View Full Version : From the dorms/apts to the house

05-31-2007, 10:31 PM
I've never lived in the dorms, and the sorority I pledged didn't have a house when I was around...so I am confused about a couple of things.

My understanding is that dorms make students sign either a 9 month contract or a 12 month one, just like most apartments. And some fraternities and sororities require members to live in the house, right? Even if it is not required, one would rather live in the house instead of the dorms, I assume.

So, someone rushes and gets a bid and joins an organization...what happens? Does the student stay in the dorms until the 9/12 months are up? Can they get a written excuse from the sorority/fraternity allowing them move out the dorms or apartment and into the house right away?

05-31-2007, 10:47 PM
So, someone rushes and gets a bid and joins an organization...what happens? Does the student stay in the dorms until the 9/12 months are up? Can they get a written excuse from the sorority/fraternity allowing them move out the dorms or apartment and right into the house right away?

At my school, the new member would complete her dorm contract and move into the house next year.

My school required all students to live in the dorms for at least 2 years (freshman & sophomore yr), but one of the exceptions to this rule was if the student was moving into an official fraternity/sorority house. So if you got a bid to a sorority, you'd finish out the year in the dorms, fill out an exemption form at Residence Life, and move in next year.

We didn't have a specific class year that you HAD to live in (as long as you lived in at some point before senior year), so if you really wanted to, you could spend the mandatory 2 years in the dorms and move into the house for your junior year. Nobody ever wanted to do that because by that time you're usually 21 & ready to get an apartment. So most girls just got an exemption and lived in early on.

05-31-2007, 11:49 PM
At my school, joining a fraternity/sorority is not a valid reason to be released from your housing contract. "Sophomores" (Second year members)/executive council are required to live in the house and at that point, they don't have to deal with switching housing. If you pledge any year other than freshman, the following year you are required to live in the house (if there is any space left for you after the true sophomores). If you choose not to, as a sophomore, 2nd year, or exec and there are still spaces left, the fee for the spaces available will be divided between everyone who is supposed to live there.

Not everyone wants to live in the house. It's a constant source of noise and distraction, but at the same time you have a lot of your sisters/brothers right there to hang out with, and it's (usually) nicer than a lot of dorms and very competitively priced.

06-01-2007, 03:06 AM
At my school you can break lease at semester to move into the chapter house with no penalty.

If there is space on bid day, office of greek life and the university will allow you to move 3 women in for free, and after than, the chapter must pay the breakage fee (which is supposed to be ridiculous this year. sigh.)

06-01-2007, 08:03 AM
We had the manditory freshman & sophmore year in a dorm rule, however sorority and fraternity houses were exempt. So usually sophmores moved into the house along with those exec. offices that required you to live-in. However since about half the new member classes were sophmores, there were always several non-exec juniors in the house. I lived in my junior year and didn't hold a major office.
If a spot opened up in the house (for example we had two members study abroad for spring quarter) then it was offered to sophmores living in the dorms. Residence life would let sophmores out of their contracts, but not freshman. If someone moved out of the house and we couldn't fill the spot, then the person that moved out was responsible for paying for the spot.

06-01-2007, 07:07 PM
This is a good question that I have always wondered about! My chapter doesn't have a house, but I have always thought about. I have a friend who was an ADPi that moved into her Chapter house at UF her second semester, but I guess that is a school thing.

06-01-2007, 07:13 PM
My freshman year, the res halls were so overcrowded that they let us break contracts to move into the house mid-year. Normally, though, you can only break it if you are taking a spot in the house from someone who is leaving for a valid reason (graduation, study abroad, coop, medical, etc.).

ETA: My understanding was that if you wanted to move from the house to the dorm, the reverse applied.

06-01-2007, 07:55 PM
If I remember correctly, University of Washington women may break their dorm contracts if they are accepted into a sorority prior to school starting. I think the school works cooperatively with the sororities regarding housing arrangements.

aephi alum
06-01-2007, 08:21 PM
Back in the day, you weren't locked into a dorm contract until after fall rush. If you pledged a fraternity or independent living group (most of which are coed fraternities), you moved straight into the house. Only one sorority had a house (and it was big), so if you joined that sorority, you spent your freshman year in the dorms and then moved to the house... if you joined a different sorority, you could expect to stay in the dorms.

Now, freshmen are required to live in the dorms. If you pledge during your freshman year, you can move into the house at the start of your sophomore year. People who pledge during sophomore year or later usually finish out their pledge semester in the dorm, and then move into the house, or not.

