Many Lehigh students who choose to join Greek life attribute the opportunity to live in a sorority or fraternity house as a key component behind their decision to pursue recruitment.
Due to COVID-19, however, all Greek housing was forced to shut its doors for the 2020-2021 academic year. But, as part of the fall campus reopening plan, Greek chapter houses are anticipated to allow residency next fall.
For many Greek members in the 2020 new member class, next year will be their first opportunity to live in Greek housing. Typically both sophomores and juniors reside in the facilities, so this transition period will bring about new experiences for a majority of chapter members.
President of Psi Upsilon, Brandon Janowaski, ‘23, said he is excited to live in the house to make up for missed opportunities.
“I think living in the house will definitely bring pledge classes closer together,” Janowski said. “Missing out on a full year of experiences in person really sucked, but I am hoping next year we can make up for those missed experiences.”
Alyssa Schwartz, ‘23 and a member of Alpha Gamma Delta, said she is excited to bond with her sorority through living in the house.
“I think that because of the Greek pause, my member class didn’t get to bond as well as we could have, and then going home because of COVID, we kind of missed out on that,” Schwartz said. “I think it will be a really great opportunity for us to live in the house and get to know each other better.”
Although she is excited to live in her sorority house, Schwartz anticipates her experience in the chapter house will be very different from her current living situation off campus.
“I am not looking forward to being so far away from the main campus and having to factor in transportation time walking to and from class,” Schwartz said.
As many students chose to live off campus this year, Janowski said it has been difficult to communicate with chapter members.
“It is going to be easier to communicate with people all living in the same building rather than having to do everything over GroupMe or split off groups at a time,” Janowski said.
Janowski also said he is hopeful that COVID-19 restrictions will ease once the vaccine becomes more widely available. Janowski said although he does not know a great deal about how the house is going to run, he is eager to live there and sees it as one of the most important aspects of being in Greek life.
Nick Cheney, ‘23, is a member of Delta Upsilon, and is also looking forward to his time living in the chapter house to build a stronger sense of community with his brothers.
“I am very excited to live in the house, but am worried that Lehigh might change their mind last minute, and then we won’t have housing,” Cheney said.
To accommodate for COVID-19 safety measures, Janowski said the Psi Upsilon house includes many single occupant rooms which will make it easy to distance if needed.
Although their opening has been disclosed, more details about the house appearance and arrangement for the fall have yet to be announced.