation became critical in 1982 when falling membership and lack of financial controls resulted in the Chapter's running out of cash. At this point, the Board of Trustees stepped in, demanding reforms, and a period of antagonism began between the Chapter and its Board that lasted for the rest of the decade.
The Old Lady's House was torn down in 1988 and replaced by a volleyball court built by the Chapter. To maintain the housing capacity, the BOT decided to reconfigure the Apartment House as a Dormitory, turning the old living rooms into bedrooms and the kitchens into corridors. Five balconies were enclosed to create new bathrooms. The changes were supposed to facilitate construction of the long-awaited new House. However, no new building was raised and the effect on the Chapter was terrible. Relations between the Chapter and the Board grew worse.
Despite deteriorating facilities and lagging membership, the Chapter survived, initiated several events such as the Yacht Party (which continues today), and continued to receive awards for its participation in campus activities. Nevertheless, everyone knew that it had been better in the past.