Aug 212006
 
Authors: JAMES BAETKE The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Home-schooled her entire life, freshman Kristen Wright was finally about to embark on college life and all the freedom that came with it. There was only one thing missing: A place to live.

Wright was told just short of one week before classes began that she would be moving into a defunct sorority house with 59 other females. To her, this was a “blessing from God.”

“I did not know how nice it was until I went to some other dorms,” said Wright, a music performance major.

But the same house that gave her hope was a point of sorrow for the 30-some sisters who were booted from it just weeks ago.

Carrie Bax, a former resident of the house, said she found out on her birthday that she had to find a new place to live.

“They’re moving 60 freshmen into the house instead of us,” she told the Collegian on Wednesday. “They get to use our furniture and our beds.”

The national chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta voted unanimously to yank its local charter on 638 S. Sherwood St. The dismissal came amid concerns that included financial and risk management issues, but details remain confidential.

To many of the first-year freshmen being put up in a house with a baby grand piano in the lobby and two barbecue grills on the back patio, things turned out well.

Tonie Miyamoto, communications coordinator for Housing and Dining Services, stressed that CSU had no involvement in stripping Kappa Alpha Theta’s charter.

“We had made every effort to help both the house staff and the students during this transition,” she said. “It was a really good solution for us to be able to put students in that house for overflow housing.”

On Aug. 3, Housing and Dining Services was informed by the campus Office of Greek Life about the house closure, and immediately started to help place sorority members into housing.

By Aug. 8, Housing and Dining Services staff toured the home as a potential place to house “overflow students,” and finalized an academic one-year lease on Aug. 16. It is unknown whether the lease will be renewed, Miyamoto said.

The two-story house is equipped with one main bathroom with seven showers and each oversized room fits at least three women. The ground level floor has a lobby scattered with about a dozen couches and chairs, several coffee tables and a dining room with a wood floor.

New residents will not have to pay more for the extra amenities.

The new residence hall even has a “house mom.” She and the two resident assistants overlook the house, making sure all the same housing policies are maintained.

Although sorority members were given less than three weeks to find new housing and at least some temporary-housing students less than a week notice of their posh pads, the transition went without any major hitches.

“The move in went smoothly, it’s really a great setup,” Miyamoto said.

Jenn Casler, one of the RAs in the Sherwood house – the official name for the new pad is still undetermined, but residents are holding a contest to name it – says she feels lucky to be part of a residence hall that’s a cut above the rest.

“We are so grateful we have this house,” said Casler, a senior computer science major. “All of my friends come by and say I got a sweet deal.”

Staff writer James Baetke can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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