Thoughts to challenge, celebrate, and elevate the college fraternity and sorority.
It was kinda tough not to vote for "a house is detrimental..." Having lived in a chapter house, traveled to chapters with and without, worked on campuses with and without and - most notably - worked on a campus where the University made a controversial decision to go non-residential, I've developed a few opinions :).What I've come to decided is that this is an area where - in theory - the NPC groups have it right. Alcohol free. Private residential space. Open public space. Employ house directors. Empower and expect a lot from alumni house corporations, and do not let said house corp double (or pretend to) as the chapter advisory team. My 2 cents.
Well, my two cents...i think a house helps with the bonding, have a place to gather, meetings, etc. However, the problem is the governing of the house is not strictly followed, or non-existing. the 'debbie downers' of the organization speaking of logic, morality, integrity, responsibility, and accountability are looked over for the 'its okay no one will get hurt, or we will take care of each other' but something happens the reality hits; when we party no one is taking care of anyone, or stopping the group from going too far. It becomes a group-think tank where everyone goes along, to get along...So, yes to the house if governed with accountability and responsibility, otherwise, no...I believe it can be done, but I do not believe most want to put the work in to get it done.
I voted for housing not being essential, because I work with chapters who are incredibly strong without having a house. However I think housing can occur without a physical house. I had an excellent experience with my undergraduate chapter living in the wing of a dorm. We lived and worked together as we would in a house, but had the luxury of still being close to the action and not having to manage our property. We had a chapter room for meetings in the basement. I have never looked back and wished that I had the experience of a house, because I DO feel like I had that experience.
I don't think a house is necessary. Sure, its nice to have those letters on the front of the house, but I think what makes the experience is the people that you pledge with, that become your brothers and sisters. I didn't have a house as an undergraduate, and I think my experience was pretty good. I've had friends who have had houses and had terrible experiences.
Excuse me if it sounds cliche. I feel that its not where you are that will build you and the people around you. Yes, it is nice and convenient to live close to all your brothers and you will be forced to discover some things that you never knew before. This situation is kind of forcing all these positive aspects of brotherhood though. I enjoy the brotherhood where we work to discover things about one another. I enjoy when a brother calls his brother to hangout intentially to learn things that he would have been forced to learn if he lived in the same house. Occassionally (without sounding too feminine) a sleep over could even be beneficial. I guess what I am mainly getting at is that a house is nice but not a necessity. I just enjoy the effort of trying to become a closer brother rather than being forced.