Many rumors have circulated in the past as to why there are no sorority houses on campus.

One of these rumors claims that New York law prohibits too many women from living in one house because it constitutes a brothel. Other rumors state that George Eastman contributed a large amount of money to UR under the condition that there would be no all-girls residences on campus, although Burton had already broken this rule.

The real reason why sororities do not have houses is a great deal less exciting.

“The National Housing Policy has a unanimous agreement that says that if one chapter has a house, all of the chapters must have houses,” Alison Schwartz, Class of 2001 and former president of the Panhellenic Association, said.

Since UR does not have six extra houses to hold the sororities on campus, the sororities are housed on halls of various dorms. They choose not to move off-campus for the same reason.

The National Housing Policy’s decision is a matter of fairness. “It is more fait to have all of the sororities on the same level. It is easier to do programming and easier for people to get in touch with the sororities when they are all in one place. This way there is no unfair advantage for any sorority,” said Schwartz.

But there are also disadvantages to sororities having houses of their own. “If a chapter has a house, it might appear stronger and more appealing during rush,” Schwartz said.

Every two years the National Housing Policy is up for renewal. The next time it will be considered is 2003.

Nevertheless, the policy at UR is not likely to change in the near future.

“It would be a huge undertaking. Each and every sorority would have to be totally supportive of the movement,” Monica Miranda, director of Greek Affairs, said.

Reprinted from September 28, 2000

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