Fraternities Alpha Delta Phi and Sigma Alpha Mu received word on Feb. 18 that they would be allowed to return to their houses in the Fall semester.

“Everyone is really excited,” Vice President of ADF and sophomore Rob Fitzgerald said. “After the downer of getting kicked out of the house we were in for 75 years, everyone was pretty excited.”

“We can’t wait,” President of SAM and junior Ryan Hazlett said. “We’ve had our house since the mid-w 1950s.”

Students seem pleased.

“I’m really happy for them,” sophomore Dan Hallimen said. “I’m proud for the frats for fighting hard for what they have wanted.”

SAM and ADF are both eager to move into the houses, but will be unable to make major changes until summer. ADF cannot currently move into their house since it is occupied by the Inter-Campus Music Center. Plans are already in motion for the summer and a fall rededication of the ADF cornerstone.

While both organizations are excited, major renovations are needed in both houses.

Associate Director of Residential Life Laurel Contomanolis noted that both kitchens needed to be up to fire code.

“I am only aware of modifications that will need to be done to the kitchens in order for them to meet state fire regulations,” Contomanolis said. “The other houses had the necessary work done last summer. During this year, ICMC students were not allowed to use the kitchen in the ADF house and SAM’s entire house was closed. In both cases, the kitchens were locked, preventing any kind of use. If ADF and SAM intend to have fraternity meal plans, the work will need to be done over the summer.”

SAM has a lot of work to do. “Residential Life gutted out the house,” Hazlett said. “Signs were taken out. They are not going to allow us to live there over the summer. We will have access over the summer. It’s going to be a lot of work. A house that sits around for a year – it wears it down.”

There are also some fire code issues with the kitchen.

Both fraternities see getting their houses back as a fresh start. “For us, there are no stipulations to move back – after this academic year we have a clean slate,” Fitzgerald said.

“Basically, we act as a new house,” Hazlett said. As a judicial decision, terms of the brothers moving back into their houses may not be released.

“In general, we do not comment on action taken from the judicial dean’s office,” Dean of Students Jody Asbury said. “So, those details belong to students and student groups.”

There are some stipulations for moving back into the houses, which the fraternities have made public.

SAM will have a graduate student live in the house and act as a residential advisor.

The RA will be approved through an application process and be required to have prior experience, according to Hazlett.

“No matter what, the chapters are going to be held to the student code of conduct – the presidents meet with me,” Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Monica Smalls said. “Outgoing leadership, in the past, has dropped by once a week. I expect current leadership will hopefully maintain that.”

As to the reasons for their departure from the houses – both agree it is in the past.

“The reasons aren’t the important thing,” Fitzgerald said. “We have changed who we are – we are a diverse group of guys involved in various different clubs on campus.”

“It’s a combination of behavioral issues,” Hazlett said. “In the past, the relation between the Greek system and administration has been reactive – we are working to improve this. We have been meeting twice a month. [Moving out of the house] has been a blessing in disguise.”

“I think they both have made distinct improvements,” Smalls said. “ADF has returned to being a true literary fraternity and done well with literary programs. SAM has created an internal accountability structure.”

There is still more work to be done in preparing SAM and ADF in the transition to living in a house again.

“This weekend, we begin the process of meeting in teams of two with each chapter to begin to get to know each group and its plan for connecting and supporting the mission of the college and this community,” Asbury said.

“I think that there is always room for improvement,” Smalls said. “They will need to reacclimate themselves.

“By the time they actually move, I hope they will be as prepared as they can be and that [returning them to their houses] will benefit not just affiliated members but members at large,” she said.

The fraternities have already seen some benefits from the temporary eviction from their houses.

“We always thought having a house was a strong rush tactic,” Fitzgerald said.

“We found it is not true – we got 12 [pledges] this year. They are the caliber of students we would recruit if we were in the house. The frat is not the house, the frat is every member. We really had to define our brotherhood.”

Tanner can be reached at rtanner@campustimes.org.



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