Clarkson's fifth fraternity, Kappa Kappa Tau, was founded on April 19, 1949. On May 24, 1952 the brothers became the Delta Sigma chapter of Theta Chi Fraternity, becoming the first Clarkson fraternity to affiliate with a national organization. They move into a building on Fall Island. In 1957 the brothers purchased the house at 18 Elm Street.
In the 1960s three sophomore members of Theta Chi write and produce a horror film (as a school project) with help from a Humanities professor named Wesley Craven. The film is about strange occurrences at their fraternity house, which used to be a funeral parlor. They name their film "The Searchers." In 1984 Mr. Craven writes and directs "A Nightmare on Elm Street." He answered some questions about his time in Potsdam on his website but the content has been removed. You can now read it on this news article.
On February 10, 1997, Binaya Oja, a 17-year-old freshman at Clarkson, dies on bid night at Theta Chi Fraternity. The fraternity dissolves and 18 Elm Street is purchased by Sigma Pi Fraternity later that year. In 2010 the house is purchased by the town and demolished.
|Kappa Kappa Tau in the 1950 Clarkson yearbook|
Kappa Kappa Tau
Theta ChiColors: red and white
1952-1957: Fall Island
|occupied by Theta Chi in the mid-1950s|
18 Elm Street
|Photo from the Potsdam Public Museum|