Friday, March 30, 2007

SC Greek Village reaches capacity

Two new houses set to open next fall; last house in 2008
Catherine Martin

Gamma Phi Beta Sorority and Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity should be able to move into their new houses beginning in the fall.

The Greek Village will expand with two new houses expected to open in fall 2007, said Gena Runnion, director of Greek life. "Gamma Phi Beta Sorority and Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity should be able to move into their new houses beginning next semester," Runnion said.

Sarah Noone, a third-year accounting student and member of Gamma Phi Beta, said the sorority has been anticipating building a house since it became a chapter in 2005."The main obstacle was a matter of fundraising," Noone said. "Since we were a new sorority, it was a lot harder, but parents made donations as well as our headquarters."Thirty to 40 members of Gamma Phi Beta are expected to move into the new house.

Omega Psi Phi Fraternity plans to begin construction of a house in June, and Runnion said Omega Psi Phi's house is expected to open in fall 2008.

"The completion of these three houses will signify the end of construction on the first 20 lots," Runnion said. "It's exciting to see this project come full circle."Jerry Brewer, director of Student Life, said the process has been successful.
"The Greek houses are nice amenities," Brewer said. "People like them and they will continue to expand in the future."

Noone said the Greek houses make sororities and fraternities stronger and more connected."The houses allow for everyone to be in one central location, which makes meetings more convenient. We can all eat together and hang out," Noone said. "They really bring everyone together."

All Greek organizations that want a house are allowed to build one, but the availability of land is a problem.

There are currently 33 sororities and fraternities on campus, and only 20 will have houses once Omega Psi Phi builds on the last lot.

"There are two fraternities, Delta Tau Delta and Delta Upsilon, that are ready to build houses, but there is no land available," Brewer said.

Runnion said she is hopeful more land can be bought in the future."I would like to see as many of the other 13 to build as possible" Runnion said.

"There is a great deal of interest."Brewer said buying more land will be considered to assist in the expansion of the Greek Village, but there are important factors that must be taken into consideration.

"To buy land requires both resources and land," Brewer said. "There is currently no land available to purchase."In the mean time, space in McBryde and South Tower is being used by the Greek Community.