Greeks consider 'living in'
Chapter houses often a foster close community among organization members
November 28, 2011, 10:25 pm·
Henry Chang | DP
Living in a sorority house had never been a part of my college plans. I hadn’t even planned on joining a sorority. Before I came to college, I had a very negative impression of Greek life as my mind equated sorority houses with being run down, dirty and reeking of alcohol.
When I was eventually convinced to rush, I was surprised at how beautiful the sorority houses were. The other girls and I were repeatedly asked if we wanted to “live in.” Every time, I explained that I had already committed to live with other friends. Without being guaranteed a bid, we were all hesitant to commit.
When we were offered bids, there was the issue of roommates. Many girls were wary of planning to live with people they had known only for a few weeks.
Additionally, Penn’s on-campus housing deadline was a mere two weeks after the sorority house leases had to be signed. Few girls were willing to risk last minute decision-making that could land them in Hill College House or the Quad for their sophomore year.
There was also a huge variety in the sizes and atmospheres of the sorority houses. While some houses could accommodate 35 girls, others could only hold 16. Some had their own chef, while others shared with other Greek organizations.
Given these concerns, it is no surprise that some organizations had trouble filling their houses. Half an hour before my sorority president was scheduled to pick girls randomly to live in, I rearranged my housing plans and decided to live in the house.
Although I was initially concerned over my impulsive decision, I can safely say that I am happy with my choice. Being in the house has helped me become more involved in the sorority, which would not have been easy otherwise.
It has also brought me much closer to the girls in my pledge class and allowed me to meet new girls in the sorority. We have created a very home-like atmosphere that I am glad to return to night after night.
I have also saved money living in the house — rent is about $300 cheaper than other on-campus options.
Penn Greeks should not hesitate to live in their chapter houses. It is an experience only available during your college years and is key to keeping our Greek system strong.