Arts & Culture / Mosaic / April 11, 2012

Going beyond a dorm room

Knox College sorority members feel that their inability to live together is quite all right.

If you have been following your local rumor wheel, floating among the many is the ongoing tale about sorority housing. Some students believe that sorority houses do not have residential housing due to rules instituted by Knox College campus, stating that a house of all women represents a brothel. However, this is untrue.

Associate Dean of Students and Co-advisor for Panhellenic Council Heather Poppy clarified how the rumor of brothels came about in the 1960s when certain campuses in some city ordinances didn’t allow sororities or fraternities to house on campus. However, for Knox this is not the case.

“Our reality is finding a house and following national rules,” Poppy explained how many sororities have national rules that require houses to have things such as housemothers and dry houses.

“I was in a sorority in my undergraduate years which required that we have a housemother. … If a house is available it’s more of national rules rather than Knox,” Poppy said.

Many sorority women still feel that the idea of not living together is considered tolerable because although the idea of sisterhood is a wonderful benefit to the campus life, it is also good to get away from your sister circle and perhaps live with other chapters or non-sorority girls.

Sophomore Chantal Heckman (Delta Delta Delta) said, “It would be awesome to live in the Delta House, but it’s also nice to expand from your sisters and meet other people as well.”

Many members like Heckman live with girls outside of their sister circle and feel it’s great to experience others’ opinions and lifestyles. Although sororities ensure lifelong friendships with sisters, sororities feel that it is also good to experience outside friendships as well.

With national rules and low interest in living in a sorority, senior Rayann Parkinson (Pi Beta Phi) feels it’s a good thing to not live in houses. Being a current sweetheart for the Beta Theta Pi chapter, she has the experience of watching their party preparations and the aftermath and feels it’s a relief sororities don’t have to be troubled with all the stress. She believes that houses should be strictly for the sisterhood bonding and enjoys the fact that they are a place the sisters can connect.

“Seeing the party planning of Beta I see how they have to create a party idea, plan and prepare the house and the after party clean-up. It’s a good thing sororities don’t have parties, I feel, because it’s a lot of work,” Parkinson said.

Parkinson also explained how she feels better off knowing the houses are used mainly for their chapters and makes their meetings feel “special.”

These houses are beneficial in order to connect the members and give them a place to meet up. Junior Kristen McDonald (Kappa Kappa Gamma) said the houses benefit sisters in other aspects besides living.

McDonald said, “[We] sororities use our houses for sisterhood events, formal/informal recruitment, ceremonies, hanging out and making food…. The house is a place sisters can just hang and be together outside of campus.”

Overall, she feels that having a house does not necessarily mean hosting parties and having girls live in them, but rather a place where every member of that sorority can come and know they have sisters who share the same interest.

Ashlee Pitts

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