Greek Acquisition Negotiations Continue

“The United States government can’t just say ‘Give us the house your grandfather built, or you can’t be a US citizen anymore’,” junior Mike Chase said. As a brother of Delta Upsilon, Chase expressed his frustration at Colgate University’s current goal to acquire all Greek-letter houses as part of the new residential education plan. The plan, introduced in July 2003, requires that beginning in fall 2005, all Colgate students reside in University-owned housing. Accordingly, Colgate has expressed its desire to purchase all Greek-letter houses. The Residential Education plan proposes the creation of the Broad Street Community, developing a self-governing living community for juniors and seniors across the street from campus. This community is set to include both Greek-letter organizations and theme houses. “Most of our currently recognized Greek-letter organizations have entered into negotiations for the sale of their properties,” Dean of the College Adam Weinberg wrote in a September 7 email to the student body entitled Joining Greek-letter organizations in aTtransition Year. “Only one currently active Greek-letter organization, Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE), has opted not to negotiate with the University concerning sale of their property and we therefore assume that they will not be joining the Broad Street community.” DKE Vice President Angus Smith called Weinberg’s memo a “negotiation tactic.””The wording is technically correct – ‘sale’ – but we have been one of the more active chapters [in negotiations],” Smith said. “We’ve been involved in negotiations for over a year and spearheaded a lease-negotiation. The school led us on; they seemed to be favoring the proposal but ended up rejecting it.”Financial Vice President and Treasurer of the University Dave Hale conceded that DKE had indeed been involved in negotiations since the fall of 2003. “We’ve had a lot of productive discussions,” Hale said. “We remain optimistic that DKE will negotiate a sale but haven’t received confirmation yet. We haven’t received the non-binding agreement to negotiate [a sale].” According to Hale, the sale of the Greek-letter houses to the University is the only way for a residential fraternity or sorority to maintain University recognition and continue to recruit new members from Colgate students.”It’s aggressive,” Hale said, “but we’re hoping to complete sales by November 30 for all Greek organizations.”Many members of the fraternities and sororities, however, feel that the sale of the Greek-letter houses will lead to the demise of the Greek system at Colgate.”Everything is speculative,” President of Phi Delta Theta, senior Dave Hosford, said. “The administration claims almost nothing will change; however, our undergraduates and alumni don’t feel that is accurate. I’m afraid it will be theme houses with Greek letters and no sense of tradition.”DKE President Sean Logue remains optimistic about the future of his fraternity.”DKE will be here next year through one means or another,” he said. “Dean Weinberg’s assumption is false. We have every intention of being here for many years.”The Student Government Association (SGA) recognizes what a difficult and complex process this change over is.”The process continues to be a difficult one,” SGA President senior Ram Parimi and Vice-president senior Casey McCormack said in an email on Thursday. “The SGA will be conducting a forum in coordination with the Alumni Inter Fraternity and Sorority Council, the administration, IFC, FSMA, Panhellenic Association, and most importantly, the students [to discuss the negotiations].””We’ve been working really hard,” Hale said. “We’ve made progress…we can’t guarantee it, but we hope to get to [a positive resolution].”