Phi Delta Theta and Delta Chi fraternities have both been awarded chapter houses for the next academic year, according to Allison Gulati, the associate dean of students.
House 97, formerly Lambda Chi Alpha’s house, and House 84, formerly Delta Phi’s house, will be home to the two chapters. Gulati said a decision of which chapter will move into which house will be made by March 25.
Both Interfraternity Council chapters, which are currently non-residential fraternities, were given the opportunity to apply for House 97 earlier this semester. In the interim, Delta Phi lost its recognition because of violations of the university code of conduct. Its chapter house, House 84, was then made available for next year.
Gulati said both chapters did a phenomenal job during their presentations and had strong plans for how they would incorporate a residential aspect into chapter life.
Neither chapter has had conduct issues, and both have done well in the accreditation process and have been accomplished since recolonizing.
“Both groups have diverse membership and really, as organizations, are doing a lot of values-based work,” Gulati said. “They have built their entire fraternity around their values, and we are incredibly impressed with how they are doing things organizationally and how hard they are working from a recruitment and member education standpoint.”
This led to her proposal to John Smeaton, the vice provost for Student Affairs, that House 84 remain Greek housing for next year.
Smeaton and the University Space Committee approved the proposal, and Phi Delta Theta and Delta Chi’s presidents Greg Potter, ’16, and Phil Vendola, ’17, respectively, were notified of the decision Wednesday.
Both chapter presidents expressed excitement for the decision.
“We’ve been really excited even at the idea to have one communal place,” Potter said. “As a brotherhood over the last few semesters, we’ve seen more and more that we are flocking to (crappy) off-campus houses that don’t have enough space. It was easy for us to visualize living in an environment where we can all be together and do things together.”
Vendola said Delta Chi is happy to have the opportunity to make an impact on the Greek community by having a house on “the Hill.”
One of the major considerations by the selection committee was how the chapters would utilize facilities management. Potter said that Phi Delta Theta plans on reaching out to other chapters to better understand how their house manager position and other house management tasks work.
Vendola said the chapter’s alumni support helped them through the application process and will be utilized in house management, as well.
“(Our alumni) were directly involved on the housing committee,” he said. “We are all working for more than just us, it is also for those that came before us those that will come after us.”
Potter said that he is excited for the continual chapter conversations that can be had within a residence environment.
“One of our biggest strengths is that everyone is on a committee,” he said. “Our social committee had good ideas but some of that innovation was just for one hour a week, besides GroupMe and stuff like that afterward. Having an environment to have space to innovate and bring the organization forward at a moment’s notice (is something I am excited about.)”
He also said having a chapter house will help with recruitment, as the chapter’s members will be able to visually represent what it means to be in the fraternity, rather than just talking about it.
“I am more happy when I heard that we were both getting a house, happier than if we just got it,” Vendola said. “I am happy that we both get the opportunity (to become residential).”
The decision to keep House 84 a Greek residence but make House 104 — formerly Phi Gamma Delta fraternity’s chapter house — non-Greek affiliated housing was based on house capacities and needs of the Gryphon staff.
“We didn’t put Building 104 into the mix because it is the closest in proximity to other residence halls, has a larger capacity (than House 84 and 97) and so it can have two Gryphons, which makes more sense all around,” Gulati said. “All residence interest groups had already placed and every other special interest group has been taken care of. House 104 is going to be a Live Lehigh community focused on fitness.”
Gulati said that having the fitness living community in House 104 made sense because they have more indoor space to utilize for working out. The building is currently an upper-class residence hall, but Gulati said the format of the building is more conducive for an intact group.