BOR discusses possibility of new Greek Village

Amy Poppinga

Amy Poppinga

An initiative to allow the construction of new Greek housing passed its first test on March 31 at the Board of Regents meeting.

The Board voted to draw up a lease with the South Dakota State College Development Association for the creation of a Greek Village on 4.7 acres near the Alpha Gamma Rho and Farmhouse fraternity houses.

“This is a huge accomplishment,” said Erin Kennedy, who is in charge of recruitment and programming for the Panhellenic Council and the Unified Greek Board. “Greeks have been fighting for this opportunity for a very long time.”

Due to the nature of today’s housing loans and a reversion clause in state law, Greek organizations have been unable to secure bank loans on their own. The SCDA – established in 1930 to support the growth and development of the college primarily through acquiring and developing real estate – has agreed to work with Greek organizations.

Three Greek chapters are currently interested in building new chapter houses. Sigma Alpha Epsilon lost its house in a recent fire, and Chi Omega has had its members stay in residence halls and apartments after the university purchased its house for construction of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science building Phase I. Alpha Xi Delta will have its house purchased by the university this spring for construction of Phase II of the EECS building.

Additionally, Ceres and Sigma Phi Epsilon could also construct new houses if appropriate lots became available, according to information provided to the Board.

“It’s not a want for Greek housing ? but a need,” Kennedy said. “To have that need met is an incredible accomplishment.”

SDSU plans to bring the lease to the Board for final approval at its May or June 2010 meeting. If the Board signs the lease, Marysz Rames, vice president for student affairs, said it would be one to two years before the chapter houses would be built and occupied. The Board’s recent decision, she said, just allows SDSU to move forward with the project.

“All this does is gives us an opportunity to continue the negotiations with the SCDA,” she said.