With the new 120-day party ordinance, many students have raised the question of off-campus student housing. However, the issue is more complex.
The CSU system and the state of California do not currently allow there to be Greek housing on campus. According to President Rubin Armiñana, there was a Board of Trustees created in the mid-70s that restricted private owners from building on the university’s land. There was an original Greek house that was founded by students, but it was shut down by the local jurisdiction.
“I don’t think we can have Greek housing or any other type of housing like that, which is on the state land owned by the university,” said Armiñana. “Because the lands that we have belong to the state, and therefore if somebody else were to build on it, it would be what is called a gift of public property, and that is just not allowed.”
The only CSU currently to have what would be called a traditional “Greek Row” is San Diego State University. The SDSU “Greek Row” consists of a six-unit apartment complex that is located across from the campus. Senator of Community Affairs Libby Dippel is looking into how the SDSU “Greek Row” came to be, and how successful it has been. If it has been a success, Dippel plans to try to implement a similar system here with the approval of Rohnert Park.
Since SSU was founded in 1961, there has been no official Greek housing on the campus itself. With the new 120-day ordinance, the idea has been brought up that Sonoma State should create a “Greek Row.”
“One of the Rohnert Park city council members said during the meeting that the 120-day ordinance passed, ‘you all need a Greek Row,’” said Dippel. “It really surprised me that a council member would openly state that. I am currently in the process of meeting with every Greek organization, and several members have expressed interest in Greek housing.”
Creating a section of apartments or houses could reduce some of the partying to an isolated area, but it does not necessarily mean that the noise complaints and loud partying would stop. The Greeks would be in charge of policing their housing, so all the trouble going on in M section would not necessarily go away.
It was rumored that the reason SSU had no Greek housing was because Rohnert Park had a law that considered a household that consisted of six or more unrelated girls a brothel.
“Absolutely nothing like that at all, it does not exist,” said Mayor Pam Stafford of Rohnert Park.
According to Armiñana, fraternities and sororities are allowed to have Greek housing as long as the property is off of school grounds, and that it is privately funded by the Greeks. He gave the Brookfield Project as example of a plot of land that could be purchased with a permit for Greek housing.
“I think it would bring our chapters closer both individually and collectively and if done properly could ease tensions and better the relationship we have with our community,” said Interfraternity Council President Jesse Red.
Ultimately it is up to the Greeks whether or not they want to create a “Greek Row” for SSU. The possibility is there for it to be a part of Greek life in the future.