Dartmouth Fraternity House That Inspired “Animal House” In Jeopardy

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Former Dartmouth University fraternity Alpha Delta just can’t win right now.

Not only was the house that inspired “Animal House” unjustly kicked off campus earlier this year, but now they’ve been forced to file a lawsuit against Hanover, New Hampshire as the city’s zoning commission works to remove them from their house.

The fraternity lost recognition from Dartmouth in April when it was accused of branding pledges with fraternity letters. The pledges, police found, branded themselves and the university president even described it as “self-expression,” not hazing.

Regardless, the fraternity still got the boot and Hanover is trying to kick them while they’re down.

From The Valley News:

After losing its ties with the college … Alpha Delta received notice from the town that it had also forfeited its status as a student residence. About 18 fraternity brothers living at 9 East Wheelock were ordered to move out.

Representatives for the fraternity unsuccessfully argued to the Zoning Board of Adjustment that the mansion should be considered grandfathered as a student residence, as it has hosted students since before the town adopted its relevant zoning ordinance, they said.

The fraternity, which is the third-oldest on the campus of one of America’s oldest standing colleges, has been intact since the 1840s and has lived in that location since the 1920s — before the town’s first zoning ordinance in 1931.

It was also the inspiration of “Animal House” after writer Chris Miller submitted his memoirs about his pledging experience there.

As you can see, there’s a lot on the line. Lose this house, lose a massive amount of history. If all the remaining members are forced to move out, the $1.35 million house will likely have to be sold to another fraternity.

The zoning board disagreed with Alpha Delta’s ‘grandfather’ argument and voted 3-2 to dismiss it in June.

But wait… there’s hope!

Board member Katherine Connolly seems to be in the fraternity’s corner, telling the New Hampshire Union Leader, “As far as I’m concerned it’s not only grandfathered, it’s great-grandfathered.”

Alpha Delta has also filed a suit with Grafton County Superior Court and the case could take about a year to be resolved. No word on what will happen to the house in the meantime.

[via The Valley News, Union Leader]

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