Greek housing to receive upgrade

Forum Editor and Forum Editor

If all goes according to plan, Greek Life will recruit a major addition — new housing.

Due to unfavorable reviews of the existing housing situation, the Greek Housing Core Team committee came up with cost and building prototypes for future Greek houses, which it released May 24. It is currently asking Greek students to rank their top three choices.

“We recognize that the current facilities are in need of upgrades to make them sustainable and also attractive to students,” said Chris Bullins, associate dean of students in fraternity and sorority life. “We’ve provided options that could accomdate all 42 chapters.”

Available options include stand-alone chapter houses, town home units, residence hall style housing and a possible renovation of Founders to accommodate small chapters, all with various rental rates and construction costs, he said.

Semester rental rates for a Greek student could range from $3,335 to $5,250 depending on building and room type.

By mid-June, interested students will have submitted their top three housing preferences.

“Students are really on-board for this,” said Jay Grothause, president of Alpha Sigma Phi. “Some students can afford it, some can’t.”

In the recently released pro-forma rental rates chart, the cost of living in most of the available options are more expensive than Falcon Heights — the most expensive residence hall.

“Ultimately [the students] are going to get a sense of what they can afford and what they can’t afford,” said Steve Krakoff, associate vice president of capitol planning and design. “They need to think smaller rather than larger.”

The committee toured several universities in the south and received the advice to not over-build, Bullins said.

“Stand-alone facilities are typically more expensive to build and riskier if there’s an open bed because they’ll have to buy it out,” he said. “If we have 100 members, we won’t put in more than 40 beds.”

If a chapter chooses to build a large chapter house, than they could run into some financial trouble if recruitment is low that year.

“Only a few chapters could realistically support a house that size,” Krakoff said. “We told them to don’t just think about the good years, think about the bad years.”

If a chapter cannot afford its new housing accomodations, than it would have to turn to alumni or others for financial support, Krakoff said.

“Somebody has to pay for those and the University won’t,” Krakoff said.

If new housing is built, it could contribue to higher interest in Greek living.

“A shiny new building helps recruitment for us,” Grothause said. “This is the future of our Greek community.”

The next step in the process is to take the student preferences and prepare a massing and density study, Krakoff said.

“We’re going to see how they lay out on a map so to speak,” Krakoff said. “We’re then going to frame specific recommendations for how to move forward.”