Many members of Eastern Kentucky University fraternities and sororities have a new home – in the middle of campus.
The University’s new Greek Towers, incorporating renovations to Todd and Dupree Halls, opened this fall to an enthusiastic response, according to Lindsay Greenwell, associate director for student involvement and leadership at EKU.
The Towers represent a “positive for our Greek community because they have created a space for the chapters to call their own,” Greenwell said. The renovations, completed at a cost similar to any routine residence hall renovations, were done with the input of the Greek community.
“This was truly a great project to be involved with,” said Kenna Middleton, director of housing at EKU. “The planning group was made up of two members from each Greek organization on campus that wanted to be involved, chapter advisers, the Greek Life office and Housing. We met weekly … to finalize decisions, choose colors, carpet, etcetera.”
The Towers are priced the same as other EKU residence halls, although the chapters do pay an annual fee for the use of chapter, office and storage space.”
Middleton said the Towers aid in the achievement of one of Housing’s chief objectives: development of community.
“Within chapters, there is already a community that comes from the sisterhood and brotherhood,” Middleton said. “This takes that individual community a couple of steps beyond their own chapter into the other female or male chapters and then ultimately extends the entire Greek community as a whole.”
The Greek Towers is an extension of a recent trend at EKU: the emergence of more “special interest” housing. “The Greek Towers is in keeping with our philosophy of these communities, and we truly believe, because our GPA and retention numbers support it, that community engagement plays a role in the University’s retention efforts.”
Of EKU’s approximately 1,000 Greeks, many live off campus in various houses and apartments, none of which are owned by their housing corporations or national organizations.
Greenwell predicted that the centrally located Greek Towers will “greatly impact recruitment. “It puts the Greek community front and center on campus. (Others) will see the brotherhood and sisterhood that exists in and between chapters.
“The Towers will not serve as a home to the active members, but it will serve as a gathering place for alumni. I also think the Towers will become a source of pride for the chapters living there. Hopefully, they will outgrow the space in Todd and Dupree, and we will look at building chapter houses.”