A decision by Sewanee’s Office of Residential Life to move up the deadline to apply for housing in sororities and theme houses is worrying students and student groups, with sororities especially concerned about the impact on the University’s rush schedule.
A sorority member who spoke on condition of anonymity said the changes have raised concerns among sororities and their potential new members, who face the potential of having to declare an interest in living in a Sorority house before becoming a full organization member.
“Residential Life understands that it takes a while for sororities to adjust their contracts in order to accommodate for this change, especially national sororities,” said Director of Residential Life Casey Kreger
Pushback over the schedule change began at the end of last semester when Residential Life initially moved up dates for sororities to submit their housing rosters. Sororities have been most affected by the earlier than normal deadline because fraternities own their own houses and do not have to go through the same process of submitting their house rosters through the University. The new schedule requires sororities to make changes to their contracts, such as holding earlier elections for executive positions, which is an especially difficult process for national sororities.
According to this source, Greek organizations met with Director of Greek Life Donald Abels and Residential Life staff and reached a compromise date slightly later in the semester, and specifically rush process, for sororities.
Casey Kreger, Sewanee’s new Director of Residential Life as of last March, said the change was made in order to “make things more efficient” for the University’s student housing. He said the transition was made because it had been confusing last year to have application dead- lines for theme housing and the lottery running on the same timeline.
Kreger said his office responded after receiving pushback. He said the sororities raised concerns with Director of Greek Like Donald Abels, who came to Residential Life and helped them to create a compromise of the date Mar. 24 for Greek life housing rosters.
Kreger says that Residential Life’s goal is “transparency across all organizations,” and to “listen to students,” which they aimed to do with this agreement. Kreger says that “Residential Life understands that it takes a while for sororities to adjust their contracts in order to accommodate for this change, especially national sororities.”
In the future, Residential Life plans on keeping this earlier signup date, and possibly even moving it up a couple of weeks earlier. However, he says that Residential Life plans on giving organizations more time to accommodate for this change in the future. He added that his office would encourage organizations to begin marketing their themes housing and organizations even earlier.
At least for this spring semester, the deadline for themed houses this year is Feb. 16, and for sororities the deadline is Mar. 24 Students hope that as far as housing is concerned, in the words of Casey Kreger, this change makes things more “efficient” and personifies the student involvement and transparency that Sewanee’s Residential Life is hoping to accomplish.