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LETTERS IOWA STATE GREEK COMMUNITY

the lavalier

TRADITION

ARPIL 2013

get the scoop ON GREEK EVENTS

ACROSS

CAMPUS

A GREEK

spring break


THIS EDITION LETTERS MARCH 2013

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CHAPTER SPOTLIGHTS

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GREEKS GO BANANAS

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ACROSS CAMPUS: GREEK EVENTS

Have you ever spotted an banana, apple and grapes at a basketball game? Get the story!

Read about the events Greeks put on and attend around campus!

introducing the GREC TEAM STAFF INEKE ARMSTRONG

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GASB

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INTERNATIONALLY GREEK

A Greek Alternative Spring Break recap!

BRICE BALLENTINE ANNA MCCONNELL

Theta welcomes an international student! ANDREA DVORAK

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HALF A CENTURY OF CYCLONE POWER

DAVID GARDNER

Sandra Horton’s lasting committment to Iowa State.

LAUREN HAYES

THE LAVALIERING TRADITION SCHOLARLY ENDEAVORS

Members of the Greek Community tell about their travels around the world!

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION Read about the rebuilding of Delta Upsilon.

Collegiate Panhelleni Council tvermeer@iastate.edu

JUSTIN MATTINGLY VP Public Relations

Interfraternity Council justinm8@iastate.edu

LETTERS

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Advertising/Marketing Brice@iastate.edu Writer annam@iastate.edu Writer apdvorak@iastate.edu Writer dwg@iastate.edu Design lahayes@iastate.edu

CAITLIN HIGGNS

Advertising/Marketing chiggins@iastate.edu

JOHN KLUMPP

Advertising/Marketing jfklumpp@iastate.edu

MIKAYLA LAHAYE

Design/Marketing mslahaye@iastate.edu

KILEY PAWLAK

Advertising/Marketing kpawlak@iastate.edu

DIRECTORS TAYLOR VERMEER VP Public Relations

Writer inekea@iastate.edu

KRISTIN PETERSON

Writer kristinp@iastate.edu

KARLI SANDOS

Design/Photography ksandos@iastate.edu

AMELIA THORNE SUZY CAFFOE

Writer amthorne@iastate.edu Writer scaffoe@iastate.edu MARCH 2013 3


chapter spotlights

David Gardner

KAPPA KAPPA GAMMA The Delta Omicron Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma was founded in 1946. The chapter strives to live the ideals of its mission statement: friendship, mutual support, self-growth, intellectual development, and positive ethical principles. The sorority puts on two yearly philanthropies: the Kappa Fiesta in the fall and Kappa Kakes in the spring. The fall philanthropy, a late-night nacho bar, raises money for the “Reading is Fundamental” program to buy books for local schools. The spring philanthropy is equally committed to the kids; the money raised from Kappa Kakes benefits the Children’s Miracle Network and Dance Marathon. When not serving the community, the women of Kappa Kappa Gamma stay involved in other ways, most notably winning Varieties in 2013. The chapter’s colors are light and dark blue. Its symbols are the Key, the Owl, and the Fleur-de-lis.

greeks go bananas with

CYCLONE SPIRIT Krisitn Peterson

BETA SIGMA PSI The Epsilon chapter of Beta Sigma Psi was founded October 30, 1949. Beta Sigma Psi is a national Lutheran fraternity focused on spiritual, scholastic, and social excellence. In recent years, Beta Sigma Psi has participated in an annual spring break mission trip to New Orleans with its Pastoral Advisor. The Iowa State chapter is very decorated, from the national fraternity winning the Edwards Award for Best Chapter Management and the Welge award for best recruitment program, as well as the President’s award from Iowa State. The chapter is the only fraternity on sorority circle. The fraternity is represented by its two symbols, the gold rose and Luther’s emblem. Its colors are cardinal red and white.

SIGMA LAMBDA GAMMA Gamma chapter of Sigma Lambda Gamma came to Iowa State in 1991, just two years after the national sorority was established in Iowa City in 1989. The sorority was founded on five principles: academics, community service, cultural awareness, morals & ethics, and social interaction. The chapter thrived for several years, until it was forced to fold in 1996. However, four short years later, the sorority found its way back to Iowa State. The latina-based sorority is best known on campus for the “Rent-aPuppy” that takes place in the fall, where students can donate money to play with a puppy and support local animal shelters. The colors of the sorority are shocking pink and majestic purple and its mascot is the purple panther.

ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA The Upsilon Nu chapter of Zeta Phi Beta was founded in 1988. The sorority was founded on scholarship, sisterly love, service, and finer womanhood. The sorority shares two of its letters with Phi Beta Sigma, the fraternity to which they are constitutionally bound. The sorority has several “signature programs”, such as the Stork’s Nest, an initiative partnered with the March of Dimes to improve prenatal care. In addition, Z-HOPE (Zetas Helping Other People Excel) is the national sorority’s philanthropy initiative designed to facilitate community service and membership development. The sorority’s colors are royal blue and white; its symbol is the white dove. LETTERS

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From big painted banners and wearing letters on Wednesdays, to Greek Week tournaments and Yell Like Hell skits, Greeks at Iowa State University love to show off their spirit. However, Greek Spirit goes beyond individual chapter pride or pride in the Greek Community as a whole; many Greeks also love to show a love for their school and their team – the Cyclones.

The members of the crew sometimes differ based on availability with other involvements on campus, but the usual group includes Lueken, Jake Armstrong (Purple Grape), Dustin Woebbeking (Grandma), Will Riley (Apple), Carl Hanson (Gorilla), Ben Zelle (Polar Bear) and the role of the Banana rotates between Aaron Dibble, Kyle Fischer, and Zach Boss.

A particular group of the Greeks have made themselves known as “The Fruit of the Loom” for their spirited displays at ISU Basketball games and for their wild contribution to the atmosphere of Cyclone sports. These members of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity show their school spirit by dressing up in crazy costumes, carrying signs, and showing their spirit in the front row of Hilton. They embody a sense of involvement and spirit that so many in the Greek community wish to show.

Zelle is also a member of the Cy-Squad so sometimes he supports the group as Cy. Together, these Cyclone super-fans are a strong representation of the spirited Greeks in the community.

“[The most fun] part of being the fruit and at Hilton is being a part of something bigger,” said Dakota Lueken, president of Alpha Gamma Rho and the Green Grape. “Like in the Greek Community, we all come from different backgrounds and different chapters, but once you step inside Hilton, we are all unified in our goal to cheer on our team.” The tradition started with just a few of the members of the chapter showing up in costume to show their spirit. But, wanting to get more members involved, they began to add more costumes and the Fruit of the Loom began. The group now feels a loyalty to the fan section, the team, and the Cyclone Nation and hope to be an instrumental part in helping to bring on some of the hype that promotes home court dominance.

Whether it is through Cyclone pride, Greek pride, or chapter pride, members of the Greek Community show their support all over campus. Many Greeks cheer on the Cyclones, contribute to Hilton Magic, attend football games, participate in Greek tournaments, and show Greek spirit throughout the Greek Community and the entire campus.

MARCH 2013 5


ACROSS CAMPUS: IMPORTANT WORDS FROM LAWRENCE ROSS

greek events!

Andrea Dvorak

Lawrence Ross came to speak at Iowa State University in the Sunroom of the Memorial Union on Thursday, March 7th. He is a proud member or Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the author of “The Divine Nine” – a compilation of the histories of the nine African-American sororities and fraternities which make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). He wrote his book upon the discovery that no real record existed of the NPHC organizations, so he took the mission to compile a history of these stories. His presentation had important messages which he conveyed to NPHC members. He shared what he calls “fraternal bias”, which is the concept of only seeing the worth of one’s own fraternity which holds one back from being the best leaders. He expressed how important it is to remove ones fraternal bias so one may fully support the Greek community and the potential the community members can hold.

As NPHC members, Ross expressed how the most important value is taking action to serve the community especially helping young African-American children to follow their leadership and pursue college degrees. Ross expressed how NPHC members identify themselves “as members of” their fraternity or sorority, where alumni of other fraternal councils sometimes identify themselves in the context that they “were a member of” their organization. Members of NPHC have as much pride in their membership and take it as a lifetime commitment, an identity which all fraternity and sorority members should identify.

