Tag Archives: sororities

Sororities miss out on greek living

Housing options at Linfield College are not represented equally among both genders.

Linfield College has many opportunities for students when it comes to academics, athletics and study abroad options.

The college in almost all ways fulfills its motto, “The power of a small college.” However, it may not be as liberating as it portrays to the community and students, females especially, because of the unequal housing opportunities for Greek students.

The Greek system at Linfield has a lot of pros, but it’s hard to get the positives out because of the infrequent negatives.

However females going through sorority recruitment have unequal housing options compared to the males going through rush week.

Currently there are four fraternity houses and no sorority houses.

There isn’t one specific reason as to why sororities on campus don’t have the same housing options available to them as the fraternities.

After asking a handful of students on the McMinnville campus, both in Greek Life and not, it was clear few people knew why sororities don’t have houses.

The most common misconception was McMinnville has a law that prevents sororities from having houses because they would be considered a brothel.

Sororities wouldn’t be considered a brothel if they got a house. Currently, there is no law in McMinnville that prevents sororities having a house like fraternities.

Other misconceptions revolved around Linfield’s policies.

Sorority girls mentioned that Sigma Kappa Phi, a local sorority, can’t have a house off campus. Despite the fact that the local fraternity, Delta Psi Delta, has a house off campus.

Jeff Mackay, Director of Residence Life at Linfield, gave insight about the reason behind sororities not having housing. Mackay narrowed it down to one thing, the cost factor.

“Sororities could do it if they had the funding…. at this point they choose not to, or financially can’t,” Mackay said.

Expenses for purchasing a house or property and making it livable for at least 20 people, is estimated at $400,000-$600,000 for each sorority.

This isn’t completely accurate. Even if the sororities on campus have enough money to purchase a house, they wouldn’t be allowed to because of a Linfield College rule.  

According to senior, Brita Gaeddert, prior president of panhellenic council, Linfield has a rule that requires all sororities to have a house if one has a house.

One sorority that has a bylaw in their governing rules that says they can’t have a sorority house.  Since one sorority, Sigma Kappa Phi, is legally bound by their bylaws at the moment to not have a house, all of the sororities are unable to pursue housing.

When asking Dan Fergueson, director of activities, about the situation, Fergueson said there are no rules by the college that’s preventing them.

Later Fergueson said there was a rule, it is unclear whether it is written or spoken, that said all of the sororities would need to get a house.

Fergueson said that the local sorority could get rid of the bylaw, in their governing documents, that prevent them from having a house, if they were to fight for it. Fergueson admitted it wouldn’t be an easy process.

Females want the off campus housing, at least the option available to them. The demand is there.

The first steps that need to be taken are to remove the bylaws from the local sorority. Without removing those laws, Linfield’s policy on equal housing will keep sororities from moving forward.

There are advantages to living off campus for sorority girls. The sisters would be able to self-govern because they wouldn’t have Residence Advisers.

In addition, fraternities don’t have the same tuition for housing as Linfield College housing; it is a set price that can be more or less than what students on campus have to pay.

If sororities had a house they could potentially make attending Linfield more affordable by keeping payments lower than what on campus housing requires.

Money is a huge issue, but even Shannon Doering, president of Phi Sigma Sigma, said that if they took this project on and reached out to alumni that they could accomplish it. So far no one has looked into it.

Not only could housing benefit sororities’ family lifestyle and foster a community, it is beneficial for your first welcoming experience to Linfield, to get to know your sisters extremely well earlier on.

“It would be extremely different to live with them, than to see them once a week at chapter meetings,” Doering said.

Chapter rooms in Miller Hall are dwindling in space. Gaeddert even expressed concerned if fire codes are being met.

“At 6:30 p.m., we aren’t all going to get out with 88 girls in that room,” Gaeddert said.

A small change could be asking the school to set aside a sorority dorm building; each floor is a sorority.

That way there is a transition, to allow girls start learning how to self govern and be in charge of their own living area.

Rachael Gernhart / For the Review

Rachael Gernhart can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com

Greek life gives back to community

The Zeta Tau Alpha, Phi Sigma Sigma and Alpha Phi sororities showed off to parents how Linfield Greek life gives back to the community.

Each sorority organized a charity event for family weekend.

Zeta Tau Alpha continued its tradition of organizing a haunted house with the Delta Psi Delta Fraternity. The decorated Delta Psi Delta fraternity house was open on Oct. 25 from 7 to 11 p.m.

