In the mid-1980s, the fraternities at MSC/MSU slowly drifted into extinction. Tau Kappa Epsilon was the first to go in 1983 when its membership dwindled to four members. The Tau Kappa Epsilon house located at 719 4th Street was given up in July 1982 and a brief move to a residence on North Hill proved only temporary. Lack of student interest in fraternities had led to decreased membership and participation.
Former Tau Kappa Epsilon member Bruce Christianson believed there were various factors that contributed to the decline in student interest: “There could have been a factor of older than average students beginning college, there could have been a change of how you could afford college, there’s probably economic reasons regarding that as well.”
Mu Sigma Tau closed its doors in March of 1985. As this story from the 1985 Red & Green reveals, only eight members remained and the fraternity could no longer afford to pay the mortgage on the house. A third fraternity, Sigma Tau Gamma, was also gone by the late 1980s.
Former Mu Sigma Tau member Barry Clute offered similar comments on the decline of fraternities in this article: “Part of the demise also was that more and more students were going home on weekends, or on the other hand, they were staying and they all had jobs because the cost of education was rising so much and so fast.”