All Greek organizations can collaborate on philanthropy in new community center
Editor's note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now's year in review. Read more top stories from 2018 here.
Arizona State University is opening its second new student-housing complex in two years this week as undergraduates start moving into the Greek Leadership Village.
The community, at Rural and Terrace roads on the east side of the Tempe campus, will house about 950 fraternity and sorority members in a cluster of townhouse-style dwellings. The village will include 27 Greek chapters in three- or four-story townhouses, each ranging from 19 to 41 beds for sophomores, juniors and seniors, who will start moving in Wednesday.
The Greek Leadership Village, the first community of its kind at ASU and among the first in the country, follows Tooker House, a 1,600-student housing and learning complex for engineering majors that opened a year ago on the north side of the Tempe campus.
The centerpiece of the Greek Leadership Village is a 33,000-square-foot community center with office and activity space for every chapter at ASU, not just those with housing in the village. The community center, which includes retail space and a ballroom, also will house all five governing councilsThe five governing councils are the Interfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Association, the Multicultural Greek Council, the National Pan-Hellenic Council and the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations. of Greek life, according to Gary Ballinger, director of fraternity and sorority life at ASU.
The Greek Leadership Community Center has meeting spaces, offices and a ballroom at the newly completed Greek Leadership Village, which is east of Rural Road on the Tempe campus.Photo by Charlie Leight
Twenty-seven of the 77 social organizations affiliated with ASU have housing in the new Greek Leadership Village with around 950 students living there. Sophomores, juniors and seniors will reside in the 12 sororities and 15 fraternities.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
There is cold and dry storage space in the kitchen for each of the residents in the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, at the newly completed Greek Leadership Village.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Social work junior Katherine Chadwick (left) shares a video with journalism junior Amber Godbehere in the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, at the newly completed Greek Leadership Village.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
Clockwise, left to right: Sorority sisters Makaila Schmidt, Amber Godbehere, Katherine Chadwick and Lauren Florendo sit in the living room in the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, at the newly completed Greek Leadership Village.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
The gated complex is built around two grassy courtyards with picnic tables, grills and lounge seating.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now
“The Greek Leadership Community Center and the Greek Leadership Village is an example of what creative and engaged students can do with the support of staff,” Ballinger said.
“This project allows for the entire fraternity and sorority community to have one centralized location to work with each other; host chapter meetings, study tables and philanthropy events; and engage in meaningful educational opportunities. It has the potential to change the footprint of fraternity and sorority life and the community beyond the borders of campus.”
At ASU, about 5,000 students are active members of 77 sororities and fraternities — about 9 percent of the undergraduate population. The average chapter size is about 70 members, although that varies widely, with some sororities having more than 200 members. In the 2016–17 academic year, the sorority and fraternity community performed more than 118,000 hours of community service and raised more than $548,000 for charity.
The 12 sororities and 15 fraternities housed in the Greek Leadership Village were selected after an application process that required financial information, conduct history, a roster of residents, a letter of support from the national organization and a pitch on how the chapter could contribute to the community, Ballinger said.
Each townhouse includes a kitchen, meeting space, a president’s suite and a patio on the ground floor, with bedrooms, communal bathrooms and a balcony on the upper floors. The individual chapters paid to upgrade some of the units with specialized flooring and surfaces. The gated complex is built around two grassy courtyards with picnic tables, grills and lounge seating. There is no pool. Each chapter selected the students who will live in its house.
The cost per student is $7,900 per year. Other ASU housing on the Tempe campus ranges from about $6,100 to about $10,000 per year.
The Greek Leadership Village is the culmination of a student-led process that began in 2012, when Greek organizations began proposing the idea of a communal living space. A student committee began looking at Greek housing communities at other universities. In 2016, the chapters involved their national organizations and alumni, and the Arizona Board of Regents approved the building plan. The application process began in 2017.
ASU built the 300,000-square-foot, $70 million project in conjunction with American Campus Communities, which is managing the 6-acre complex.
In May, ASU invited some Greek organization alumni to tour the complex as construction was underway. One of the visitors was Twig Johnson, who attended ASU in the 1970s and was a member of Pi Beta Phi, one of the sororities that has a chapter house in Greek Leadership Village.
“I think this is fabulous. Look how close they are to campus,” she said. “When we were in school, we had nothing like this.”
Top photo: The newly completed Greek Leadership Village, on the east side of the Tempe campus, is completed and ready for residents. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now