Campus / Greek Life / News / May 7, 2009

The scoop on sorority housing

Among the many rumors that welcome new students to Knox College lies the rumor about sorority housing. Perhaps some students remember being told that the reason sororities do not have residential houses is because Galesburg laws state a house of all women constitutes a brothel. Perhaps some students thought that was true until this very instant.

According to Dean of Students Xavier Romano, “The sororities have chosen not to have houses.” Every four years or so, students reinvestigate the possibility, but ultimately there is never enough interest. Neither Knox College nor the National Panhellenic Conference say that the sororities cannot have houses.

There is not much interest in starting residential houses for the sororities. Senior Elaine Wilson said, “Having formalized residences make the sorority somewhat of an obligation as I understand. When there is a house, there has to be a certain number of women living in the house at any given time. I much prefer having total freedom of choice when it comes to living arrangements, [and being able to] live with my sorority sisters, or women in different sororities, or non-Greeks.”

Freshman Kelly Grant, a Tri Delta, said something similar. “If there were a house I probably wouldn’t live in it.” She said she likes the diversity of living around a lot of different people and would worry about the sorority sisters becoming too exclusive if they lived together.

In January of 2007 the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (H.R. 643, S.638) was introduced to the Senate and the House of Representatives. The act would provide funding for fraternal and sorority grants to “provide, improve, operate, or maintain collegiate housing.” The act was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means, and read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance by the Senate.

Charles Ely

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