About 709 North High Street

As the time gets closer to chartering for the chapter, many of the brothers have been asking about progress in getting the chapter back into the house.  The answer is a bit complex, so let me explain.

Most of you know that National has executed a lease of the property to WVU for them to use it as a dormitory and office space.  That lease runs to May 31, 2015, with an option to extend the lease another year.  So the exact date that the house could officially become the SigEp house again is a little up in the air at present. However, that does not preclude attempting to move interested chapter members back into the house while it is still operating as a dormitory.

The university has been leasing out floors in the house to fraternities who are just coming on campus or are waiting until major reconstruction is being done on their houses.  Thirty beds are the minimum to qualify for a floor.  In the early stages of reorganizing the chapter, the membership was not large enough to qualify. This year we are up to 38, and that could potentially qualify us for a floor for the 2014-15 academic year, if enough chapter members were willing to make the lease commitment.  At first glance, it might appear that this is a good move forward, but there are reservations.  Having two fraternities under the same roof could lead to some nasty confrontations, and we could find ourselves off campus again before we really got back on.  I think you may remember how difficult it was for fraternities to get along in houses side by side. Having two living together could only magnify the problem.  In addition, two previous attempts by the AVC to gauge the interest of chapter members moving back into the house under these circumstances revealed that there just wasn’t adequate support at the time to achieve this goal.  Beginning with the fall 2014 semester, three chapter members have rented a house or “annex” where the brothers can hang their letters and socialize.

At the end of the current lease, the chapter will have to be ready to occupy 60 beds in the house, and that may be a challenge.  National’s position since re-colonization efforts were initiated is that best housing practices dictate dependence upon no more than thirty to fifty percent of total chapter members to sustain a house.  The fraternity scene is changing rapidly.  The days of 100 man chapters and 60 man houses are gone.  A 60 man chapter would be one of the largest on campus and difficult to sustain. Even houses with a capacity of 30 beds are finding them difficult to fill.  The main problem is resistance to double occupancy. Today’s students like their privacy and space.  The Morgantown area has seen an explosion of apartment buildings that can offer those things at a competitive price.

However, a semi-WVU affiliated group has made inquiries of National which may result in a different outcome altogether.  One proposition may be for National to sell 709 N. High St. to this group and then lease a property near the house on which National could build a new home more suitable for a Balanced Man Chapter.  The two parties have been holding a series of discussions aimed at finding a mutually agreed upon price, locating an acceptable plot, and access to the leased property.  It may take some time to resolve these issues or the resolution may come quickly, or the two may not come to an agreement at all.  Rest assured that the AVC is intimately involved in these discussions to ensure that the most favorable outcome is preserved in the best interests of current and future WV Beta SigEps.  The next AVC Board meeting is scheduled for February 15th, and after that, more details may be available.  If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact one of the AVC board members.

Alternatively, questions and/or comments you may have concerning this update can be communicated to the AVC Board by using the “Contact Us” form which can be accessed from the main page of our alumni website, or by clicking on the following link:


HFF,  Ave

This entry was posted in Ave's Raves. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.