The beginning of the academic year saw many changes to life on campus, particularly for the Fraternities as they transitioned from the Fraternity Complex to Founders Village. Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT), Sigma Phi Epsilon (Sig Ep), and Phi Delta Theta (Phi Delt) will now be housed for the foreseeable future in Founders Village.
“The main purpose for the move from the fraternity complex was based on the fact that the buildings themselves were outdated and uninhabitable for the price that we, as students, had to pay,” said senior ZBT brother Rodolfo Garcia. This move is definitely a change from the complex which allowed more room for cookouts and gatherings.
“I was told that the old fraternity complex will be demolished, and townhouse-like houses would be built in it’s place,” said Junior President of Phi Delt, Bryan Peters. “but until that is fully funded it will just be used as a place for storage,”. Several of the brothers from all fraternities have been hit hard by the lack of interaction that they now have with their brothers not only because of COVID protocols but because of the move as well. Green is “saddened” by the lack of interaction such as hanging out, using the community kitchen and meeting in common spaces for chapter meetings. Green’s sentiments are supported by Peters who states that, “We don’t have a large common space for everyone to hang out in.”
Things are not all doom and gloom for the Fraternities however as their standard of living conditions has greatly improved. Peters states, “It’s very nice having a good AC that works well, as well as having bathrooms, kitchens, and living rooms in each living space.” Furthermore, being away from campus has allowed the fraternities to feel safe in their own space “It’s like we’re in our own bubble and we definitely attempt to make the right decisions to keep our Founder’s community safe,” said Garcia.
In regards to living policies, the fraternities fall under Monmouth College guidelines and abide by their policies. No significant changes have occurred in that aspect. In saying that, fraternities are unable to put up their letters and flags outside the apartments until they receive permission from Monmouth College. Green is “disappointed” by this as the fraternities lose a part of their tradition and identity. Furthermore, ZBT have implemented some COVID related policies, “Our chapter decided to take extra steps and keep a daily temperature log for every brother,” said Garcia. “… and have also implemented a strict one registered guest policy, meaning that brothers are limited to the same guest for the entirety of the academic year. This guest is required to check their temperature before entering any room in the building.”
So far there has been no issues with the Monmouth neighbors as there have been no complaints and the fraternities and Monmouth community have gotten on well thus far. The brothers of Phi Delta Theta went one step further and reached out to the neighbors. Peters states, “We bought them gift baskets containing Dots pretzels, chocolates, some other sweets, a $20 gift card to Fareway, and a card stating that we are happy to be their neighbors, and if they ever need anything like their leaves raked, their lawn mowed, furniture moved, or anything else”, the brothers are happy to help.
Kieren Marshall – Staff Writer