Three fraternities opt out of College housing

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March 20, 2009

3:17 AM

Eight fraternities will not be housed on campus next year, including three that currently occupy units on the College of William and Mary’s fraternity row.

Earlier this semester, Pi Kappa Alpha and Phi Kappa Tau asked to be removed from their Special Interest Housing Contract. Sigma Pi followed suit last week. Members of all three organizations still live in their fraternities’ old units.

According to Council for Fraternity Affairs Chairman David Cooper ’10, Alpha Tau Omega, Chi Phi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Alpha Phi Alpha and Phi Beta Sigma are the remaining fraternities not applying for Special Interest Housing next year.

“We were kind of given no choice,” Brian Apkarian ’11 President of Sigma Pi said. “The guidelines and new policies didn’t really give us a chance to live in a house again.”

In the past, Residence Life required fraternities to fill 33 of the 36 available spots in each unit. The policy allowed room buyouts for individuals who wished to live in a single. Under the new policy, fraternities must fill every spot.

Twenty-nine of the 36 spots must be filled by the fraternities’ members in order to qualify for special interest housing.

Sigmi Pi isn’t the only fraternity to lose housing.

“We were facing so many vacancies in Unit H this semester alone that we could not afford to pay for them as a fraternity, so we decided to release ourselves from our housing contract with the school,” President of Pi Kappa Alpha Will DeCamps ’09 said. His fraternity plans to return to campus in the 2010 – 2011 school year.
Other fraternities expressed no desire to house in the first place.

“Given the evolving policy with Residence Life as well as anecdotal information from other fraternities, it would seem that leasing a unit will more often create a heavy burden for a chapter,” President of Alpha Tao Omega Eric Siedow ’10 said. ATO recruited one of its largest new member classes this fall, which allowed it to obtain a charter and was convinced that being housed in a unit was not an essential part of becoming successful on campus.

Chi Phi, a relatively new fraternity founded only a few years ago, feels the same way.

“Chi Phi is a relatively small brotherhood and our brothers appreciate the atmosphere our size creates; Unit housing would not allow us to stay small,” said Tyler Kosnik ’10, a founding member and the president of Chi Phi.

Alpha Phi Alpha, a fraternity consisting primarily of black members, has an even greater challenge reaching the minimum amount required for housing.

“We only have six active brothers in the chapter currently, though we like the low numbers, as it allows us to know each other more,” President of Alpha Phi Alpha Marcus Singleton ’09 said. “With that said, the low membership does not exactly make it easy to fill up campus housing.”

Ultimately, the decision to apply for on-campus housing is a yearly decision for each fraternity.

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