Saturday, September 15, 2007

End of the Road for Fraternity houses?

Loyola of New Orleans seems to be finding new ways to exercise draconian en loco parentis standards. The bitch of it is that Sig Ep is caught in the middle.
A new university rule prohibits off-campus housing for Loyola groups, including fraternities.

Earlier this semester, Timur Alptunaer left one of his first meetings as president of the Inter-Fraternity Council with some surprising knowledge: The university had adopted a policy that no longer supported off-campus housing for fraternities or any other student organization.

The fact surfaced once Alptunaer voiced Sigma Phi Epsilon's intention to purchase a property in the area to house the chapter.

"Loyola University New Orleans shall not recognize student organizations that maintain off-campus facilities which are publicly identified or commonly associated with the organization and which the group plans to use for organizational activity," states the policy.

"It's coming off as all frats are banned from buying a house because they are typically the ones that have that arrangement," said Chris Cameron, director of the Office of Co-Curricular Programs.

"But in reality, the chess club couldn't go off campus and buy their own house and live there."
Right. And you know how wild and crazy those chess geeks get.

This comes at a particularly inconvenient time for the Loyola SigEp chapter.
Alptunaer got word to Sig Ep's alumni board of directors as they were in the middle of securing a property on which they could house their chapter, an opportunity that comes once every several years because of a city ordinance placing a moratorium on building fraternity houses on properties not zoned for that purpose.

"Basically, unless you get the city council's vote to do otherwise, you needed to wait until a property zoned for a fraternity house opened up and then buy it for a chapter house," Gele said.

"You can't buy any property and use it to build a fraternity house, which makes housing very limited."

However, their efforts and patience in the light of Loyola's new policy were for naught.

"I wish Sig Ep had come to our office sooner, and we could've said, 'Don't bother, we're not going that way as an institution,'" Cameron said. "The unfortunate part is that they invested so much time into trying to get the house."
Wouldn't it be easier to just disband fraternities altogether, if that is the intention?

The Maroon