Sig Nu house becomes transfer student residence
Published: Monday, September 10, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 10, 2012 07:09
This year, the house at 92 Professors Row, occupied for nearly 30 years by the brothers of Tufts’ Sigma Nu chapter, is instead housing female transfer students after the fraternity inflicted significant damage to the house.
Early this summer the university told Sigma Nu members they would no longer be able to live in the house, according to Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Su McGlone.
“At the end of last year, an extensive amount of damage had been done to the house, so they were asked not to return,” McGlone said.
She said the house was then offered to Sigma Phi Epsilon, but when it was unable to fill the residence, the university assigned the address to transfer students.
Former Sigma Nu House Manager Charles Haverty, a junior, said that Sigma Nu had been prepared to accept financial responsibility for the damages, which he estimated at $11,000.
“We would have paid for the construction on the inside,” Haverty said. “We had a payment plan set up.”
He said the university paid for the interior repairs, readying the house for its current residents, 10 sophomore women transferred from other schools.
The incoming residents were aware of their house’s former Greek identity, although some thought it had previously been a sorority house, according to Ally Boxer, a sophomore resident.
The house is now in good condition, and the residents are happy with where they are living, she said.
“I think we all really like being with other transfer students,” Boxer said. “Especially at the beginning, it makes it easier to meet people who are in the same situation.”
However, the move-in has not gone so smoothly for some. According to a Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) report, residents spotted two unidentified males in the basement of the house early in the morning of Aug. 30.
Officers were tipped off by a call at 2:40 a.m. from a student who smelled smoke in the house.
TUPD officers found a bag of Quikrete concrete on the basement floor, a corner of which had been charred.
Residents also stated that one of the males had stepped into the doorway of one of the students’ rooms, according to the report.
“[The men] were as scared as [she] was,” Boxer said. “They ran.”
Haverty said Sigma Nu plans to try to return to the house whenever possible, though administrators are uncertain about the future of the house at 92 Professors Row.
“I’m not sure about the housing arrangements for next year,” said Office of Residential Life and Learning Director Yolanda King. “[This year] it made itself available in a positive way, at least for incoming transfer students.”
McGlone emphasized that fraternities and sororities do not require houses to have a presence on campus, though she acknowledged that not having a house does make recruiting harder.
“Living in a fraternity or sorority house is a privilege for an organization, not a right,” McGlone said. “It should not change the basis of what the organization is.”
Haverty said that he thought members of the fraternity could have moved in this year if enough had signed up, but only eight did.
He said the damages to the house and in particular the common room, including holes in walls and alcohol bottles left in the house after move-out, were largely caused by seniors living in the house alone during Senior Week.
As house manager, Haverty had not anticipated interior renovations beyond the customary summer patch-up.
“Every single year there [are] holes in the wall that we fix,” Haverty said.
The exterior construction was planned by the university before Sigma Nu’s departure.
“They had told us prior to any of this happening that they were planning on renovating the outside of our house,” Haverty said. “It looks horrible and always has looked horrible.”
When Sigma Nu was told to move completely out of the house, Haverty went in to collect artifacts of the fraternity’s history.
Many of these objects remain in his room, including a large Sigma Nu sign.
“It’s depressing to look at,” Haverty said. “It’s a constant reminder that we need to put that up again.”