After joining a sorority, the biggest decision you make is to live in the house or not. Whether or not you decide to move into your sorority house depends on your living preferences, since it’s an experience not everyone is suited to.
Maryland now has 15 sororities, all of which have their own house. The houses are primarily located on Fraternity Row, the Graham Cracker or scattered along College Avenue or Knox.
Two sorority houses on campus, Alpha Phi and Phi Sigma Sigma, re-opened this year after going through renovations this past year.
Alpha Phi sister and junior kinesiology major Olivia Woycheck Wright is currently spending her first semester of living in the house, located on the Princeton Avenue side of the Graham Cracker. Woycheck Wright said she decided to move into the house to experience living in a different location relative to campus and to “ become closer with my pledge class and get more involved in the sorority.”
Woycheck Wright enjoys the convenience that comes along with living in her sorority house such as having food provided at all times of the day, but finds certain aspects of living in the house with lots of other girls a bit irritating, such as waiting for laundry machines.
Woycheck Wright said the renovations have helped improve the house, by creating better study areas.
Junior business major Christina Posa said living in the Alpha Phi house this semester has been a positive experience for her.
“What I like most about living in the house is being surrounded by all of the people I’m close with,” Posa said. She decided to live in the house because it was the perfect way to live with a big group of her friends without it being a big hassle. “The Alpha Phi house is like living in a dorm building filled with only your closest friends.”
According to Posa, when you live in the house “there’s always someone to do homework with, go out with or just hang out with”: perks which she enjoys but can sometimes act as a distraction. Posa said finding somewhere quiet to study can sometimes be a problem, due to the sheer number of girls around the house at any point in time.
Posa said the renovations have greatly improved the house in many ways, including by adding eco-friendly touches to the house such as compost bins and two-flush system toilets.
Vice president of chapter operations and junior economics major Sophie Novick said the renovations, paid for by the Alpha Phi house corporation board and the University of Maryland, might make the girls more inclined to spend time at the house. The renovations not only helped create a welcoming space for the sisters, but for potential ones as well.
“The renovations allow us for better use of the space we have for recruitment,” Novick said.
“Everything is brand new which makes it more inviting and appealing,” Woycheck Wright said.
“The renovations make the house feel clean and fresh,” Posa said. “It’s nice to know we’re the first ones to sleep in the beds and use the showers.”
Stacey Skulnik, a junior journalism major and Phi Sigma Sigma sister, said the Phi Sig house renovations changed the layout of the house, relocating the dining room to be closer to the common area, and the bedrooms are slightly larger than they previously were.
“I think out-of-house girls definitely come to the house more often because it’s so clean, new and beautiful; it’s hard to stay away!” Skulnik said.
Skulnik currently lives in the house, and will continue to do so next semester.
“I love being around my friends all the time because I never get bored,” Skulnik said. “I guess with that, however, I stay up later than I should and constantly feel the need to be socializing when I should be doing work.”
The Phi Sig house, whose renovations were paid for by Phi Sigma Sigma nationals, now houses 42 girls, according to Skulnik.
Junior dietetics major Lauren Pavone is finishing up her first semester in the Zeta Tau Alpha house, located on Fraternity Row, which houses 33 of Zeta’s sisters. Pavone moved into the house once she obtained a position on Zeta’s executive board; she wanted to be easily accessible to girls who had questions for her or needed her help.
Among the things Pavone likes about living in the house is not having to worry about chores such as cleaning and cooking, since the house has a full time chef and house cleaner. Certain things, such as having a bunk bed, have made living in the house difficult for Pavone, however.
“ I can barely sit up without bumping my head and changing my [bed] sheets is almost impossible,” Pavone said.
Junior journalism major and Tri Delta sister Samantha Inzalco said she enjoys living in the house, because she likes having all of her friends under one roof, as well as the food. “Our chef Marco is amazing and the sweetest,” Inzalco said.
According to Inzalco, the Tri Delta house holds 68 girls, most of which are sophomores and juniors.
Living in the house is not for everyone though.
Senior biology major and Delta Gamma sister Lauren Slamon said she chose not to move into her sorority’s house, because she wanted her own bedroom and to have control over what she ate. “We can’t cook in our house, which is understandable for safety concerns, but I wanted to be able to make my own food,” Slamon said. “Now [in Commons] I only share a bathroom with one other person, which is nice.”
Photo (top): Alpha Phi Sorority House, Univesity of Maryland, Photo Credit: Alpha Phi, Sarah Polus
Photo (middle): Phi Sigma Sigma House, University of Maryland, Photo Credit: Stacey Skulnik
Photo (bottom): Photo Credit: Stacey Skulnik