When members of Kappa Theta Psi arrive on campus next semester,they will be moving into one of Simpson’s theme houses, a verydifferent building than the one they currently occupy.
The fraternity has been in its current building for over 24years, but members are excited about moving to the duplex locatedat 901 N. E Street.
“Having a smaller house in different location is going to begood for us in a lot of ways,” said Matt Edwards, senior and formerpresident of Kappa Theta Psi.
The fraternity signed their new housing contract in Januaryafter lengthy discussions within their house and with StudentDevelopment.
“I can’t predict the future, but I think this is a positive movefor them right now and I’m excited for them,” said Nicole Stumo,the assistant director of student activities.
Stumo said any rumors about the college forcing Kappa Theta Psiout of their current building were false.
The fraternity approached Student Development in the fall tofind out if it was possible for them to move, and this is thedecision they reached.
“We’re here to promote the entire Greek community,” said Stumo.”We want Kappa Theta Psi to be part of that community and this is away to help them out, not a way to remove them from campus.”
Kappa Theta Psi’s current building will house first-yearstudents next year according to Stephanie Krauth, the associatedean of students.
The building will be either co-ed or entirely male.
It will return to its pre-Kappa Theta Psi name of Worth House,and will undergo extensive renovations this summer, along withAlpha Tau Omega and Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s buildings.
Krauth said the college has considered the implications ofputting freshmen near the fraternity houses.
“We’re worried about that,” said Krauth, “but we had to find away to house everybody comfortably and this is what we’ll have todo for the upcoming year.”
Junior Dan Saar, president of Alpha Tau Omega, said havingfreshmen next door could be good for recruitment, but he also saw apotential problem in the situation.
“It could help recruitment to have freshmen so accessible tous,” said Saar. “But I hope the college doesn’t blame us if theyget busted for something in their own house. As long as they’reunder control, I think it can work out well as far as recruitmentgoes.”
Saar said the Greek community was supportive of Kappa ThetaPsi’s decision to move.
“We really would like to see each other succeed as much aspossible,” said Saar. “Although there’s some competition, we reallydo want to foster a positive environment for everyone.”
Krauth said it was impossible to predict whether Kappa Theta Psicould move back to a larger house in the future.
“It was easy to find a smaller house for them because themehouses are reassigned each year,” said Krauth. “We just can’t sayfor sure that there will be a bigger house for them in the future.It depends on how many students we’d be displacing.”
Edwards suggested that the fraternity isn’t limited to just onehouse and that a second small house may be an option later on.
“Right now we’re just focusing on making the new house our own,”said Edwards. “Hopefully we can grow beyond the physicalelement.”
Kappa Theta Psi is looking into costs of landscaping in thefront yard, building a deck on the back of the house and doing someminor decorating of the interior.
They will be putting their Greek letters outside the house aswell.
Kappa Theta Psi has chosen to move for a several reasons,including relationships within the house, recruitment andfinances.
Edwards said living in a house environment instead of a dormwould be better for the fraternity as a whole.
“No one really likes the place we have now,” said Edwards. “Ourcommon areas aren’t exactly social areas. I think everybody islooking for a home instead of a physical structure, it’ll create acloser-knit group.”
Edwards added that the smaller house would give members moreliving options.
“Not everybody wants to live in the house,” said Edwards. “If wehave a smaller base its good because as we grow people can live inthe apartments if they want to.”
Aside from being a local instead of a national fraternity,living in a different location will set Kappa Theta Psi apart fromSimpson’s other fraternities.
Edwards hopes this will boost recruitment.
“Last year when guys came through [recruitment] the last groupwas a lot smaller than the first one,” said Edwards. “Guys don’twant to go see the same house over and over again, so being off thepath in a different house will at least encourage them to give us alook.”
“I think they’ll have a niche on campus in terms of thefraternity world,” she said.
All Greek organizations living in Simpson-owned buildings signthe same housing contract.
The contract requires the fraternity or sorority to fill 75percent of the occupancy of their house.
Krauth says the contract is designed to encourage Greek membersto live in their houses.
“That’s part of the whole experience,” said Krauth.
The occupancy of the future Kappa Theta Psi house is only 16, soat least 12 members will have to live in it next year. According toEdwards, the fraternity will have 15 returning members, so reaching75 percent of the house’s occupancy will not be a problem.
Krauth said the fraternity’s housing contract was exactly thesame except for the address on it.
In addition to the better situation with the housing contract,Kappa Theta Psi’s insurance will be cut almost in half by moving toa smaller house.
“Turning around a deficit into a positive is a great bonus forus,” said Edwards.
The contract Kappa Theta Psi signed in January is for 10years.
“We’ve looked at this decision long and hard,” said Edwards. “Ithink it’s going to work out for the best.”