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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Dean Bigger releases response regarding Greek Village


By Addie Lawrence and Elaine Best

On April 28, Dean Roberta Bigger released an official response to the Old Gold and Black regarding controversy surrounding the lease of the houses in the Greek Village. As of now, no organizations have signed the lease.

“We want you to know that we have heard and understand the concerns voiced recently regarding the new Greek Village,” Bigger says in her statement. “The conversations about the leases for the houses may have been poorly timed. The leases are similar to ones from the past that fraternity presidents have signed, but we recognize that we needed a more clear process for their review and execution as we prepare to move into the new houses.”

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Click here to read the full statement.

After a petition against the lease and subsequent op-ed written by Will Zeigler and Christian Goerner were published online, Bigger and Student Affairs met with the presidents of each Greek organization to determine a resolution. The meeting took place on May 27, two days after the original move-in date.

“We had originally envisioned that on April twenty-fifth, the groups would start moving in. Well, for various reasons, they’re not,” Bigger says.

Despite allegations that the new lease differs significantly from the old lease, Bigger says the only completely new rule is the ban on tobacco in the houses, which matches the rules for residence halls.

According to Bigger, some fraternities’ national offices do not want the presidents to sign the lease due to conflicting insurance and liability policies. These fraternities, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Pi Kappa Alpha and Pi Kappa Phi, will need more time over the summer to work out an agreement, Bigger says.

One option open to fraternities is creating a housing corporation, or a legal entity that alumni of a chapter could form.

“They want the college to lease the house to the corporation, which would then have legal arrangement with chapter,” Bigger says. According to Bigger, there is no precedent for this practice, as fraternity presidents have signed leases directly for the past 65 years, since the Row was built in 1951.

To enable Greek organizations to have parties this weekend without signing the lease, Student Affairs offered a short-term agreement. Greek presidents can sign a facility use agreement to use the houses on an event basis. No organizations have yet signed the agreement, though they have until Friday to do so.

According to Bigger, plans for parties on Friday, April 29 have already been confirmed.

Kappa Sigma will open their house with a band party. Pi Kappa Alpha will also open, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon will host a band party in a location that is not their house.

Sigma Nu is currently awaiting approval from their national office to sign either the lease or the facility use agreement, says President Wil Alderman.

For sororities, Zeta Tau Alpha cannot sign without approval from their Fraternity Housing Corporation insurance providers and lawyers, says Zeta Tau Alpha President Aubrey Cain. Cain does not believe that the lease will be signed before the summer. Kappa Delta President Freddie Woronoff also said Kappa Delta will likely not sign before the summer.

According to Delta Delta Delta President Abigail Umberger, the chapter is waiting for more information and feedback from their national office, though she says the lease might be signed.

Sorority houses cannot host events with alcohol, though Bigger says some of the houses may open temporarily under the facility use agreement for senior events or brunch.

The Greek Village will officially open on Sept. 17.

Readers can send questions, comments or concerns regarding the leases and the Greek Village’s opening to the Old Gold and Black. Post your  inquiries in the comment section below, our Facebook page or send them to our email at [email protected]. Stay posted for responses from Bigger.



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  • D

    disgruntled studentMay 10, 2016 at 6:41 am

    I think a lot of us would be interested in seeing that!! Please post!

  • K

    katiwMay 9, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Please review and/or print the letter that was sent to the board of trustees today, a copy of which was sent to The Old Gold and Black. Dean Biggers statement that the leases are substantially the same as previously signed is not remotely based on fact. This was a classic bait and switch and the alums don’t appreciate it. You shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you, especially when your donors have the power of the purse. I am an alum of this school, have children at this school and this is the first time I have been ashamed to say that. Wofford’s administrations behavior is shameful.