Quad to see a double comeback
Despite getting kicked off campus over the past two years, Kappa Sigma and Delta Upsilon (DU) fraternities are returning to the quad next year with a pleasant surprise: millions of dollars of renovations to their houses.
Jennifer Church, interim dean of Student Affairs, decided to allow the two fraternities back on the fraternity quad last Monday. Kappa Sigma and Delta Upsilon have fulfilled the requirements for return set out by Student Affairs and the University Committee on Discipline, respectively.
The return will eliminate Forbes House and the newly renovated Global Studies house as first-year housing options.
Changes on the quad
When DU left, Global Studies House occupied the building after it received $1.1 million in renovations. Made up of 30 first-year students from eight countries, Global Studies House brings together people from different cultures to form a close-knit community. The house also has plans for a booth at this years Spring Carnival.
Its the best dorm on campus, said Gicheru Mwariri, a first year biology student and Global Studies resident.
But some students at Global Studies House do not think DU deserves to get their house back.
They destroyed it, Mwariri said.
The DU brothers see things a little differently. Weve been in that house since they built it, said Andrew Melichar, DU president and a junior in music composition. Its traditionally been our house, and I think we deserve it.
According to Steve Williams, vice president of DU, each brother has performed 50 hours of community service, completed AlcoholEDU training, attended a one day alcohol training seminar, and hasnt got into any more trouble with the University over the past year.
Weve done everything the University has asked us to do, Melichar said.
When Kappa Sigma left campus, their house was turned into Forbes House, another first-year living area. According to Timothy Michael, director of Housing and Dining Services, the change required very little money for cosmetic touches, such as painting. The house had already received renovations in 1999 and 2003, totaling approximately $1.1 million.
Students at Forbes House recognize the value of living there.
It feels a lot more like a house than a dorm, said Ryan Woodring, a first-year art major living in Forbes House. Theres a lot of first-year interest here. Its really family-like.
Each chapter house is on a renovation plan regardless of who occupies it, Michael said. The Greek quad facilities are approximately 40 years old with mechanical systems reaching the ends of their expected life. We have been working with the resident groups on renovation planning since 1997.
I think the renovations have been a long time coming, Melichar stated.
According to Michael, the renovation plan began in the summer of 1999 and includes gutting and rebuilding the major systems of each Greek chapter over the next few years.
It made logistical sense to renovate these buildings first, stated Leonard Chan, coordinator for Greek Affairs.
The projects for Global Studies and Kappa Alpha Theta were combined into one project for efficiency and cost savings. The average per house was approximately $1.1 million, Michael stated.
The building that currently houses the sorority Kappa Alpha Theta received its renovation after Delta Tau Delta, the fraternity that previously inhabited it, lost its charter in fall 2004.
Since 1999, repairs to Sigma Nu, Theta Xi, Kappa Alpha Theta, Forbes House, and Global Studies House have run a total of just under $6 million. Renovations are planned for Beta Theta Pi and Pi Kappa Alpha by the end of summer 2006 at a cost of just over $1 million per building.
There are three pots of money we keep separate when running the housing system: The Greek quad pot, the sorority complex on Margaret Morrison pot, and a pot for the rest of housing non-Greek housing.
Michael noted that all money raised and spent on Greek housing comes directly from rents that Greek housing residents pay. No money comes from subsidies or contributions from regular residence hall monies, tuition, or other fees, he stated.
This academic year, all the rent and expenses from Forbes House and Global Studies are going into the Greek quad budget, even though they are not Greek organizations, Michael stated.
The students in Forbes House and Global Studies House pay the same Standard Single and Standard Double rates that apply to other living areas on campus.
The master plan for the Greek quad is for it to remain Greek housing, and that housing is to be properly renewed and extended consistent with proper facility and financial planning, Michael stated.
Two years ago, Carnegie Mellons Kappa Sigma chapter came under scrutiny after reports of hazing of pledges emerged, including a syrup chug and forced house cleaning.
Representatives from Kappa Sigma International became concerned and enacted a membership review of the chapter a series of interviews and investigations determining who is fit to be in the organization. As a result of the review, all but five members were either expelled or suspended from the fraternity.
Kappa Sigma lost their Carnegie Mellon charter, required for Greek quad housing, and would have
a colony, as opposed to chapter status. To get chapter status, the members must participate in a series of fraternal education workshops, complete a fundraiser for $2500, have at least 50 members, and complete at least 2000 hours of community service.
Student Life also levied penalties: the loss of their house on Morewood Avenue for two years, the prohibition of campus presence for one year, and the completion of 2500 hours of community service. A final University requirement for returning to the quad was regaining a charter from their Kappa Sigma
Membership requirements, community service requirements, and financial requirements have been the most difficult, stated Cale MacMichael-Magruder, president of Kappa Sigma and sophomore mechanical engineering student.
According to Magruder, not having a place on campus made it difficult to recruit. A presence on campus is critical to the survival of almost any organization, he said.
This year Kappa Sigma was able to have a presence via special interest housing.
While not ideal, [it] has been useful, stated Magruder. Weve seen our recruitment efforts really benefit.
The organization has since grown to approximately 50 members.
Delta Upsilon also lost their house this year following an incident involving underage drinking in 2004, though they did not lose their charter because of the occurrence. In response, the University revoked their lease for the 2005-2006 academic year.
This year, some DU brothers have moved to campus housing and others have moved off campus. The fraternity has carried out two incident-free rushes since losing their house, but they have not held any other events.
According to Melichar, the DU brothers hope to move back into their house sometime this summer.
How the quad was won
Both Magruder and Melichar attributed each of their organizations successes to the support of Church, coordinator for Greek Affairs Lenny Chan, and director of Student Life Renee Camerlengo.
They have been nothing but supportive, Magruder stated.
I am excited that these groups were able to reach a goal they had set for themselves, Chan stated. I look forward to my continued relationship with these organizations and their members.
Magruder also noted the negative reputation that Greek life has at Carnegie Mellon. I am extremely proud of what our organization has accomplished, and I hope our merits are well known to the campus as a whole, he said.
Likewise, DU brothers hope to have a positive impact on campus.
Were just looking forward to moving back on campus, building up our membership, and rebuilding our ties with the campus community, Melichar said.