Phi Delta Psi Eta: The untold story

Video posted December 10, 2012 in News by Delvonne McCullum


STATE COLLEGE. PA – When Rafael Ramirez helped found Phi Delta Psi at in 1992, he never thought his younger brother Jonathan would be fighting to keep it alive.

The fraternity lost its recognition from PennsylvaniaStateUniversity in 2001 because its number of members fell to one. Penn State was left to make the decision on whether or not they wanted to continue to be associated with a fraternity with only one member. The university’s decision would change the course of Jonathan’s fraternity forever.

Because they are no longer being recognized by Penn State, it became harder for the fraternity to even be recognized by the students. The brothers are no longer allowed to host events on campus, collaborate with other groups, or even hold a room for meetings. This is a big problem for the fraternity because it's through hosting these events that the fraternity is able to recruit and allow incoming students and other undergraduates to be involved with what the fraternity is doing as a whole.

In 2003, another problem plagued the fraternity. Outside of a PennState football game, a member from another fraternity at WesternMichiganUniversity that went by the same name spotted one of Jonathan’s fraternity brothers wearing identical letters. Since that initial alteration the fraternity brothers from Michigan began sending threatening emails to Jonathan’s fraternity stating that they would come back to PennState and physically rip the letters off the chests of his brothers. They continued to threaten Jonathan’s brothers and finally threatened to sue them for conflict of interest if they didn’t change their name. After years of fighting for their letters, the two fraternities were finally able to come to an agreement in early 2012. Jonathan, who had graduated, and his brothers agreed to change their name to Phi Delta Psi Eta Hispanic Fraternity Inc.

Jonathan has seen first hand the struggles that come along with not being recognized by the University have caused. His fraternity brothers and he have all been aggressively working to get the recognition for the fraternity back like it once had before. Jonathan dedicates whatever time he has to the fraternity, by organizing workshops for the current members to teach them better ways to recruit prospective brothers. Jonathan wants to make sure that he does everything in his power to restore his fraternity back to the recognition and praise that they deserve.

Jon 2Since the whole situation ended with the fraternity from Michigan, the problem of being recognized by PennState has again become the main concern for the fraternity. Jonathan and his brothers are working hard to maintain their status in the community as being positive leaders and role models despite not being recognized by the University. With the help and guidance of Jonathan, the six current members continue to fight for their fraternity and work hard to recruit new members to ensure their name doesn’t die out.

A change for the better

Ramirez also tells the story of another fraternity by the name of Phi Delta Psi who are stationed in Michigan and the conflicts associated with them. That fraternity from Michigan once had the same name as Ramirez's fraternity. Ramirez discusses what legal action had to be taken in regards to keeping the fraternity name as it is. It was first brought to the attention from one of Ramirez's past brothers in 2003 outside a Michigan State football game at Penn State. A member from the other fraternity spotted a brother from Ramirez's fraternity wearing the same identical letters. Since the initial alteration, the Phi Delta Psi in Michigan began to send emails and threatening emails to the Hispanic fraternity stating that they would come to Penn State and physically rip the letters off the chests of Ramirez's brothers amongst other things would be considered to be a threat to the fraternity and its members. Despite the arguments from both sides throughout the years, the two fraternities were finally able to come to an agreement in 2012 where Phi Delta Psi Hispanic Fraternity agreed that it would change its name to Phi Delta Psi Eta Hispanic Fraternity.