Karli Sandos

OPEN MIC POETRY SLAM

A celebration of diversity, a social event, a chance to give back to the community; Delta Sigma Theta’s “One Mic” Poetry Slam, was an evening of spoken word with a twist. Attendants were asked to bring canned food for the chapter to donate to the Ames Food Pantry in an effort to make the event not only social but also philanthropic. “It was a way to combine a social event and a good cause at the same time,” said Jasmine Stovall, Phi Chapter President. Similar to the split-campus chapter, spoken word talents came from both Drake University and Iowa State. “We try to be a little bit different to bring a diverse crowd,” said Stovall. “It’s great to see all these new faces.” ΔΣΘ recorded over a hundred visitors at the poetry slam.

LETTERS

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The Iowa State University chapters of Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity Inc. and Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority Inc. hosted their 11th Annual Beta-Gamma Charity Bowl supporting the Assault Care Center Extending Shelter & Support (ACCESS) on March 2 this year. Nettely Vazquez, a member of Sigma Lambda Gamma, helped host the event. With over 100 guests in attendance, the chapters raised money for an organization providing resources and support for people who have been affected by domestic violence and sexual assault. Nettely said her favorite part of the event was how excited people were and how supportive other chapters in her council were. She said that people come from all over the Midwest to support their cause and that the reactions to the event and the support shown make it a great thing to be a part of. “When we haven’t even thought about it yet, but people are asking when next year’s is,” Vazquez said.

11th ANNUAL BETA-GAMMA CHARITY BOWL

Kristin Peterson

THE Mikayla LaHaye & Lauren Hayes THIN LINE According to the National Eating Disorders Association statistics, 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life (EDNOS) (Wade, Keski-Rahkonen, & Hudson, 2011). In order to help raise awareness of this awful disease, Iowa State has partnered with the Eating Disorder Coalition of Iowa for the past three years to help inform both students and locals alike. In the form of a theatrical production called The Thin Line, observers are able to watch a reenactment of a conversation about eating disorders that reduces the stigma surrounding this mental illness. The production illustrates the pain of one girl’s struggle and her loved ones’ resolve to understand and to help. The program features four characters with distinct voices, all played by a professional actress. The play reveals the devastating impact eating disorders have on both the individual struggling as well as those around them in an entertaining but powerful way. “I felt that it gave a very in-depth and personal look at eating disorders and the effect they have on not only the person who has the disorder but the people around them,” said Junior Taylor VerMeer after attending the event February 28, 2013 in ISU’s Memorial Union. She went on to say that it cleared up some misconceptions about the disorder. By giving such insight to the mind of someone affected by an eating disorder, the performance was very personal and revealing. An internal struggle was shown clearly by all the “voices in her head” and this figure of speech really came to life. After the performance, a panel of experts was available to answer questions about eating disorders. The Thin Line presentation as a whole was an eye-opening experience. It was informative, compelling and a valuable way to spend a Thursday evening. MARCH 2013 7


While many Greek college students trekked south for a week of sunbasking and beach life, fifteen undergraduate students representing twelve different chapters ventured to Indianapolis for a service trip. These fifteen students dedicated their Spring Break together to make a difference in the Indianapolis community. In the words of Gabe McCoy, a sophomore in mechanical engineering, and proud brother of Acacia fraternity, “This trip opened my eyes to the diverse issue of homelessness, and it helped me create strong bonds with fellow Greek students.” The main service focus was volunteering at the Horizon House, a day shelter in the city which offers many services to homeless “neighbors” as they are called, to help them get back on their feet. The services include showers, laundry, doctors, clothes, computer access, and specialized resume and job application assistance.

GASB

Greek Alternative Spring Break

“ LETTERS

8

Andrea Dvorak

It helped me create strong bonds with fellow Greek students.

The group volunteered in the different aspects of the house, helping wherever needed and being a friend to neighbors who needed a smiling face. The service to homelessness began long before hopping in the van. The group met to discuss the issue of homelessness bi-weekly from the beginning of the semester, better understanding it, and realizing that it is a problem even here in Ames. Coming away from the trip, the fifteen students are challenging themselves to bring the issue of homelessness back to the Ames community and push fellow Greek students to get involved. As Greeks, we all stand for the same values. This group hopes to remind the community of this and help the community strive to get involved in this issue, and the many untouched service issues which Greeks can make a difference in, here in Ames and around the world!