06-01-2007, 09:45 PM
We had big houses, so we were required to live in all 3 years starting with soph. year. We had large chapters, but we also had a lot of Lincoln girls who didn't live in, so EVERYBODY had to live in. You could move out if you were an "academic redshirt" (5th year senior). The only way you could get out of living in the house was if you got married or went alum...which at that time was not easy to do. I was an upperclassman pledge and they made me move in at the semester, which did not make my apt. roommates very happy. I had to pay my share of the rent there as well. For fraternities, we had (and still have) summer rush, so housing allowed/allows guys to break their housing contract by a certain date and freshmen fraternity guys move right into the house before school starts. My husband's fraternity was really big back when we were in school, so they had two fraternity houses and two annexes and a few guys living out of the house.

At my daughter's school, their houses only sleep 25-35 girls, so not everybody can live in (and not everybody wants to either). Housing will only allow a contract to be broken midyear if the student is one of four positions in a sorority or fraternity--ie kitchen manager, house manager, etc.. She was one of the few sophs who got a spot, and once you get a spot you always have one. She will be living in until she graduates because it is cheaper than the dorms and it's right in the middle of campus. I think at UGA everybody lives in sophomore year (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). I think housing is tight, and I know a lot of schools guarantee housing for freshmen and sophomores, so perhaps this is why? Just speculation on my part.

I liked living in the house--I didn't like moving everything out into the hallway every semester and switching rooms, and when we moved into this old house I told my husband taking a shower here was like living in the Kappa house all over again....."FLUSH!" But the positives far outweighed the negatives, IMO.

06-01-2007, 11:21 PM
The sororities at my school had 16-bed townhouses. Even though our chapters were tiny since ceiling was 50, it wasn't that hard to fill the house and I don't recall anyone being "forced" to live in. At CMU, the Greek Housing was owned by the university, However, you couldn't go through the dorm room draw if you were living in the house.

The sororities at D's school can house about 30. The pledge classes themselves are about 30-40 so girls who want the "house" experience live in sophomore year. Again, the school owns the houses but you can do the dorm roomhousing draw even if you are living in the sorority house.

Sister Havana
06-02-2007, 02:06 AM
At IU, formal rush is in spring and women generally moved into the sorority houses the following fall. Not sure how it worked for the men.

06-02-2007, 10:32 AM
At UGA, sororities requires girls to live in the house for one "year" (fall/spring semesters). Most girls do this during their sophomore years or second years in the chapter so they can live out their current leases or dorm contracts before moving in.

When I was an undergrad, we had a girl move into the house second semester and she was not penalized for breaking her dorm contract, but that wasn't the norm and was based on extenuating roommate circumstances, so I don't know that they'd approve it for a NM who just randomly wanted to move out of the dorms.

06-02-2007, 11:20 AM
most often, the sorority houses are full before the next school year begins, because contracts are signed some time during the early part of the spring semester and filling the house is key. the house cannot function in a deficit situation.

at fsu, new members would be locked in for the school year to wherever they had arranged to live-apartments or dorms, but that is good because the houses are full. the chapters at fsu are so big now that there is a lottery of sorts to determine who will get to live in the house. it is based on gpa, if the girl is an officer or chairman, points, class, etc. some girls might not ever get to live in, or they might choose not to. i think that you miss out on a lot if you don't live in the house. you are right in the thick of everything, have three square meals a day-well, okay not on the weekends,(although some houses had sunday dinner around 1 pm) but you get my drift.

in my chapter, back in the day, all executive officers were required to live in the house. next required were sophomores, then juniors and if all the spaces were filled , seniors could live out, then juniors, then sophomores. i lived in the house sophomore, junior and senior years(I was on exec. jr. and sr. years), and practically lived there my freshman year unofficially because my dorm roommate and i did not get along very well.

my daughter was so excited when she learned that she would be able to live in her house in the fall. some of her pledge sisters were not as lucky. her house holds over 100, but her chapter is about 150, so obviously everyone won't get to live in.

same with my friends daughter who is a zeta at u of florida. she was sweating whether or not she would be able to live in this coming year, but it did work out for her and she will be in the house.

living in the house is fun. i hope that everyone who has the opportunity to do so, will do so!

06-02-2007, 02:46 PM
When I first started school at Iowa State in 1997, a few new members would move in shortly after Bid Day, a few would move in at semester, and the rest of the new member class would move in the following fall. Capacity ranged from 50 to 70, so there were usually a few spots available for new members. We were required to live in for 3 years, so if you moved in your freshman year, you would be able to experience apartment living during your senior year. A student moving out of the residence hall during the first few weeks of school would have to pay a few hundred dollars to break their contract and the sororities would pay half of that fee.

I absolutely loved living in my sorority house and wouldn't trade that experience for anything. I never understood why women would suspend their membership just so they could move out early and live in an apartment or with their boyfriend. You have plenty of time to live in apartments (and the rest of your life to live with significant others) after college, in my opinion.