Two MU sororities plan to rebuild houses due to increased membership

Zeta Tau Alpha President Ashlie Elver: “Our new chapter house will be built to accommodate the needs of our chapter women now and into the distant future.”

Two sororities will soon be the owners of new houses come fall 2017.

On Jan. 12, the Columbia Board of Adjustment gave permission for the Delta Gamma and Zeta Tau Alpha chapters to build new houses, according to the KOMU 8 News website.

Both chapters will begin demolition and construction in May this year.

Greek life membership at MU has increased by over 2,000 in the last five years, according to KOMU. Membership growth in recent years has brought challenges to both sororities, their chapter presidents said.

“Our chapter (ended up) outgrowing the current facility and holding meetings on campus on a regular basis,” Zeta Tau Alpha President Ashlie Elver said in an email.

Delta Gamma President Maggie Conner agreed.

“We could not have special events held in the house due to chapter size,” she said in an email. “We could not house a full member class. Recruitment became difficult to stage. And as the Greek culture changed, we knew we needed space for all members to come together for celebrations to build sisterhood when over three-fourths lived separately around Columbia.”

The number of members living in the houses will increase from 80 to 92 for Delta Gamma and from 79 to 86 for Zeta Tau Alpha, according to KOMU reporting. The current houses are 90 and 50 years old, respectively. The new houses will be in the same locations as the current ones.

The decisions to rebuild both houses came after years of consideration. Each sorority’s housing corporation visited their respective houses multiple times before deciding to rebuild.

Delta Gamma’s new house will have the same curved porch and entryway facing Providence Rd., Conner said. The new house’s square footage will more than double in size, with a large dining space on the first floor and several living and study rooms on the second and third floors, Conner said.

“The biggest addition will be a large chapter room, along with other designated spaces to meet the needs of over 325 Delta Gammas,” Conner said. Members of both sororities have found housing off-campus for the 2016 academic year.

“Our new chapter house will be built to accommodate the needs of our chapter women now and into the distant future,” Elver said.

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