Greek Initiative is gaining ground
February 8, 2013
Courtesy of Jeff Rankin - The Greek Initiative started with the house that currently houses Alpha Xi Delta.
Two Greek buildings on campus stand out in contrast with one another. Those two buildings are the new Alpha Xi Delta house and the Fraternity Complex. These two buildings are at the core of recent discussions about the reinstatement of the Greek Initiative.
The Greek Initiative started with the reinstatement of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity in 2008. Then in 2009, the College Board approved the construction of a commercial grade Victorian style house on the former Zeta Beta Tau house site. One of the factors leading to the construction was that the sororities had never had a house of their own. It was then determined Alpha Xi Delta was to occupy the first house built. The plan was, and still is according to President Ditzler, that ZBT will one day take residence in the house, but only once a similar house is constructed for Alpha Xi. The initiative was moving forward as Kappa Kappa Gamma, Alpha Tau Omega and Pi Beta Phi were installed into former residential houses. During this period, FIJI was added. Planning with the initiative began to wane mainly because the administration focused their resources on the construction of the Center for Science and Business, but, one of the original factors, the rise of the student population, had begun to subside.
At the September 24 meeting of the Associated Students of Monmouth College (ASMC), a motion was brought forward to reinstate the Greek Initiative by Anthony Larios of Sigma Phi Epsilon. The objective is to give Greek organizations the ability to fundraise and work with campus development committees in order to obtain housing.
“The executive officers of ASMC have been working with the Senators and Presidents of the Greek organizations to draft a letter to President Ditzler,” said ASMC President Kathryn Shipp. “Last week we presented President Ditzler with the letter and met with him to discuss the initiative.”
The letter outlines the reasons as to why the Greek Initiative, specifically in regards to housing, should be reinstated. Two of the reasons for the original Greek initiative appear: the worsening state of the Fraternity Complex and the desire to maintain the aesthetic appeal of the college’s neighborhood.
Some Greeks will be in better position than others to fundraise for a new house, but there are other issues such as finding land or a current house for sale. According to President Ditzler, the Alpha Xi house was constructed using commercial building standards, resulting in a two million dollar total cost of the house. Raising funds from alumni will be a task each Greek organization will have to do in order to receive a house. However, President Ditzler acknowledged that in approximately ten years, the Fraternity Complex will be torn down. This has prompted him to include Greek housing onto his list of future construction plans for Monmouth College.