For freshmen who joined a fraternity or sorority just a few months ago, living in the on-campus chapter housing is a very pragmatic option in terms of economics, meal plan and convenience.
Most students who join IFC (Interfraternity Council) or NPC (National Panhellenic Conference) organizations join to make friends at a large university like Tennessee. According to the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life, “...nearly 5,000 students and approximately 22% of the undergraduate population are members of our fraternal organizations.”
By joining these organizations, Greek life students are provided the option to live in their chapter house which provides many amenities specific to the Greek population.
With many off-campus apartments listing high rent numbers, on-campus NPC (National Panhellenic Conference) houses can cost less per month, on average. According to the Office of Sorority and Fraternity life, the average semester rent in a sorority house is $2,845, with a monthly breakdown of $569 per month.
Off-campus apartments like The Tenn, located on Cumberland Ave., offer many combinations of number of bedrooms and bathrooms. All options, however, cost more than $700, making Sorority Village a less expensive housing option with an included bus route to main campus and the agriculture campus, and an in-house meal plan.
Because Sorority Village is geographically isolated from main campus, each chapter offers a meal plan for residents, eliminating the need to go to dining halls like Fresh Food Company or Presidential Court Building.
The average cost for a chapter member living in sorority village is $1,597 per semester, or $319 per month. All weekday meals are offered, just like on-campus dining halls.
Aside from the convenience of having meals provided in residents’ respective houses, meal times provide a sense of community for chapter members living together which is a primary reason for joining greek life in the first place.
In terms of location, Fraternity Park is conveniently located across from Tom Black Track and the Rock. Sorority Village sits just past the Agriculture Campus, and is gated from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. The Neyland Express bus route has a stop at Sorority Village and picks up approximately every 15 minutes.
For members of IFC and NPC Greek organizations, living in chapter houses is a convenient option for many reasons, such as formal recruitment, weekly chapter meetings and getting to know more members in their organizations.
As formal recruitment occurs in Fraternity Park and Sorority Village each fall, members who live in the houses are at a logistical advantage. Chapter members who live off-campus must find parking to attend recruitment, so living in the house eliminates that extra step. Similarly, most chapters host weekly meetings in their houses, again making attendance easier for members already living there.
For new members of IFC and NPC organizations that have houses on campus, living in-house is not only practical and logistically efficient, but it also provides a cushion for students not quite ready to live on their own.
Students who decide to join these organizations should take advantage of the amenities, as well as living with other members of their respective Greek chapter.