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Alpha Phi could be first sorority to get a house

By Reuven M. Lerner

According to members, Alpha Phi is close to obtaining a house for the sorority. If true, the purchase would mark the end to the sorority's five-year search for a house. It would be the first sorority house at MIT.

Alpha Phi President Ann E. Rhee '90 declined to comment on the housing search and said that even sorority members were not fully aware of the situation. Associate Dean for Student Affairs James R. Tewhey said he was unaware of any changes in Alpha Phi's housing search.

The Office of the Dean for Student Affairs has been helping sororities to find housing since they began five years ago. Alpha Phi, Alpha Chi Omega, and Sigma Kappa now meet in building W2A, which used to house the non-resident student association.

The Zeta Phi chapter of Alpha Phi was founded on Saturday, February 11, 1984. Then Associate Dean Stephen D. Immerman predicted that the sorority would find a house later that semester. Immerman, now Director of Activities for the Campus Activities Complex, could not be reached for comment.

Neal H. Dorow, advisor to Fraternities and Independent Living Groups, has been active in the search for sorority housing. In October, he said that Institute officials would be meeting to "discuss the real prospects of sorority housing," and that "we're getting close to arriving at a conclusion." In May, he said that he was anticipating "sororities being housed." Dorow was not available for comment.

New pledges in all sororities are required to pay "building funds" in addition to dues to support the eventual purchase of a house. Alpha Phi charges $200 for the building fund, along with an initial $170 charge and $90 dues each semester. Alpha Chi Omega charges $100 for their building fund, a $70 one-time fee, and $25 monthly dues. Sigma Kappa, which was formally installed in February, charges $200 for the building fund, a one-time $195 charge, and a total of $25 monthly dues.

Sorority housing could greatly relieve dormitory overcrowding, a major problem in recent years. A sorority house would open forty to sixty places in on-campus housing, many of them single sex places which are often hard to obtain. Women would be able to choose between dormitories, sororities, and independent living groups once the house were established.