Greek Life Office reclaims House 1

| Editor in Chief

House 1 on Upper Fraternity Row will once again change hands between Residential Life and the Greek Life Office (GLO). But instead of housing fraternity members, House 1 will become the home of both Greek and non-Greek women.

This fall’s situation is the result of a lengthy conversation that began last spring when Greek leaders and the Campus Life Office considered turning House 1 into a “panhellenic house” that would house four or five members of each of the University’s seven sororities.

The building was formerly occupied by the fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu. After chapter residence was taken away in the fall of 2009, the house was turned over to Residential Life and became part of the Village Residential College. This year, House 1 was home to the “Sports Enthusiasts Bloc,” nicknamed “Phi Slamma Jamma” by its residents.

Mike Hayes, the executive director of Campus Life and director of the GLO, said that the GLO’s decision to reclaim the house was financially motivated.

“The reality of it is that we lose money when ResLife takes over the houses,” he said.

But with no eligible fraternities, the GLO sought an alternative means of filling the house.

“They wanted to turn House 1 into a Greek living situation for women,” said sophomore Becca Craig, the Greek Week Chair for the Women’s Panhellenic Association (Panhel). “If we could put sorority women to live in it before the return back to a fraternity, why wouldn’t we?” Hayes said.

Though most of the house’s future residents are Greek, some will not be.

“Some people signed up and got a double, and then they made their roommate someone non-Greek,” Hayes said.

And though the house is “panhellenic” in the sense that it will house members of multiple sororities, it will not officially be affiliated with Panhel.

Interest in living in the house, which can hold up to 35 residents, piqued after this year’s round of Residential Life housing selection, according to Craig.

“I think interest really went up after the housing selection process … a lot of girls who may not have gotten their first choice in Reslife ended up wanting to live in [House 1],” she said.

Hayes said that the GLO had not seriously thought about giving residency in the house to an individual sorority, especially because Sigma Alpha Mu is aiming to re-establish occupancy.

“We were not going to be in a position to put a sorority chapter [in] for a year and say a year from now, oh wait, a fraternity’s moving back,” he said.

Hayes said that the Greek leaders and the Campus Life Office had largely vetoed the notion of an individual sorority house because it would have required a lengthy selection and application process for the University’s seven sororities.

Sign up for the email edition

Stay up to date with everything happening as Washington University returns to campus.