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The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Housing meeting causes university to change decision


UNK has deferred the decision to close the University Residence buildings. Greek Life students will no longer be required to move out of the buildings at the end of this school year. 

The Antelope originally reported the change at the end of September. This decision came following the second meeting with Greek Life student leadership and mounting student pressure against the plan for Nester Hall. 

The process of vacating the University Residence buildings will be deferred for 16-18 months, giving Greek Life and UNK administration until Spring 2021. Given that no extensive damage or failed infrastructure have cause for concern at this time, chapters will get to stay in their houses through next year. 

UNK has decided that dialogue between administration and students needs to occur before a move is made. Todd Gottula, director of communications at UNK, has affirmed students are being heard and that UNK wants to find the best solution for everyone. 

The original plan was to move Greek Life students into a renovated Nester Hall in fall 2020. Renovating URN or URS was not an option for the university as it would cost nearly $32 million. New construction is also not an option as they have multiple projects already ongoing. 

A big objection to the plan with Nester centered around chapter rooms. UNK planned to renovate the 2-person suites on each floor into chapter lounges. But there are only six of these suites and twelve chapters the university wanted to put in this building. The View would have been turned into a shared chapter space. While The View is large enough for a chapter room, every chapter would be sharing that space and would not be able to make it their own.

“We need to have a chapter room to perform all our own sacred rituals,” said Zayne Jones of Phi Delta Theta. “I don’t think Nester could ever provide that no matter what UNK does.” Having individual chapter rooms are important for Greek Life students, but current infrastructure does not allow for this. 

Because of concerns such as this, the plan now sits as a more cooperative decision-making process. UNK will be launching a collaborative effort with Greek Life students to complete a plan that works for both the University and the students affected by the decision. The two are currently in the process of setting up a housing committee between the chapters to have a forum to discuss ideas and problems. Each chapter will get to select their own representatives to serve on this committee. 

Administration will also hold focus groups and additional meetings like the previous two. Another benefit of the deference is having expanded deadlines to complete any renovations or wide scale projects. 

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