Students looking for inexpensive housing in Rochester over the summer can no longer turn to the fraternity houses as an inexpensive option.
In a memo released on Oct. 31, Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Monica Miranda Smalls announced that fraternity houses are no longer available to summer residents due to unsafe living conditions.
“It is clear that house management is not sufficient to warrant the continuation of summer housing on the Fraternity Quad,” the memo said. “For these reasons this memo serves as notice that there will no longer be a summer housing option on the Fraternity Quad beginning with the summer of 2007.”
The fraternity houses, which provided summer housing to students for inexpensive rates, were an appealing alternative for students who would rather not pay for the more expensive campus dorms.
The 2006 summer housing rates for on campus dorms ranged from $455 for a 4-week stay to $1,434 for a 12-week stay.
Fraternity house rates were much cheaper. For example, Sigma Chi fraternity charged $500 for the summer and Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity charged $35 a week.
Last March, the Fraternity Quad Advisory Council met with Dean of Students Jody Asbury, Associate Dean of Students Matt Burns and Smalls to discuss the summer management of the houses.
At that time, it was brought up that during each summer since 2004 there had been at least one house that had had its kitchen closed for health and safety concerns.
“For the past three years the sanitation inspections over the summer have consistently cited each house with summer residents for deficiencies and poor management practices,” the memo said.
At the meeting, it was announced to the fraternities that the houses would be closed to summer residents for the 2006 summer.
However, Smalls said that she recognized the late notice of closure, and agreed to allow three fraternity houses – SC, SAM and Delta Kappa Epsilon – to remain open during the summer of 2006.
During the summer, the chapters were closely monitored and given an opportunity to provide evidence of adequate house management.
During summer assessments of the houses, repeated sanitation violations with highlights on trash accumulation and spoiled food that led to fruit fly infestations were found in all three houses.
In addition, one of the kitchens was found to have over 100 maggots, one of the houses violated University alcohol regulations and over 65 UR Security service reports of unsafe conditions were filed.
“With all the information that we had, it was clear to us that we had no other options,” Smalls said. “You can’t put a price on the safety of students.”
However, some students are not pleased to see the summer housing option no longer available.
“I think it’s a terrible idea to close the fraternity houses for the summer – it’s a really good way to have cheap housing,” SC brother and junior Jason Greenman said. “A lot of people want to stay here and as long as we keep the houses clean, sanitary and in working order we should be able live in them.”
SAM brother and sophomore Sean Parlia echoed that sentiment.
“I hope that the fraternities are given a chance to prove that they can keep the houses sanitary and livable so that they can be open again for future summers,” he said. “Students who can’t afford dorm housing but want to work in the summer in Rochester find it to be a really viable option.”Jarrett is a member of the class of 2009.