Chi Omega members move into former AEPi house
Electrical problems have prompted a 'revamp' of the Chi O chapter house
January 8, 2013, 9:43 pm·
Amanda Suarez | DP
The Chi Omega chapter house is empty.
Over winter break, the leaders of Chi O were informed of underlying electrical issues in their chapter house on 3926 Spruce St. This forced them to temporarily relocate to the former chapter house of fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, located at 4035 Walnut St.
“The choice of the temporary space was made by University officials because it was available and allowed the residents of Chi Omega to remain together,” Executive Director of Vice Provost for University Life Facilities Thomas Hauber said in an email.
A few days after Christmas, Chi O leaders received an email from their advisors at VPUL and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life alerting them to the electrical problem and outlining the new housing arrangements. “It wasn’t completely urgent, but for safety reasons they wanted to address it,” said College senior Katie Rymal, Chi O recruitment chair.
According to Rymal, while fixing outlets in the house over winter break, VPUL Facilities discovered that the wiring system was old and could potentially cause some problems.
VPUL Facilities plans to rewire the whole house.
“It was portrayed to us that it was imperative for us to move out,” Rymal said, but exactly when the sisters will be able to return to their house is currently unclear.
“That’s an ongoing conversation we’re going to have with VPUL and OFSL,” said Wharton junior Brigitte Ehman, incoming president of Chi O.
Hauber estimates that the repairs will take several weeks to complete.
Aside from addressing the electrical issue, Ehman said that this has now become a “revamp situation,” and that the University is making other improvements.
“Not every part of the house was a problem, but they’re going to give us all new wires and also new carpeting,” Rymal said.
Rymal also praised VPUL and OFSL for their consistent support and assistance in organizing the logistics of the move. “The transition has been as smooth as could’ve been expected,” she said.
According to Rymal, advisors within both offices have helped facilitate the moving process and are even assisting with small details, like hanging their composite photos in their new temporary home.
“It’s stressful for the girls that live in the house to move so unexpectedly, but they’re taking it really well,” she added.
Ehman pointed out that there are even a few perks to relocating to the old AEPi house.
One such perk is that there are more available bedrooms, meaning that more students may now live in single rooms. In addition, she says the house’s convenient location will be helpful during recruitment, which begins tonight.
Neither Ehman nor Rymal believe that this housing issue will have a negative impact on the recruitment process.
“The houses show the personality of the chapter, so that’s something we’ll miss,” Rymal said, but she’s confident that prospective new members will still be able to get a feel for the Chi O house from the pictures and posters that will be on display.
Additionally, College senior Alex Enny, vice president of recruitment for the Panhellenic Council, says that the house shouldn’t be a major factor in the recruitment process.
“Although chapter houses are important as a physical location in which to house recruitment the process stresses the idea of looking for relationship and personality fit rather than judging a chapter by the decorations in their house,” she said in an email.
Rymal and Ehman agree that Chi O is excited to meet the prospective new members, regardless of the address of their rush events.
“I think we’re over the hurdle,” Ehman said. “Everything is moved in, and we’re ready for recruitment.”