Committee Considers Greek Housing

Last night, A.S. Council approved a special committee dedicated to investigating the possibility of on-campus Greek Housing.

Campuswide Senator Michael Raimondi is the chair of the the special committee, called the Greek Housing Initiative. Raimondi said the idea first came from his struggle to find an affordable housing unit for himself and his Tau Kappa Epsilon brothers.

The committee also consists of 16 councilmebmers and three representatives from the Inter-Fraternity Council, Panhellenic Association and Multicultural Greek Council.

Raimondi said that, ideally, the committee would build Greek housing similar to UC Santa Barbara’s Isla Visla, or UC Irvine’s Arroyo Vista residences.

The committee plans to hold public meetings on a weekly or bimonthly basis to receive input from UCSD organization members and interested students. Raimondi has already presented his ideas to both UCSD Executive Director of Housing and Dining Services Mark Cunningham and Vice Chancellor  of Student Life Penny Rue.

“If we’re going to build a Greek Row. we need to do it right,” he said. “This is the first time it has been presented in a professional manner.”

Although the funding and potential building site have not  yet been discussed, Raimondi said there are a few different possibilities. Money for the housing’s construction could either come from Greek chapters’ member dues, or the university could sell its land, specifically for this purpose, to a private construction company that would in turn lease to the students.

The only available open land near campus that can accommodate a housing infrastructure is La Jolla Shores. Raimondi said that this is an option, since the widespread idea that La Jolla prohibits eight or more unrelated individuals living together is untrue.

“The rules about housing have always been a myth that we assume to be true, but it isn’t necessarily,” he said.

Muir Senator Ryan O’Rear said the housing initiative would not be exclusive to UCSD’s Greek population.

“The on-campus housing would be for any large group of affiliated students — sports teams, Greek organization — who would like to live together on campus,” he said.

Inter-Fraternity Council representative Shawn Xu said he hopes to see this new idea be pursued.

“The whole purpose of this committee is just to introduce research into something that’s never really been done before,” he said. “We really want to look into it.”

Raimondi said the next step will be receiving student feedback.

“I simply have not had the student input I need yet,” he said. “Personally, I have a vision and an outline, but until I can get collaborative ideas from the Greek Community and any student who is in support, I cannot create a proposal. “

Raimondi plans for the committee to have a concrete proposal outlined by Winter Quarter.

Readers can contact Kirsten Mauro at [email protected].

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