With enormous Greek letters propped outside the building walls and girls and guys in bright sweatshirts displaying their Greek letters, Arroyo Vista is home to several of UC Irvine’s Greek organizations, including eight Panhellenic sororities and four Interfraternity Council fraternities. However, with the multitude of Greek organizations on campus, the question of whether a chapter should and could have an on-campus house becomes pivotal, especially given the limited space in Arroyo Vista.
The Greek organizations that have houses in Arroyo Vista are blessed with convenience in a variety of ways.
Yoon Han, a third-year civil engineering major and member of Lambda Theta Delta fraternity, feels that having a house is beneficial for a variety of reasons, first and foremost for the convenience of rush.
‘Because we’re all in a central house, waking up really early for rush instead of coming from separate areas is easier. It makes us closer during rush. We’re one unit instead of having all this angst in the morning,’ Han explained, referring to the traditional early morning hours kept by each chapter in order to stake out by prime booth spots on Ring Road.
Another great benefit is recognizable in weekly meetings, during which members congregate in the main living room instead of having to reserve a room on campus. In addition to the ease of location, the house provides a storage area for traditional items that belong to the sorority or fraternity instead of occupying space in someone’s cramped apartment or car.
Recruitment week for Greek organizations can become chaotic, since members must work hard to advertise and recruit for potential new members. The sorority or fraternity house becomes a central area that facilitates the rush process and encourages everyone to participate in the effort. Having a fraternity house located in a community like Arroyo Vista also ‘improves relations with other organizations,’ Han added.
Communication within the organization and external relationships with others can very well improve because of the presence of fraternity and sorority houses, because other Greek members are often only a few houses away.
Many members of Greek organizations agree with Han. Genely Beleno, a third-year studio art major and a member of Gamma Phi Beta, believes that although she does not live in her sorority’s house in Arroyo Vista, she has observed that the atmosphere is ‘more united between the girls. It’s a place to chill, kick back, and even if you don’t live in the house you can go there between classes. It’s a way to leave reality.’
While Alexandra Low, a fourth-year psychology major and vice president of Phi Zeta Tau, feels that sororities do not necessarily need a house to bond or become a tight-knit group, she also agrees that having one ‘can’t hurt in helping the feeling of true sisterhood grow among the girls.’
However, there are several drawbacks that shadow the benefits of having a house in a community like Arroyo Vista.
‘A house is too troublesome and creates problems [and it might cause members] to fall deeper into the clich