The former Psi Upsilon fraternity house, central to the diversity on the Walk debate as the only vacant structure in the middle of campus, is likely to remain empty next semester. President Sheldon Hackney said in September that the house, located at 36th Street and Locust Walk, would be occupied by January. But Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson said this week that it will be difficult to fill the house because officials have not yet chosen future residents and that repair work has not begun. "We haven't ruled it out, but it would be difficult," Morrisson said this week. "There is a significant amount of work in terms of clean up in order to make it livable for people again." Several diversity on the Walk committee members said they are angry that the spacious building will not be used at all this school year, saying there would not have been a problem if the committee had met earlier in the semester. Morrisson said she does not know what type of group she wants to occupy the house, but she said earlier this month that she has received several letters from student and academic organizations requesting to move in. The house has remained vacant since Morrisson suspended the Psi Upsilon fraternity, known as the Castle, last May for planning and executing the January kidnapping of a Delta Psi fraternity brother. (****EDS NOTE: CLARIFICATION: THE General Counsel's office disputes the claim by a Psi Upsilon attorney that the building will revert back to alumni control if not used for residential purposes) According to a 1938 lease agreement, University Trustees control the Castle house as long as it is used for residential purposes, Psi Upsilon attorney John Ledwith said yesterday. Before Psi Upsilon was kicked off campus, President Hackney announced that he planned to bring a greater residential mix to the fraternity-dominated campus thoroughfare. Hackney said this semester that the new residents of the Castle house will be non-Greek students to open the Walk to students who have not had the opportunity to reside along the campus' main artery. Morrisson, who co-chairs the diversity on the Walk committee, said that repair work on the house will begin as soon as the University determines what specifically needs to be done. (****EDS NOTE: CORRECTION - Erica Strohl is Women's allaince member, not chairperson.) "I think if students push to try to use the Castle for something, it could be used," College senior Strohl said. And committee member Nalini Samuel said she thinks the diversity on the Walk committee should "get on the ball" and decide what to do with the house so it will not remain empty next semester. "One of the purposes of the committee is to decide what to do with the Castle," United Minorities Council Chairperson Samuel said. Materials Science and Engineering Professor David Pope, the other co-chairperson of the Walk committee, said yesterday that leaving the Castle vacant next semester will give committee members more time to discuss potential residents and to give recommendations to VPUL Morrisson. Graduate representative to the committee Susan Garfinkel said yesterday that the Castle plays an important role because "it touches very close to the issue of what to do about fraternity houses on Locust Walk." Garfinkel, chairperson of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, said she thinks it is better that the University wait another semester before filling the house rather than act imprudently. "I wouldn't want the University to put someone in hastily and then regret the decision after hearing the recommendations of the committee," Garfinkel said.Comments powered by Disqus
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