by Valis Vicenty
University House on fraternity row was once adorned with the Greek letters of three organizations. Then about two months ago, Lambda Theta Alpha’s (LTA) disappeared without announcement.
The sorority known as Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc. lived in the University House for years, until this semester. The reason for the change was simply a matter of not having enough housing space for Greek residents. Last semester the group only had three members, two of whom graduated in May.
“During the room selection process [last semester], Residence Life and Greek Life work hand-in-hand,” said Director of Greek Life Ada Badgley. “Greek residents have to get moved in because we can’t hold out space for them in the residence halls. In March, we started looking at how many are graduating and how many are moving into Greek housing.”
The number of Greek Life residents impacts the amount of space left for the rest of students on campus, Badgley added.
Junior Jessica Lugo, LTA’s only active member on campus, met with Greek Life to come up with a solution. One suggestion that fell through was to reserve the entire floor for Intercultural Greek Council fraternities, but that wasn’t a very popular choice. Other ideas were brought up, but none seemed to be viable.
With only one active LTA member on campus and no new members coming into the organization, Greek Life had no other choice but to give the housing to other Greek
“In this meeting, we felt we were trying to come up with resolutions to keep the house, but according to them, there was basically no hope in saving the house,” Lugo said.
Space in Greek houses has been tight lately to accommodate student-housing needs.
Other Greek organizations, such as Phi Sigma Sigma, have taken six international students into their house to help ease crowding in residence halls. Also, two members of Zeta Beta Tau live on Tau Kappa Epsilon’s floor in the other shared Greek residence hall.
“We’re trying to maximize the space on campus,” Badgley said. “We try to be as fair as possible for the long term of things.”
The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity gained the additional space from LTA near its current residence and will remain there for the rest of the year, Badgley said. For now, LTA has been doing the same thing at Rider as it has been for the last 16 years: promoting unity, love and respect and striving for cultural awareness on Rider’s small, diverse campus.
Greek Life and Residence Life are still looking at options for housing next year. LTA may be able to regain its housing.
“If Lambda Theta Alpha has a Pledge Class, we will have more sisters, so we can all live back in our house,” Lugo said. “How soon depends on Greek Life and Residence Life.”
The Enchanting Mermaids of LTA are holding an information session at 9:15 p.m. on Dec. 5 in the SRC Shapiro Conference Room.