Greek houses undergo renovations

By Carrie Gavit ’14 

It may not be exactly like home, but for students who join a fraternity or sorority, many of them believe it’s the next best thing. Members of Greek houses that have kitchens and chefs say part of the reason for this familial comfort is being able to sit down together and share a meal.

As of this semester, three more fraternities will be able to enjoy brotherly meals each night with the addition of brand new kitchens installed in their houses.

“I’m excited to get a kitchen (since) my favorite part of the renovation (will be) to eat in the house as brothers,” said senior Nick Ware, who’s a member of Phi Delta Theta. “I see it as a way to make the fraternity an even closer family than it already is … because it allows the brothers to spend more time together in a family-oriented situation.”

Within Hanover’s Greek system, the four sororities — Alpha Delta Pi, Chi Omega, Kappa Alpha Theta and Phi Mu — and the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity already eat each meal in their respective house instead of purchasing a meal plan to use the Campus Center, Underground or Shoebox. Both Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Chi are in the process of installing new kitchens, while Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) has just completed a new kitchen in their house.

Members from Phi Delta Theta said their kitchen project was taking longer than expected, but that they hope to have it fully functional soon. Sigma Chi’s kitchen, however, was up and running for the start of the school year.

“This summer we flipped our entire kitchen (which) was a major renovation,” said senior and Sigma Chi President Andy Orem. Acknowledging it a much-needed upgrade that will save the fraternity money in the long run, the brothers will also have access to higher-quality food due with fewer people to feed.

Orem also said the fraternity renovated its lobby, recreation room and basement two summers ago. He admitted the brothers’ least favorite part of the renovations was the stress of doing it all themselves, but added that they wanted a nicer place to live and a more welcoming environment for our guests.

“It keeps us competitive with the fellow fraternities on campus.”

In addition to a new kitchen, FIJI completed renovations on new bathrooms over the summer. According to senior Devon Sharpe, FIJI’s president, having the project completed by the start of the school year pleased the brothers.

“The bathroom was in desperate need of being renovated,” he said. “It was long overdue. The new bathrooms are much cleaner and nicer.” 

Money for both FIJI projects came from the fraternity’s housing corporation. Phi Delta Theta used house funds and alumni donations to pay for their new kitchen while Sigma Chi saved up the money needed to pay for theirs. With the addition of alumni donations, Sigma Chi completed the renovations on their own over the past summer.

Phi Mu set out to improve the appearance of their house, specifically the living room, in preparation for their 100-year anniversary on Hanover’s campus. The house wanted to present a more modern looking house for this celebration.

“The furniture and decorations allow the room to take on a more formal appearance that we will be happy to share with all the visitors we will have in the spring,” said senior Jennifer Dumaine, Phi Mu’s president.

The living room has new study carrels, more lighting and a projector installed on the ceiling, much to the approval of the sisters. Funds for the project came from the sorority’s housing corporation.

Dumaine said the space has become a better study environment with the addition of a wall, door and desks to act as study carrels. Each carrel has a light directly above it with a hook up for an Ethernet cable.

“It is a wonderful place to work on homework and study late at night,” she said. “I do not have a least favorite part of the renovations, I love it all!”

Alpha Delta Pi completed a new patio over the summer with funds from their house corporation, part of a five-year plan of refurbishment.

“I think it will be nice to have a patio because it is a good place to hang out with freshmen that come over,” said senior Anna Selby. “I also think it will be fun for the sisters to be able to spend time together outdoors without having to just sit in the grass.”

All agree their respective projects will strengthen the bonds of brother and sisterhood.

“These renovations will continue to benefit the girls of our house in years to come because of (their) promotion of academic excellence with the new study space and contribution to sisterhood,” said Dumaine. “The projector will allow us to watch movies or other television shows together in the comfort of our own home. We will be proud to show the living room off to our visitors for many years to come.”

Junior Carrie Gavit is from Fishers, Ind. An English major, she edits the Career Center newsletter and is co-president of People for Peace.