North American fraternity and sorority housing

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The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at Lafayette College in Easton, PA

North American fraternity and sorority housing refers largely to the houses or housing areas in which fraternity and sorority members live and work together. In addition to serving as housing, fraternity and sorority housing may also serve to host social gatherings, meetings, and functions that benefit the community.

History[edit]

The first fraternity house seems to have been located at Alpha Epsilon of Chi Psi at the University of Michigan around 1846.[1] As fraternity membership was punishable by expulsion at many colleges at this time, the house was located deep in the woods.[2]

Fraternity chapter housing initially existed in two forms: lodges that served as meeting rooms and houses that had boarding rooms.[3] The lodges came first and were largely replaced by houses with living accommodations. Lodges were often no more than rented rooms above stores or taverns. The idea of substantial fraternity housing caught on quickly but was accomplished with much greater ease in the North as southern college students had far less available money for construction.[4] The first fraternity house in the South was likely one rented by members of Beta Theta Pi at Hampden–Sydney College from at least 1856. Alpha Tau Omega was then the first fraternity to own a house in the South when, in 1880, its chapter at The University of the South acquired one.[5]

Early chapters of women's fraternities often rented houses where they could live together, usually with a chaperone. This was in a day before colleges and universities had housing available. The first chapter house built by a women's fraternity was the one Alpha Phi erected one at Syracuse University in 1886.[6]

Many colleges eventually came to support fraternity and sorority housing as they allowed increased enrollment without construction of costly dormitories. The nature of this benefit varied between campuses as some houses were paid for entirely by alumni, some were rented, and some were built on land leased from the college. It was further recognized that, while fraternities having chapter houses did not raise academic performance, it did have a tendency to keep it from falling as the chapters could not afford (financially) to have members leaving school and no longer paying for their rooms.[7]

The Inter-Sorority Congress of 1913 saw the establishment of uniform rules and regulations regarding life in chapter houses.[8]

The number of houses owned by fraternities and sororities grew from 772 in 1915 to 928 in 1920.[9]

University of Illinois, Sigma Pi house in Urbana, IL

Design[edit]

Fraternity and sorority houses range in size from three to twenty bedrooms or more. They can usually be identified by large Greek letters or flags on the front of the house. The larger houses generally have a large meeting room and/or dining room, commercial kitchen and study room. There is usually a lounge of some sort, access to which is often restricted to fully initiated members. Fraternities and sororities will also often maintain a chapter room, to which only initiates may ever be admitted and even whose existence may be kept secret. The walls of the house may be decorated with pictures of past chapter events, awards and trophies, decorative (or historic) paddles, or composite photos of members from past years.

In some fraternities or sororities, only the representatives live in the houses while in others the entire fraternity or sorority may live in the house. Other, larger fraternities or sororities may have more than one house to accommodate all of its members.

Policies[edit]

Florida State University, Zeta Beta Tau house in Tallahassee, FL

Fraternity and sorority houses are typically owned either by a corporation of alumni, the sponsoring national organization, or the host college. For this reason, such houses may be subject to the rules of the host college, the national organization, or both.

Due to the increase in widely publicized alcohol-related deaths on college campuses, many national organizations and host colleges have implemented dry housing policies in which the consumption and possession of alcohol is prohibited on house property.[10] Some colleges make this policy conditional on overall grade performance.

In addition to banning alcohol, many university-owned fraternity and sorority houses have smoking bans in place inside.[11]

Because of residential requirements, some college campuses and national chapter administrations also prohibit members of the opposite sex on certain floors of fraternity and sorority houses.

Largest houses[edit]

Rank Square Footage Fraternity or Sorority University Affiliation Location Year Completed
1 56,000[12] Phi Gamma Delta Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana 2016
2 46,356[13] Kappa Kappa Gamma University of Arkansas Fayetteville, Arkansas 2013
3 42,000[14] Pi Beta Phi University of Arkansas Fayetteville, Arkansas 2016
4 (tie) 40,000[15] Delta Upsilon University of Missouri Columbia, Missouri 2015
4 (tie) 40,000[16] Gamma Phi Beta University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama 2015
6 39,500[17] Pi Kappa Alpha Florida State University Tallahassee, Florida 2005
7 39,264[18][19] Zeta Beta Tau Florida State University Tallahassee, Florida 2005
8 38,853[20] FarmHouse Oklahoma State University Stillwater, Oklahoma 2012
9 36,884[21] Theta Phi Alpha Indiana University Bloomington, IN 2016
10 36,818[22] Alpha Gamma Rho Oklahoma State University Stillwater, Oklahoma 2015
11 35,000[23] Phi Kappa Psi University of Kansas Lawrence, Kansas 2005
12 34,800[24] Delta Gamma University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama 2012
13 33,783[25] Alpha Tau Omega University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama 2011
14 33,557[26] Chi Omega University of Missouri Columbia, Missouri 2013
15 32,445[27] Beta Theta Pi University of Missouri Columbia, Missouri 2012
16 32,400[28] Delta Tau Delta Iowa State University Ames, Iowa 2015
17 32,000[29] Pi Kappa Alpha Oklahoma State University Stillwater, Oklahoma 2017
18 31,000[30] Phi Kappa Psi Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana 2014
19 30,534[31] Kappa Alpha Theta Oklahoma State University Stillwater, Oklahoma
20 (tie) 30,000[32] Pi Kappa Alpha Missouri Science & Technology Rolla, Missouri 2007
20 (tie) 30,000[33] Alpha Omicron Pi University of Arkansas Fayetteville, Arkansas 2009[34]
22 29,100[35] Kappa Sigma University of Oklahoma Norman, Oklahoma 2014
23 (tie) 29,000[36] Phi Gamma Delta University of Oklahoma Norman, Oklahoma