INTERNATIONALLY Amelia Thorne

GREEK

Six short months ago, Ashley Kilgallon traveled from Sunninghill Berkshire, United Kingdom to Ames, Iowa, to attend Iowa State University. Soon after her arrival, the idea of joining a sorority became very real.

Kilgallon always knew she wanted to study in America, especially for her Sociology major since she is interested in the cultural differences between America and England. She chose Iowa State because she had two friends from Exeter, her University back home, that came here. It just so happens that Iowa State has a very good relationship with Exeter which makes a student traveling abroad much more comfortable. In August, formal recruitment for Panhellenic sororities at Iowa State began. “I found it kind of difficult because I wasn’t able to sell myself very well. As soon as they heard the accent they were only interested in Britain. It was very complementary but at the same time difficult to get my personality across,” said Kilgallon. When sitting down with another girl the first question Kilgallon was asked was, “did you go to the olympics?” She was also called cute a lot because of her accent, which she claims was patronizing. However, she would not trade the recruitment experience for anything. She loved it and still sees some of the girls she talked to.

I’m involved. Everyone is so encouraging here. If you’re not involved, people wonder what you’re doing in your spare time” said Kilgallon. Since Kilgallon’s membership in the chapter, she has attended numerous socials, homecoming events, and philanthropies. She is now Greek Week co-chair for her chapter and she also has an internship with the Ames Police Department. “I do love the Greek Community. I just think it’s something missing out of English and British universities. I think it allows an avenue for students to be motivated outside of their degree. It makes you more involved with things that are selfless, like service hours and seeing that your grade point average matters to the whole chapter,” said Kilgallon. Kilgallon thrives in the Greek Community. She is outgoing, open-minded and passionate about her chapter. She puts herself out there and befriends everyone she meets to make new bonds and connections. She does everything she can to help the Greek community be its very best, as well as her own chapter. Being Greek means striving to achieve the four pillars, and Kilgallon truly does.

Kilgallon came into the recruitment process “blind.” “I didn’t know any of the stereotypes. If a girl would bring one up I would never understand why they had that stereotype” said Kilgallon. Kilgallon thought that the skits that the sororities put on during recruitment (which involve singing, dancing, and comedy) really reflected each chapter’s personality well. She relied more on these skits than any stereotype she heard. Kilgallon is now a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and living in the chapter house. At first, she was apprehensive about moving in but became very excited. She decided that if she was going to do this, she had to do it right. “I’ve never lived around this many girls so I was nervous about the amount of estrogen in one house,” said Kilgallon. Despite her concerns, she said that her experience at Theta would be so different had she not moved in. Once Kilgallon joined the Greek Community, she was astounded at how involved students are. “I’m involved back in Exeter but I’m kind of made fun of by my friends that MARCH 2013 9


half a century of

CYCLONE POWER

Karli Sandos

sisters speak ofSandra Horton Rebecca Miner

Sandy lives for Delta Zeta and Iowa State, we’re so fortunate to have an alumni who still has so much passion for her school and her sorority.

Sheeren Shojaat

Sandy is the definition of what all alumni strive to be. She has been dedicated to helping [the Beta Kappa chapter] grow ever since she pledged. She is a role model and an aspiration to all the many women she has helped not only during college but beyond. We truly would not be the same chapter without her love and passion for Delta Zeta and the Panhellenic Community. Lets be honest, four years isn’t enough; in a specific organization, the Greek Community, or on Iowa State’s campus. For Sandra Horton, class of ’62, even forty years wasn’t enough. The alumna not only made the most of her time as a student, but also continued her dedication to the University for over half a century later. During her time at Iowa State University, Horton has seen and experienced a lot, not only on campus but also off. For over fifty years, she’s been involved in Delta Zeta sorority both as a chapter member and an advisor, even taking part in the Beta Kappa chapter’s Centennial celebration on Iowa State’s campus. The lifetime member of Iowa State’s Alumni Association has committed herself to the university wholeheartedly, staying involved both in and outside of the Greek Community. She has held positions in the Alumni Association as well as being the former President of the Mary Greeley Medical Center Auxiliary. Horton has also earned a list of prestigious awards for achievement at Iowa State. In 1977, she was awarded the College of Human Sciences Helen LeBaron Hilton Award LETTERS

