Let’s talk about the Greeks. No, I’m not referring to Alexander the Great, Aristotle, or even John Stamos. I’m talking about the ones that throw flyers at you on the Stevenson Quad, who always seem to always have coordinated outfits, and who are in desperate need of a home.
As a disclaimer, I am one of those Greeks. Hopefully I didn’t lose my credibility. Just stick with me.
The subject of Greek housing has always been a big topic of discussion at Sonoma State. It’s no surprise, seeing as about 16 percent of the undergraduate population is Greek, according to U.S. News.
Many of you have probably heard the rumor that an ordinance from the city of Rohnert Park is to blame for our lack of Greek housing. The ordinance supposedly states that more than six women living in a house or apartment together is considered a brothel. Therefore, neither men nor women may have Greek houses, because it wouldn’t be fair for fraternities to have them while sororities missed out.
I’m not quite sure why no one ever researched this ordinance, as it’s such a source of outrage. However, after a conversation with Pam Stafford, the mayor of Rohnert Park, it was revealed that this ordinance is nothing but a myth. The university is actually the institution that is keeping Greek Row from becoming a reality.
I believe that having Greek housing would be beneficial to the school, the city of Rohnert Park, and members of Greek life.
After all of the commotion that the recent implementation of “the 120 days,” it seems obvious to address the topic of house parties. With the addition of a Greek Row, there would be a significant reduction in the amount of noise complaints filed.
That frees up the police department to respond to calls of actual importance. Non-student residents of Rohnert Park wouldn’t have to worry as frequently about waking up to beer and vomit covered lawns. That could only improve the relationship between the school and the community, which I think is what we all want.
The school would also benefit from it. One way would be the freeing up of on-campus space. We have a relatively small campus with many clubs and organizations. That means we have to fight to reserve rooms.
With Greek housing, most Greek events could take place off of campus grounds. That frees up rooms to be used by other clubs or for other events, thus improving the relationship between the school and Greeks.
Lastly, the members of the Greek community would benefit from having their own housing. Having a house gives members and opportunity to strengthen the bonds between each other. It would be a space that’s always open for studying, eating, events and general bonding.
I’ve heard stories from friends that are involved in Greek life at other schools that provide Greek housing, and the they almost unanimously agree that it makes the organization stronger as a whole.
While I know that creating this sort of project is no easy task, I do urge the school and others to think about how Greek housing could strengthen our community in a way that doesn’t solely have to do with wanting to party without getting rolled. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they had to start somewhere.