by: Hillary Straba
Fraternities and sororities might get a housing village in the future.
A proposal is under consideration for a housing plan for Greeks.
Brookdale Drive near Sustella Avenue is being considered for the Greek Village and is owned by a local attorney and developer, Pope Langdale.
The land, which had been zoned for residential housing, was modified to accommodate fraternities, sororities or similar organizations by the Valdosta City Council on June 6.
“The proposed development is being done by a local off-campus developer who approached the Greek community about the idea of the Greek Village,” Russell Mast, vice president for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, said.
Currently, no permits have been drawn for the development nor has there been a date determined for the beginning of construction.
As seen in the materials provided to the administration and Greek organization chapters, letters have been sent to national Greek organizations asking for participation in and support of this proposal.
According to Josh Boston, Phi Sigma Kappa alumni and former liaison for the Greek Housing committee, Pope Langdale, requires that seven chapters must be committed to participate in the Village before construction can begin.
At a meeting on Oct. 20, a vote was scheduled to take place in which Greek chapters could choose whether or not to participate.
The results of that vote were not made public, as Erin Sylvester, assistant director of Student Life for organizational development, was unavailable for comment at this time.
Some chapters are reluctant to participate in the village because of cost, and they lack approval from their national chapters, according to Boston.
Boston explained that one possible reason a national chapter may not approve participation would be because the village will not be regulated by the university, which goes against certain by-laws.
Representatives of IPG, the architect associated with the project, directed all inquiries to Langdale & Vallotton, LLP. Langdale & Vallotton did not respond to phone calls by press time.
It is unclear what will happen if not enough of the Greek chapters on campus agree to participate in the village.
“We cannot speak on behalf of the developer as it pertains what type of housing would be developed if the Greek Village concept does not happen,” Mast said.
According to the materials provided to the administration and various Greek organization chapters, each participating chapter will be allowed to negotiate with the developer to determine how many beds their chapter will have and how much of the facility will be common usage space. A security deposit will be required to show commitment to the builder.
Rent will be paid to the developer directly, as VSU does not have ownership of the land or buildings in the village. Ideally, the rent will be somewhere around $400 to $500, but there will be remaining costs that will need to be covered by the collection of parlor/usage fees by non-resident chapter members.
Each participating chapter will also be expected to sign a 50 year lease with the developer.
VSU will provide services to the village, such as a shuttle bus service to Main and North Campus and an emergency call box.
Additionally, the property will be under the jurisdiction of both VPD and VSUPD, and all VSU policies and codes of conduct will apply to any residents of the village.