By Mary Burger – Staff Writer
Greek Row. That section of Walnut Street on the outskirts of campus near the train tracks. The source of noise and festivities from 11:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. on weekend nights. A home to the four sororities and five of the six fraternities, where each house is the home for ten students. But beyond the obvious, what is it about Greek Row that makes it Greek Row – and why would someone choose to live there?
Centre College provides housing for approximately 98 percent of the student population, and the houses on Greek Row fall under this percentage. Each organization pays rent to the college at $1 per year. This means that every chapter has creative control over the main floor and basement and provides their own furniture, decorations, paint, and other accessories, as long as the chapters follow the college fire code and housing regulations. Through this system, a chapter is granted a house on which they can put their own individual stamp.
One advantage to living on Greek Row is that a student will live in an actual house, meaning regular access to a larger common space and a small kitchen. While living in Greek housing can be a positive experience in terms of larger living spaces and more social interactions, affiliated men and women occasionally point out some downsides. For those living in fraternity housing, the end of the weekend comes with the inevitable cleanup from the parties put on for the campus the night before. Sometimes being in close quarters can be a little hectic, especially if one lives in a sorority house around the time of recruitment. So much of the living area is in recruitment mode that it can be hard to get a small break. But overall, students who live in Greek housing say it is worth such annoyances.
Even though Greek Row is located near the edge of campus, its position can be ideal in some ways. Sophomore Forrest Kamperman, a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity, believes his housing location is ideal for his day-to-day walking route.
“I love living on this side of campus,” Kamperman said. “It’s a quick jaunt to classes and to Cowan.”
The location is nice for chapter events as well. As sophomore Kirsten Larson points out, living in the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority house is the perfect recipe for true sisterly bonding.
“Not only is it convenient being nearby for chapter meetings and during recruitment events, but [living in the house] has helped me become closer to some of my sisters that I wouldn’t have known as well otherwise,” Larson said. “The only downfalls to living in the house are that homework may not necessarily be done as quickly or as efficiently as it would be in the library and my self-control is tested when the fridge is full with food after a Kappa event.”
Sophomore Morgan King also recommends living in a sorority house because of the quality time spent with other girls in the sorority. Oftentimes the girls she knows the least are the ones she will get to know the best by residing in the Alpha Delta Pi house.
“I really enjoyed living in the house to get close to sisters that I wasn’t really close to before,” King said, who is currently studying abroad in London for the spring semester. “A lot of different people live in the house and it was a way to really bond with each other over late-night snacking, homework, and late-night talks. It was great.”
There are some cons to life on Greek Row, however. Sometimes the sidewalks turn into a wind tunnel. The walk to Cowan can feel especially long and seems like an eternity in practically sub-zero temperatures. Sleep before 2:00 a.m. may be nonexistent on a Friday or Saturday. But sorority and fraternity members agree that it is the friendships that make these minor complaints disappear.