November 13, 2013

Collegiate Perspective: Looking Beyond the House

Looking through the Facebook album Home Sweet Home: Alpha Phi Chapter Houses can provoke some wishful feelings. Ball State University is one of the schools that do not house their sororities. Each sorority on campus is given a suite in the dorm hall that, at one time, can hold about 50 women comfortably.

The life of an unhoused chapter is very different than that of a chapter with a house.  With our growing chapter, it can be difficult to find space on campus for all of us to meet. That being said, since we are not all able to meet super easily, we cherish the times we all get together.

To accommodate our whole chapter, we have also started “outsourcing” our meeting spaces. Instead of holding events on campus or in a house, we get to travel. For example, we recently went to an amusement park for a sisterhood retreat and a shooting range for dad’s day.  

I recognize that there are logical perks of not having a chapter house. I’ve learned about dealing with cooking, cleaning, signing leases and caulking (yes… caulking).  I feel that I am already prepared for what the “real world” will be like dealing with landlords and utility companies on my own.

Additionally, I’ve enjoyed the freedom of living where I want for the past two years.  My best friends and I signed a lease for an off-campus quaint little yellow house that has allowed us to make more memories than I ever could have imagined.  Even though my roommates have all been Alpha Phi’s, I think living with each other on our own accord has allowed us to become even closer.

There are pseudo-sorority houses all around our college town. Many times, sisters live together even though we aren’t required to.  Since we all live separately, we enjoy and look forward to spending our time together. I would almost go as far to say that living off-campus has made us closer because we all have to consciously make time and an effort to see each other.

Overall, I see both the pros and the cons of sorority houses. Living in a house must make getting together easy, but living off-campus holds so many benefits as well. 

Emily Nickels is a collegiate member at Ball State (Delta Rho). Read her bio by clicking here.

1 comment:

Pookie said...

Great perspective!

In the 1980's the sister's lived in the dorm around the suite. We were in the suite and used it like a mini-sorority house. We all had a great time living by the suite and grew close because we were together.

I still wish that BSU would get the sorority village up and running. The campus is large, Greek life is grand and it's time for BSU and Panhellenic to get it figured out and start building! A campus with 21,000 students and a Greek community that is growing needs to have some housing for members. Delta Rho is outgrowing that suite and really needs a great place to meet or go to regularly. I hope it happens soon!