10

for national recognition of community leadership, service, or achievement in the area of Family and Consumer Sciences. Later in 1992, Horton was awarded the Ames Chamber of Commerce’s Woman Entrepreneur Award. Most recently Horton and her husband Richard, a Theta Delta Chi alum, received the 2011 Alumni Medal, the Alumni Association’s highest award with the most strict criteria. The Hortons were given this award for continuing affiliation with the Alumni Association, Iowa State Colleges, Cyclone Athletics, the Greek Community, and many other groups in Ames as well as for earning honors and awards through Iowa State. On their achievement page, the Iowa State Univerity Alumni Association offers the praise, “The Hortons have provided more monthly alumni updates for the university’s records database than any other person or couple associated with the university.” Since receiving the Alumni Medal in 2011, the Hortons have not stopped serving their alma mater. Sandra continues to advise her chapter, living locally in Ames. MARCH 2013 11


Lavaliering

LAVALIERING: more than just a necklace Anna McConnell Secretly, that sister gives the candle to the chapter’s president and a ceremony is held passing the lit candle around a circle of sisters – usually singing a song meant for candle passings that is individual to the chapter. After a given number of times around the circle (depending on the chapter), the lavaliered sister blows out the candle. “The support that I felt was really nice,” said Taggart. “It was definitely something I wanted to share with my sisters.” Alyssa Smith, a junior in Alpha Gamma Delta, was recently lavaliered by her boyfriend of a year as well. Her boyfriend, Jared Richards a senior in Theta Chi, surprised Smith during her candle passing. “I was completely surprised and needless to say there were many tears,” said Smith. When the candle came to her, Richards and his fraternity brothers entered the room serenading her with the “Dream Girl of Theta Chi”, a traditional song of their chapter. Historically, the concept of “lavaliering” hasn’t been as heartfelt as it is today. Back in the 1600s, King Louis XIV of France gave his mistress, Louise de La Valliere, a pendant necklace as a farewell gift when their relationship ended. Since then, the name “La Valliere” has morphed into the word “lavalier” meaning a necklace given to a significant other. Today in the Greek Community, many fraternity men show devotion to their significant other by giving them a pendant necklace with the letters of their chapter. The necklaces can have very different meanings depending on the fraternity and relationship. One fraternity senior, Marc Regan of Sigma Phi Epsilon, wanted to show his girlfriend of one year how much she meant to him.When he presented her with the lavalier in a heartshaped, engraved box, his girlfriend Abby Taggart, a senior in Chi Omega, was so in awe that she couldn’t form words. LETTERS

12

“We talked a lot about what it meant for me to be wearing his letters,” said Taggart. Regan had never seen anyone lavalier their significant other in his fraternity, so he researched the tradition online. He found that the ritual of lavaliering could mean many things and is defined differently by everyone. “It was a really big sign of commitment,” said Regan. “I was planning around our one year anniversary and I knew we had enjoyed each other’s company for a year and that we’d be together for a while.” In many sororities, the tradition of a candle passing is a very important and meaningful part of being lavaliered. Normally, a ceremony is performed with a special candle either purchased or decorated by the sister who was lavaliered.

“By wearing Jared’s letters I know that our relationship will always and forever last through thick and thin,” said Smith. “It’s basically a promise ring version of what any other couple does to say that an engagement is in the near future.” Being Greek comes with many traditions within each individual chapter, but the very unique tradition of lavaliering is one that is able to shared among all sororities and fraternities regardless of the letters. “It’s a special thing that not many people are able to experience together, so I’m really lucky,” said Taggart. “Being able to wear my letters and his letters together symbolizes the meaningful part of our relationship – being Greek.”

MARCH 2013 13


The Scholarly Endeavors of the Greek Community Ineke Armstrong

851

CPC Representative

Greek members on the 2012 Dean’s List

LETTERS

14

BASED ON FALL 2012 GRADE REPORTS

or 28% of the community

3.11 2.92 3.02 2.97 CPC Active GPA

IFC Active GPA

The Greek Community is known to show off their social and philanthropic values around Iowa State University (ISU). However, another highly regarded value that can be seen throughout the Greek Community is that of scholarship. Incentives for the members of Greek chapters are being established to help each strive for a high academic status.

