In the end it seems the distribution of townhouses in Townhouse Row was based on fair critique of applicants, but this is not the whole story.
The last three Greek organizations to be granted a house were not notified until much later than the first five because the administration was involved in negotiations with at least two fraternities to swap their current property for a spot in Townhouse Row. These groups include Phi Sigma Kappa and Delta Tau Delta.
Associate Vice President of Student Academic and Support Services Mike Gargano never made it a secret that possible property swap deals would be a part of the final decision in assigning townhouses. It was not mentioned, however, that the University would actively attempt to pursue land deals with Greek groups that never even applied for a spot in Townhouse Row and offer them special deals (ie. extended leases) that were not offered to groups that went through the rigorous application process.
Groups like Alpha Epsilon Phi, a sorority that applied for but was not granted a townhouse, should be upset that the University was ready to give away one of the coveted townhouse spots to a group that did not even apply for one.
The negotiations were done above the heads of most students as the meetings were with national and alumni representatives. In the end none of the fraternities that were approached to receive a house without an application accepted them. This made the process look much cleaner than it actually was because the final designations all went to groups that applied and seem qualified for a spot on Townhouse Row.
The end result was relatively fair, but the process was not always so transparent. If the University fails to follow its own procedures it should be up front and honest about its motives and the actions it takes.