By Peter Winslow
With the current renovations in Colman Hall, as well as the absence of housing in all five Union Street residences next year, student housing will look different in Lawrence’s coming years. Colman Hall has been undergoing significant changes that not only affect the competition and occupancy for formal group housing, but also the possible relocation of the first floor’s Panhellenic wing.
Senior Genna Matt, President of the Panhellenic Council—a council comprised of representatives from each sorority—explained that the Panhellenic wing holds the meeting and storage areas of all the campus sororities. Beta Psi Nu, Delta Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta and Kappa Kappa Gamma all have an individual space that serves as a place of congregation for inter-sorority events, rituals and ceremonies. Colman’s basement has also served as an area for sororities to hold larger gatherings.
Matt explained that the University has proposed several alternate meeting space options. She elaborated that the absence of the Union Street homes, along with the necessity of project funding for the Panhellenic area conversion, results in no definite timetable. However, Matt affirmed that she has been told they will eventually have to relocate. Matt also conveyed that the University is deciding whether or not to renovate Colman’s Panhellenic wing before or after placing another possible housing area at the end of the Quad.
When questioned about the Panhellenic Council’s consensus and desires for their new space, wherever and whenever that may be, Matt stated, “We want a more permanent location and for the integrity of our space to be preserved or enhanced as our chapters continue to grow.” She expressed that the Panhellenic Council wants more security for their next meeting area(s); in the future, when further renovations and modifications happen to campus housing, they don’t want their sorority space to be in question or up for relocation.
With a lot of uncertainty in future campus housing opportunities, the placement and accommodation of students and organizations will reveal themselves over time. Despite not knowing the timeline of the Panhellenic wing relocation, sororities’ meeting spaces will at some point be removed from Colman Hall.