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Sigma Kappa House May Open in Fall '97

By Liz Krams

Sigma Kappa sorority recently started the process of confirming the location of a permanent home for its members.

The Institute finds possible locations for sorority houses and then presents the groups with building choices for their approval.

After consultations, SK has chosen the property at 480 Commonwealth Avenue, an apartment building next to Alpha Chi Omega's house and across the street from Alpha Phi's house.

The building was originally zoned for residential use and contained mostly apartments. It also had a florist shop in the basement and a fortune teller on the first floor.

Tara L Fernando '97, the president of SK, said that the sisters were "really excited to have a place of their own."

The SK Housing Chair Anita S. Juneja '98 said that the house would be an asset to the chapter.

SK currently occupies the basement and part of the first floor of the graduate dormitory Ashdown House. Once the sorority women move out, the space will revert to house graduate students.

The anticipated changes are in line with the original agreement between SK and Ashdown, said Phillip Bernard, a staff associate in Residence and Campus Activities.

SK members moved into Ashdown last year after the closing of Huntington Hall dramatically increased undergraduate crowding.

The relationship between SK and Ashdown has been "really wonderful" and there were no problems during the stay, Bernard said.

SK was supposed to stay for two years and afterwards the space would slowly go back to house only graduate students.

"Ashdown did not want this to be a permanent thing. They did not want the undergraduates to take over," Bernard said.

The rising numbers of women in entering class and the increasing number of requests for all-female housing has added emphasis on the search.

On-campus houses had done a good job at accommodating these requests and they would continue to do so in the future, Bernard said.

Sorority may move next fall

While the sorority was still in the early stages of getting the house, there was hope that the sorority could move in to its new facilities as early as the fall of next year, Juneja said.

The house as currently envisioned would accommodate 24 people. Juneja did not know the exact costs, but said she expected that they would be comparable to the other sorority houses.

Much of the time between now and next fall will be used to secure government and community approval for the site. The community's opinions are an integral part of this process.

There "has not been any reaction yet" to the proposed move by the community, Juneja said. But the attempt should be made easier with the presence of the two existing sorority houses.

The sororities are given opportunities to choose houses in the order of their establishment at MIT. Kappa Alpha Theta is the next sorority in line for a house.