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The Antelope

Initial plans for fraternity, sorority on campus housing


Recent discussion about Greek housing on campus, makes students nervous for what’s in store these next couple of years. With pipes bursting and other damages happening throughout both URN and URS housing, UNK officials knew they needed to think of the next option for Greek housing.

While the news came as a shock to most students, Colton Nisley a fifth-year senior psychology major from North Platte, knew the time was coming. The Phi Delta Theta president attended both meetings where they proposed to move Greek Life students to Nester and renovate the building to be more accommodating for fraternity and sorority life. 

“It was making me worried when the proposal was a ‘it’s this or you guys get nothing,’ and so that was intimidating,” said Nisley. “It made me feel like I couldn’t advocate well enough and far enough in advance for the next executive teams. I didn’t feel confident that I could give my members a good basis of what they will be coming on to within the next couple of years.”

Students communicated worry about this move, but UNK officials have been working long and hard to figure out what’s best for these students. 

LeAnn Jochum, the associate director of operations with residence life, is working hard with FSL to figure out a solution both short and long term for these students. 

“We had to have a meeting and it’s always a big meeting when you have all of the FSL community there where we discussed what we thought was a really good viable option and how to move forward,” said Jochum. “URN and URS buildings are past their useful lives, which the FSL community is aware of so we have been working and trying to exhaust all opportunities and options for housing.”

Students expressed that they wanted new living facilities, but new construction is expensive and with UNK’s financial situation and without outside donors, new buildings aren’t feasible. 

The plan of moving the FSL community somewhere else is still in conversation with UNK officials. There are nine chapters that are represented on campus and is difficult for nine different groups to come to the same consensus. A couple of the chapters have expressed concern in needing more time to process this idea and work with members and alumni about their options and needs as a chapter. 

Some students have suggested moving off campus like FSL communities have in the early years when UNK was Kearney State College. An incident in 1988 involving an injury of one student and the death of another at a Greek house party led to no more FSL off campus housing. Shortly after, in 1990-91 URN and URS were built to regulate campus recognized organizations like the Greek communities. 

“An interesting thing about moving off campus, is that most students wouldn’t be able to afford the rent to live there,” said Nisley. “Part of me would like to think we’re mature enough, but the other part of me is, it’s kind of scary because you don’t know what to expect.”

As for now, UNK is still considering options for rehoming the Greek community and trying to take in all of their concerns. The plan to tear down URN and URS has been postponed for the time being. Jochum states that more time is needed before making the decision of where to move these students to help them adapt to this new possible living space.

“We think that the students want to explore master planning on their own where they can get some momentum going where they can get the university supporting them on creating and developing designs for what the FSL community wants for the future,” said Jochum. “I hope the students continue to look at the viability of options and what some presented as they don’t want it to be the long-term solution for FSL.”

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