The first year of housing assignments under the new formal group housing plan were announced last Sunday.Those organizations who applied for and were granted small houses for their members are: the CO-OP, Outdoor Recreation Club, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Beta Theta Pi, Delta Tau Delta, Phi Kappa Tau, Phi Delta Theta, Sinfonia, and Kappa Alpha Theta.
The formal group housing announcements have ushered in a slew of firsts for the Lawrence campus. These include the first time fraternities have been folded into regular bidding for small houses, and the first time a sorority will have their own small house.
Several groups did heavy recruiting to bolster their numbers to fill their housing quotas. Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity member John Bogle noted that due to a heavy recruitment campaign, his fraternity grew from thirteen to thirty-six people.
Bogle also commented that, though the Sig Eps were concerned at the beginning of the house application process, they felt “pretty secure and really happy” about their efforts. As it stands, the Sig Eps have secured a three year contract within the formal group housing process that will allow them to remain in their former residence. Comments Bogle: “We’re just really happy and really excited that we got to keep our house.”
Under the new legislation on formal group housing, organizations must meet certain criteria for two consecutive years prior to applying forhousing.
These criteria include the following: the group applying for housing must be student-governed, the group membership must be at least one and one-half times the size of the smallest housing unit, and the group must fill the house to 90% occupancy on average for all three terms.
Rules such as these, in addition to at least five others, are to help ensure that the groups “have a shared mission, an organizational structure, a desire to live together in campus housing, and a willingness to be responsible for the privilege of occupying such housing,” according to the Lawrence website.
This new plan has caused controversy, especially among some Lawrence fraternity chapters because they will no longer be guaranteed exclusive housing under the new plan.
Also, some groups that previously had housing could potentially be denied it altogether if they do not meet the criteria set forth by the plan.
According to the creators of the formal group housing plan, the new arrangement “allows students to experience the benefits and rewards of small group living while ensuring equitable access to residential facilities.”