Zeta Beta Tau could call a 23rd Street townhouse home in the fall.
Officials offered the chapter an eight-year lease for the only townhouse available for Greek housing next year, the presidents of multiple fraternities said. This fall, GW will offer housing to fewer Greek members than in recent history and some Greek leaders say they are dismayed by the lack of housing.
Zeta Beta Tau’s national organization is due to turn in a signed lease by Monday, its chapter president said. Phi Kappa Psi terminated the lease on the space last semester and is currently suspended.
Laurence Bolotin, the executive director of Zeta Beta Tau, confirmed that GW offered the chapter a townhouse. He said “more specific” information would be available once the deal is finalized.
Daniel Elsen-Rooney, the president of Zeta Beta Tau, said in an email that its national organization must sign off on the lease agreement before he would comment for the story.
Greek letter organizations must submit an “excellence packet” to the Center for Student Engagement to be considered for housing, according to a copy of the University’s Greek housing application which was obtained by The Hatchet. Chapters highlight achievements like scholarships and philanthropy in those packets, which make up half of their housing eligibility.
The University also considers a chapter’s risk management plan for the space, the chapter’s financial standing and judicial records and the number of members in the chapter when deciding to award it on-campus housing.
Townhouse G, the space offered to Zeta Beta Tau, houses 24 to 30 members. Only chapters who currently have or formerly had leases with the University can apply for units on Townhouse Row, according to the housing application.
Sean Raymond, the president of Beta Theta Pi, said the fraternity applied to live in Townhouse G to make up for lost beds in International House. Last month, officials announced Greek affinities would no longer live in the residence hall in the fall.
“GW hasn’t really offered any compelling or substantive reason for why a chapter like us that has always reached our full occupancy rate, and has never had an issue in International House with behavior, would lose our floor,” he said. “They claim the building is being taken away for behavioral issues, but that applies to very specific chapters.”
Raymond said that his chapter, which “came in third place” in the bid for the empty townhouse, is unsure of where to turn for housing because their current home on the row has six beds. He said the fraternity relied on International House’s ninth floor for housing its other 16 members.
Raymond added that GW offered Lambda Chi Alpha a lease for Zeta Beta Tau’s former townhouse on 23rd street.
Chase Johnson, the president of Pi Kappa Phi, said the chapter filled 18 of the 24 beds available in its Townhouse Row unit this semester because members are studying abroad or have moved off-campus. He said the chapter plans to reapply for its lease when it expires in 2020.
“The row is very desirable because you’re there with all the other chapters,” he said.
Neil Hershman, the president of Pi Kappa Alpha, said he believes the housing process is fair but that finding housing on an urban campus can be difficult because space is limited. The chapter will lose its only on-campus housing in International House this fall.
“Although we have been great tenants and partners with the school, timing, as well as a few other variables, did not work in our favor for the upcoming year,” he said.
GW sanctioned Pi Kappa Alpha for co-hosting unregistered mixers with sororities with alcohol present at an off-campus location earlier this year.