CPC Vice President of Scholarship

Melissa Gofforth gofforth@iastate.edu

IFC Representative

This semester, the Collegiate Panhellenic Council (CPC) started up “Letters at the Library.” This gives members of sororities at Iowa State University an opportunity to showcase their dedication to academics through a friendly competition to see what chapter studies the most each month. “Letters at the Library has been a huge success! After the first week, some chapters averaged over 100 hours,” said Melissa Gofforth,Vice President of Scholarship on CPC. The secondary goal of Letters at the Library is aimed toward positive publicity of the Greek Community. When members of each chapter are at the library they are highly encouraged to wear their letters. In future semesters, Letters at the Library seems like it will become a hit, especially since the Library is “the place” to study at on campus.

Greek Average

University Average

“I feel like the Greek Community has ignored this pillar, and previously focused on brotherhood or sisterhood in the past, but the changes being made are putting academics at the forefront of priorities,” said Carleigh Martin, a member of Delta Zeta.

IFC Vice President of Scholarship

Ian Bryant

To encourage a high level of academics, many fraternities and sororities also have a higher GPA requirement than the university. A majority of the chapters have a required GPA, usually around 2.5. To enforce the GPA, chapters will put members on social probation if the requirement is not met. Martin mentioned how this is an incentive for members of her chapter to strive for good grades. Examples of scholarly incentives are friendly competitions, no-skippy jars, and free dinners.

Delta Zeta hosts a special dinner for their members who are on Dean’s List with the help of their Executive Board and Alumni. Beta Sigma Psi also does a scholarship dinner called “Steaks and Beans”. Jeremy Carter and Jake Thomas explained that members who get above the chapter’s average GPA get a fancy steak dinner, while members who receive a higher GPA than the Greek Community’s overall average get hot dogs. Beta Sigma Psi also has study hours that occur from 7-10 PM on the weekdays encouraging members to succeed in their course work. “I feel like you don’t need incentives to get good grades,” said Jeremy Carter. Even so, he agreed that incentives are generally helpful for new students. The Interfraternity Council (IFC) uses scholarships as an incentive for members to strive for good academic standing. The New Member Scholarship is handed out during Vespers to two members, from one sorority and one fraternity, awarding them $500. The issue with grades has generally been seen with new students. “New members should be more informed about the importance of scholarship,” stated Ian Bryant, IFC’s Vice President of Scholarship. Bryant mentioned that some individual chapters give tutoring reimbursements to members who are in need of tutoring services. This is generally given for full semester of half semester depending on grades. One common statement Carleigh Martin, Jeremy Carter, and Jake Thomas mentioned was how as students and members of the Greek Community did not come to college just for the social life. The main goal for every chapter in the Greek Community at Iowa State University is to maintain a high academic status. As students at ISU this should also be the main goal.

ilbryant@iastate.edu

MARCH 2013 15


Location, Location, Location

David Gardner

and in 1913, it was done in the Alumni Hall on campus. Another big change: the men of DU won’t be the only ones living in the house.

The circumstances at 117 Ash Avenue are somewhat complicated. In 2008, the Iowa State chapter was forced to close its doors. One man, however, was not willing to keep the doors shut for long: house supervisor and 1974 DU alum Jami Larson. Wasting no time, Larson explored his options for keeping ownership of the house. He found a few options: new Greek organizations are looking for houses, or with a few renovations, the house could be turned into a bed and breakfast like the Acacia house during the 90’s. To pay the bills and buy time, Larson organized 117 Ash LLC, an investment opportunity given to former ISU DU alumni. The members buy in, and when tenants were found, the investors would earn their money back. Their investment would preserve the house so that when the time came for recolonization, there would be resources to invigorate the house and establish an active DU chapter. In this way, Larson was able to keep the house for at least another year. With future and funds uncertain, Larson needed to be sure that the house would not be destroyed. He talked to the city of Ames and the authorities at the state of Iowa, and the house was determined to be a site of “historic prominence” and the address was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The next academic year, 2010-2011, Sigma Phi Epsilon needed a house for their members while their own house underwent a multi-million dollar renovation. The fraternity essentially rented the house for the academic year, paying the bills and upkeeping the house. However, this was no permanent solution, Larson realized, and he would need to find a long-term way to keep the house. Opportunity knocked upon DU’s closed door when the Entrepreneurship and Investment Learning Community (EILC) contacted him. The EILC was having trouble recruiting freshmen because of its location in Buchanan Hall. With new membership so low, the leader of the EILC knew that certain changes had to be made, and the EILC agreed to make an investment and live in the house for the 2011-2012 school year. All the while, Larson was talking to the national DU chapter to see about recolonizing at Iowa State. In the fall of 2011, the national chapter decided that it was time to re-settle. Membership grew steadily, and as of this spring, there are 30 members living in-house with 7 studying abroad.