2008

23 (tie) 29,000[37] Alpha Tau Omega Kansas State University Manhattan, Kansas

2013

25 28,500[38] Kappa Sigma Missouri Science & Technology Rolla, Missouri 2011
26 28,070[39] Sigma Sigma Sigma University of Missouri Columbia, Missouri 2012
27 28,000[40] Pi Kappa Alpha University of Arkansas Fayetteville, Arkansas 2015
28 (tie) 27,000[41][42] Pi Kappa Alpha University of Illinois Champaign, Illinois 2011
28 (tie) 27,000[43] Sigma Chi University of New Mexico Albuquerque, New Mexico 1951
30 26,500[44] Sigma Chi University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama 2012
31 26,000[45] Phi Sigma Kappa Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, New York 2011
32 25,425[46] Sigma Alpha Epsilon University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio 1925
33 25,000[47] Kappa Sigma University of Arkansas Fayetteville, Arkansas 1931
34 24,500[48] Sigma Nu North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC 2012
35 (tie) 24,000[49] Kappa Sigma University of Florida Gainesville, Florida 2008
35 (tie) 24,000[50] Phi Gamma Delta Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, New York 2014
35 (tie) 24,000[51] Alpha Gamma Delta Indiana University Bloomington, IN TBD

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Chi Psi - Chi Psi Fraternity". www.chipsi.org. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  2. ^ Birdseye, Clarence Frank (1907), Individual Training in Our Colleges, New York: The McMillan Company, p. 211, retrieved 2008-06-20 
  3. ^ Baird, William Raimond (1920), Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities (9th ed.), New York: James T. Brown, p. 32, retrieved 2008-06-18 
  4. ^ Psi, Chi (1906), The Purple and Gold, XXIII, Chi Psi Fraternity, p. 8, retrieved 2008-06-20 
  5. ^ "ATO Facts & Firsts". Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  6. ^ Martin, Ida Shaw (1919), The Sorority Handbook (6th ed.), Menasha, WI: George Banta Publishing, p. 36, retrieved 2008-06-18 
  7. ^ Jordan, David Starr (December 1909), The American College, 1, New York: The Higher Education Association (published 1910), p. 176, retrieved 2008-06-20 
  8. ^ Martin, Ida Shaw (1919), The Sorority Handbook (6th ed.), Menasha, WI: George Banta Publishing, p. 43, retrieved 2008-06-18 
  9. ^ Baird, William Raimond (1920), Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities (9th ed.), New York: James T. Brown, p. v, retrieved 2008-06-17 
  10. ^ Schackner, Bill (2000-08-18). "Fraternity houses turn off the taps and sober up". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  11. ^ "Smoking Ban", The Chronicle of Higher Education, 52 (38): A28, May 26, 2006 
  12. ^ Newsroom, IU Bloomington. "New Fiji house going up, taking shape". 
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  14. ^ "Pi Beta Phi House". 
  15. ^ "Delta Upsilon Fraternity House – LayneCo Construction Services". lcsconstruct.com. 
  16. ^ "New University of Alabama house largest in sorority's national history". 
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  27. ^ "TreanorHL". www.treanorarchitects.com. 
  28. ^ "Beacon - Story County, IA / City of Ames". beaconbeta.schneidercorp.com. 
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  37. ^ "Projects - Category: Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity House - Compton Construction Corporation". comptonconstruction.com. 
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  40. ^ "Two Fraternity Houses Celebrated on Campus This Weekend". 
  41. ^ [16][dead link]
  42. ^ "Fraternities rehabbing, rebuilding houses with newest touches on UI campus". 
  43. ^ "The House | Sigma Chi at UNM". unmsigmachi.com. Retrieved 2018-02-28. 
  44. ^ [17][dead link]
  45. ^ "Fraternity right at home in church". 
  46. ^ "ucsae.org". www.ucsae.org. 
  47. ^ "University of Arkansas Kappa Sigma Fraternity House - Kinco Constructors". 
  48. ^ "Sigma Nu - Beta Tau - Beta Tau Chapter House". www.ncsusigmanu.com. 
  49. ^ "The House at Kappa Sigma - Delta Delta (UF)". www.kappasigmauf.com. 
  50. ^ "Phi Gamma Delta moves into new housing". The Polytechnic. 
  51. ^ "Quarterly Spring 2016".