Sunday, August 19, 2007

Iowa Greeks Show Their True Colors

Generosity helps sorority back on its feet
By: Bob Zientara - Ames Tribune

Kelly Connolly, of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, gets help from Danny Jorgensen, of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, Saturday while temporarily moving to the Kappa Alpha Theta house. Photo by Nirmalendu Majumdar.

It may take as long as six weeks before all of the women of Alpha Chi Omega can be housed under the same roof after the Aug. 12 fire that did an estimated $170,000 damage to their sorority house.

But thanks to an outpouring of generosity from the Iowa State University Greek community, 11 sorority women are now housed in temporary quarters while repairs proceed at their fire-damaged building.

"They just moved this morning into the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority," said Alpha Chi Omega spokeswoman Claire Masker, who added that the remaining 30 members are back in their home building.

She said that her sorority's house corporation president, Jennifer Darling, contacted the ISU Greek Affairs office and was given a list of housing options for the sorority members made homeless by the fire.

The members picked Kappa Alpha Theta because it's close to the Alpha Chi Omega house. Masker said the 11 members will be in their temporary quarters for "about a month and a half" until repairs are complete.

Enabling the sorority members to quickly locate a new home is just one example of how the Greek community has pulled together to help the women after the fire, Masker said.

"We asked the Greek Affairs office if we could get some help with the move, and a number of (fraternity members) showed up to move us," she said. "Desks, clothing, school supplies, you name it. Now, our women have a place to live and are settled down before classes start."

That's not all. Masker said the Theta Chi fraternity held a pancake breakfast, and its members agreed to donate half the proceeds to Alpha Chi Omega.

Meanwhile, as the university's sororities began their annual recruitment drive, the members of the Collegiate Panhellenic Council (which governs all campus sorority activities) got involved, too.

"The council members agreed that $5 out of every recruitment fee would be set aside for Alpha Chi Omega, and our sorority was given a donation of $1,780 after the (recruitment) drive," said Masker.

And two fraternities offered their facilities so that Alpha Chi Omega could conduct its own recruitment drive.

"One day last week, we needed some extra fans in the building, and we called the Greek Affairs office," Masker added. "In 10 minutes, they had something like 15 fans here.

"The kindness that has been shown to us is wonderful," she said. "We just want to tell everyone how thankful we are."