For many Greek organizations, the chapter house is a source of pride and honor. Every house has its own architecture and history that are as unique as the members inside:Tau Kappa Epsilon was known as the “Teke Hotel,” Sigma Kappa has their “White Castle,” and Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s house was built with help from alum Lewis Maytag. However, few Greek organizations have gone to the lengths that Delta Upsilon has to keep the same address. As important as the venue is for Greek organizations, it is just as important for businesses. After all, the three most important things for real estate are location, location, and location. The Entrepreneurship LETTERS

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and Investment Learning Community (EILC) saw an opportunity to make a good business move, focusing on the same location as the Delta Upsilon chapter.This is their story. The events are nearly the same, but separated by 100 years: ink flows smoothly out of the delegate’s fountain pen as he signs the charter, promoting the fledgling Delta Upsilon colony to chapter status. Cheers are let out as he raises his head and smiles, signaling that Delta Upsilon (DU) is now fully active at Iowa State. Not everything is the same, however: this fall 2013, the signing will be done in the historic DU chapter house,

The DU chapter and the EILC maintain a good relationship. This year, five members of the EILC live in-house with DU, hosting their weekly class on entrepreneurship at the chapter house. The learning community helped finance many of the remodels and the renovations to the house.The $1.5 million house makeover started in fall 2010. The entire second story was gutted and refinished with a cold air dorm and study rooms, the third floor was remodeled with newer suites, and new hardwood and tile were laid throughout the house. Some relics of the earlier time do remain, however. The metal stair railing from the basement still sports the DU letters. On the first floor is a telephone booth from the time that the house was built in the 1920s, fit with a rotary phone attached to the wall (per the Historic status, the phone cannot be removed).

Alpha Delta Pi, 2125 Greeley St.

The house’s fireplace is located over a spring —an unintentional structural detail that caused problems during construction.

Alpha Chi Omega, 301 Lynn Ave.

A fire during formal recruitment in 2007 displaced members for six days, forcing them to hold events in nearby fraternities.

Alpha Gamma Rho, 201 Gray Ave.

A fire in the house during Christmas vacation 1959 was apparently doused by the contents of nearby soda bottles that exploded from the heat.

Alpha Tau Omega, 2122 Lincoln Way The original house was opened in 1908 and served the fraternity for 82 years before being completely reconstructed in 1990.

Delta Tau Delta, 2121 Sunset Dr. The house has never had a fire — putting it in a rare class among ISU’s large Greek residences

Gamma Phi Beta, 318 Pearson Ave. A great example of Tudor Revival architecture with its steeply pitched roofs and half-timber exterior

Pi Beta Phi, 208 Ash Ave.

Before the current house was built, the chapter resided in a house across the street that was purchased thanks to a $6,000 loan from famous Pi Beta Phi alumna Carrie Chapman Catt, class of 1880.

Phi Gamma Delta, 325 Ash Ave.

When the temp dropped to -16 degrees during an early 1980s fire, it took firefighters 16 hours to extinguish the flames because water sprayed from the fire hoses froze onto the building and formed a three-foot layer of ice on the outside walls and roof.

Chapter houses will always be important to Greek organizations. More than one thousand Greeks at Iowa State call one their home. Some are known for their size, like Pi Kappa Alpha who occupy the largest house in Greekland, and some for their unique architecture. But on 117 Ash, it’s all about location. MARCH 2013 17


LETTERS APRIL 2013

a publication of the Greek Relations Executive Council

Letters Magazine April  

Volume 4, Issue 6

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