How Do You Say “Buy” In Greek?

Conor Fitzgerald

Colgate University’s plan to buy the houses of fraternities and sororities and incorporate them into the Broad Street Community, as outlined in the 2003 plan by the Board of Trustees titled A New Vision for Residential Education, has proceeded rather smoothly. All fraternities and sororities, with the exception of Alpha Tau Omega, Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) and Kappa Delta Rho, which was suspended indefinitely last year, have agreed to sell their houses to the University. The plan for the Greek acquisition by the University has created controversy around campus since the plan was unveiled in 2003. Many individuals feared that fraternities and sororities would lose their identities and tradition if they lost control of their houses and became members of the Broad Street Community. Others argue that the school has been forced to take action against some fraternities that have repeatedly violated their charter. These individuals believe that incorporating sororities and fraternities into the Broad Street Community would improve residential life for all Colgate students. Since the Board of Trustees unveiled the plan in 2003 to buy the Greek houses, the University has worked to purchase Greek houses and appears poised to implement the Board’s plan by the 2005 school year. “[I am] pleased to report that the alumni/ae leaders of most of the active fraternities and sororities that own or control houses have agreed to the university’s purchase offers,” Chairmen of the Board of Trustees John Golden said in an e-mail sent to the Colgate community on December 9, 2004. “Those house leaders will be working with their alumni/ae members to gain the ratification necessary over the next four months to make the transition to university ownership, enabling fraternities and sororities to continue as an important residential option for our students.” In his e-mail, Golden also said that fraternities and sororities that have sold their houses and remain in good standing can occupy their respective houses next semester. However, those who have not sold their houses will not be allowed to provide housing for students next fall, and the University will withdraw recognition of their chapters. The University’s plan to buy the Greek houses continues to meet fierce resistance among some Greek organizations, and there is some lingering dissatisfaction over how the situation was handled. “As an organization, we understand that the school feels as though by buying the houses they will be able to improve the quality of the living environments, and the safety of their students,” President of DKE junior Sam Higgins said. “With the things that have happened with hazing incidents around the country, the school feels like they’ve been put in a bind where they need to take some of the responsibility away from the houses and onto their shoulders.” Despite opposition, the University seems likely to buy out the Greek houses next fall as planned. “I am really pleased with the process and the outcome,” Dean of the College Adam Weinberg said. “We are very excited about the future.” Weinberg noted that while more work needs to be done, he fully expects ratification. “At this point, there is a lot of good will and a commitment from both Colgate and the fraternity and sorority alumni corporations to getting ratification successfully completed,” he said. “It’s great to see that amidst all of the controversy, the sales are going relatively smoothly,” Delta Delta Delta president junior Lauren Mondrone said. “I am hoping that Tri Delta will become a more active member of the Broad Street Community in the near future.”