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AXO Members Move into Sorority House

By Fenney Kwan

A week before this year's Residence and Orientation Week began, 21 Alpha Chi Omega sisters moved into the sorority's new four-story brownstone at 478 Commonwealth Ave., across the street from the Alpha Phi sorority house.

The building includes a television room, a dining area, a computer room, a kitchen, a library, and a bike room, said AXO President Diane E. Hodges. The house is also handicapped accessible with an elevator and a bathroom that are equipped with special features, she said.

The residents were chosen among interested sorority members, Hodges said. The 21 sisters and three new members filled the two quadruples, two triples, three doubles, and four single rooms in the house, she said.

MIT purchased the house for the sorority for about $1,050,000, said Stephen D. Immerman, director of special services. Renovations costed about $750,000, which included all costs associated with furnishing the house and installation of an advanced security system, Immerman said.

The AXO House Corporation Board, which is made up of AXO alumnae in the area, is in the process of negotiating a repayment plan with MIT, Hodges said.

New house is gorgeous'

"The house is gorgeous," said Catherine J. Mangion '95. "There's a chandelier in the downstairs area, and there are stained glass windows on the second floor."

The house's special features include several fireplaces, Hodges said. One mantle has intricate carvings with sculptures flanking each side, she said.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to walk down the hall and hang out with sisters," Hodges said. "Before we got the house, it was a hassle to get everyone together. Everyone was in a different dorm."

Sohah Iqbal '98 agreed. "The new house is a place for the whole chapter to get together," she said.

Some sisters chose not to live at the new house. "I think I can have he house offers without actually living there," said Ela Ben-ur '97. "I could hang out there, but if I left anything [at home] I could just pick it up," she added.

Hodges is not bothered by the commute from the house to campus. "It's a very short time. You just jump on a bike and you're there," she said.

Kim Levis '98 also decided not to live at the house. "I want to live in a dorm," she said. "I also want to meet unaffiliated people."

The Boston West route of the Safe Ride vans was changed to include a stop in front of the new house. Plans to include the site of the new house along the route began even before the purchase of the property, Immerman said.