“Delta Psi Delta [assisted] the Zeta gals with the set up and take down of the haunted house. We [dug] graves in the back yard, [had] supplies from previous years and [hosted] the event in our house,” said senior Alex Lazar, Delta Psi Delta president, in an email.

“It [was] a collaborative event, the Deltas and Zetas [worked] together on everything, no one party [was] directed to do one responsibility over the other,” Lazar said in an email.

The entrance fee to the house was either three dollars or two cans of food.

“Every year, we give the food donations to the [Yamhill Community Action Partnership] and all the [monetary] donations are given to the Henderson House, a shelter for battered women and their families,” sophomore Julia Nguyen said.

“We choose to donate to YCAP because we like to have a strong presence in our community and give back to local foundations,” junior Lauren Sherrard said by email.

Nguyen and Sherrard are co-service chair member of the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority.

The haunted house is an annual event. It is organized the final weekend of October, which generally coincides with family weekend.

“[It’s] nice because it gives us a chance show the families some of the ways Greek life gives back to our community,” Sherrard said in an email.

Phi Sigma Sigma organized its annual Rock-a-Thon fundraiser, which took place on both Oct. 25 and Oct. 26.

“In previous years we have raised money for the national kidney foundation, however this year our philanthropy has changed. We currently raise money for The Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation,” sophomore Sara Scott said by email.

Scott is the special events committee chair for Phi Sigma Sigma.

The Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation delegates its funds to benefit school and college readiness across the United States, Scott said.

The Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation also supports the National Kidney Foundation and the Twin Ideals Fund, which was created in the wake of Sept.

11, 2001 to help disaster victims, according to the Phi Sigma Sigma Greek Life web page.

Booths were set up to accept donations on Third Street on Oct. 25 and 26 as well as outside of Maxwell Stadium for the football game on Oct. 26.

Alpha Phi held its annual student talent show, Star Search, on Oct. 25.

The event began at 8 p.m. in Ice Auditorium. The event was open for all students, whether part of Greek life or not, to show off their talent.

The cost of attendance was three dollars for one person or five dollars for two.

Proceeds from the event were donated to Cardiac Care.

Ryan Morgan / Senior reporter

Ryan Morgan can be reached at linfieldreviewnews@gmail.com.

Rumors broken on house-less sororities

Despite rumors about why Greek women don’t have houses on campus, lack of funding is the main thing keeping sororities from building or renovating places to live together.

According to Meg Burgess-Hull, Linfield Panhellenic Council publicity director and programming chair of Alpha Phi, there is a rumor about how Jane Failing donated a large amount of money to the college and instructed the school not to create all-women living spaces because they would be similar to brothels.

Burgess-Hull said that the story isn’t true and doesn’t play a part in her sorority’s decision not to have a house.

“The reason why we don’t have houses is because none of the chapters have decided to spend money on them,” Burgess-Hull said. “It’s really expensive to buy houses with that big of capacity to hold that many girls.”

Burgess-Hull said that there is also a false story about a Linfield policy prohibiting chapters from building  houses unless each sorority can have a house.

“If one sorority decides they have the money to get a house, that’s totally fine,” she said. “Just because one chapter has one doesn’t mean that they all have to find houses.”

Jeff Mackay, associate dean of students and director of residence life said that renovating or building a house would be an expensive process.

“Creating a space for that many people to live turns into a challenge, not that anyone’s saying that it can’t be done,” MacKay said.

Mackay said that most of the sororities on campus are relatively new, with Phi Sigma Sigma beginning in 1981.

He said this is a problem when considering that alumni usually fund the creation and upkeep of Greek houses.

“Phi Sig’s oldest alumni are about my age, so they are spending all their money on getting their kids through school and raising families,” Mackay said. “They just aren’t in the right place in life for funding major projects for their undergraduate sorority.”

Senior Courtney Hatch said that even though it would be nice to have a house, her sorority sees many benefits to using a chapter room in Miller Hall.

“It sets us apart from other Greek systems,” Hatch said. “And I think it encourages people who were originally scared of Greek life to get involved.”

Burgess-Hull said she appreciated the opportunity to live with girls from different clubs and sororities on campus.

“Not having a house lets us intermix with the Linfield community instead of sectioning ourselves off,” she said. “We are students as well. We don’t want to alienate ourselves.”

Hatch said that having a specific chapter room in the basement of Miller Hall is a good system for holding sorority meetings.

“We pretty much get free reign down there,” Hatch said. “We get to paint and put new carpet and couches in the rooms. Each chapter rooms has a different personality and feel.”

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Joanna Peterson/Managing editor

Joanna Peterson can be reached at linfieldreviewmanaging@gmail.com.