The AU Undergraduate Senate Committee on Campus Life and Programming passed a bill in support of on-campus greek housing.
The bill will now be considered in the Senate within the next few weeks, according to the committee’s chairman and bill sponsor Seth Rosenstein.
If Bill 09-10-007, A Bill in Support of Separate Greek Life Housing on Campus, successfully passes and is signed by SG President Andy MacCracken, the administration would still need to approve the bill if it was to be implemented.
The university is interested in expanding its housing accommodations by approximately 1,000 beds to handle AU’s growing student population, The Eagle previously reported.
The bill is merely laying the groundwork for future plans and the logistics are yet to be determined, Rosenstein said. One of the many possibilities includes reserving blocks of rooms within the new residence halls for greek organizations.
Because the residence halls are being built years from now, the bill’s purpose is to put the issue on the university’s radar, he said.
“This issue hasn’t been pursued enough to the point where I can define exactly how everything will work,” he said. “I would like to see individual greek houses on campus as AU had in the past, but the likelihood of that happening is not very good.”
Rosenstein brought the bill to the AU Inter-Fraternity Council for review before he introduced it to the committee, according to IFC President Seth Gilroy.
“It was the consensus that the IFC supports any move by the school that could potentially lead to actual housing,” Gilroy said. “Voluntary greek floors would be a step in the right direction.”
While the IFC has deemed on-campus housing a vehicle for greek prosperity, there are some disadvantages, said Curtis Burrill, coordinator of Greek Life at AU. People may move into a greek house thinking they will have as much freedom as they would living off campus, but they will still have to abide by university housing rules. However, greek on-campus housing would promote bonding and a sense of community, he said.
IFC Vice President of Recruitment Al Smith said that although brothers may tend to live with one another already, having university-sanctioned housing will help validate AU’s greek culture.
“To get more involved with the greek life on campus, we have to take steps to become more legitimate,” he said. “We need to make ourselves more prevalent ... I think it’s about time AU recognizes the great things greek life does for campus.”
Although the IFC has discussed the matter, AU Housing and Dining has not had any conversations about future on-campus greek accommodations, according to Paul G. Brown, assistant director for Learning Communities and Assessment.
“[W]e haven’t seen the bill or had any conversations about the topic with anyone,” he said.
AU leased on-campus buildings to fraternities until 1992, when the 50-year contract expired, The Eagle reported in 2002. AU did not renew the lease because it wanted to use the space for other campus services.