Fraternities return to campus, construction begins for new houses

Kathryn Nicolai, Contributing Writer

 

The week of Aug. 12 marked the beginning of construction for two new affinity houses on campus located next to the Lambda Chi Alpha (LXA) and Kappa Delta Rho’s (KDR) houses neighboring the South Campus Apartments. The project includes the two buildings, new parking spaces, an expansion to a water management rain garden, and steps to connect the new areas with the nearby apartments. The newly constructed houses are expected to mirror the structure of LXA and KDR’s buildings. The contract completion date for both houses is scheduled for July 2017, allowing residents to move in the following Fall 2017 semester.

Executive Director for Facilities Mike Patterson confirmed that one of the houses under construction is designated for Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE), a fraternity that has not been present at the University for approximately five years that is currently in the process of becoming reinstated on campus. Patterson also confirmed the second building will house Delta Upsilon (DU), should they see a return to campus. DU was last on campus during the 2014-2015 academic year. The fraternity suffered from low class sizes and eventually lacked enough members to continue as an active chapter at the University.

Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Ashley Rastetter explained that SAE began the process of recolonization at the University in Spring 2016 and participated in formal recruitment this fall, adding a new class of 18 members.

“Their colonization process takes approximately 12-16 months for their organization to be established as a chartered fraternity within their national organization. Until this time, they are still considered a colony through the Interfraternity Council,” Rastetter said.

Vice President of Public Relations of the University’s Interfraternity Council, Brady Clapp ’17, anticipated SAE to expand its membership this spring.

“This is a great development for the fraternity and sorority community here at Bucknell. It goes to show the commitment that the University has not only to Greek life but to residential education in general. With these two houses not only will this area of campus be more active and vibrant, it will make the fraternity and sorority community as a whole stronger and more engaged,” Clapp said.

Both SAE and DU’s previous fraternity houses on campus are being repurposed by the University. SAE’s former house on St. George Street was transformed into the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Affinity House and the University has plans to use DU’s former house as space for its Humanities Center.

“As a result, and because of long-standing leases we have with both fraternities, we’re obligated to provide housing similar to what they last occupied,” Patterson said.

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