ISU Opens $25M Student HousingPosted: Updated:
Indiana State University has dedicated its first new student housing in more than 40 years. The $25 million Reeve Hall can accommodate 360 students and is primarily home to sororities. August 28, 2014
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Sarah Fedder says joining a sorority was the best decision she has made during her more than three years at Indiana State University. The Scott College of Business senior from South Bend is even more convinced of that following the opening this fall of a new $25 million student housing facility.
"Each year I have said to myself, ‘There really is nothing that could make this experience any better' and then Reeve Hall was built," Fedder said during dedication Wednesday of the two-unit, 128,000 square foot complex designed for group housing and occupied largely by sorority sisters.
Open just two weeks, Reeve Hall has already provided sororities with opportunities for growth and to connect as individual organizations and as a community, Fedder, a senior marketing major and vice president of standards with Indiana State's Panhellenic Executive Board, said.
"I am so excited for the memories and experiences our sororities while living in Reeve Hall," she said. "We, as a Panhellenic community, cannot express our gratitude enough to the university for providing us with this housing that all of us can call "home."
The townhouse-style structures on the north side of campus are just one example of the university's commitment to improving student housing, Indiana State President Dan Bradley said.
"The university is in the midst of a 10-year plan to upgrade our housing through a combination of renovations and new construction," Bradley said. "Today's event marks the first dedication of a new residence hall in more than four decades. This is a momentous occasion."
More than simply the newest and among the most attractive buildings of any purpose on campus, and more than providing a long desired single home for Indiana State sororities, Reeve Hall is the latest example of Indiana State's commitment to living and learning communities, said Amanda Knerr, executive director of residential life.
Residential Life collaborated with the Office of Faculty and Sorority Life and worked closely with sorority leaders, advisors, national offices and housing corporations to ensure a smooth move for Greek women, Knerr said.
One of the most significant results of that collaboration is the creation of sorority community assistants, she said. Those assistants are students recommended by their sororities and charged with further developing sisterhood by being trained to handle and resolve individual and organizational conflict.
"These women work with their executive boards, Faculty and Sorority Life and Residential Life to develop intentional programs and services that build community, relationships and learning environments within their own sorority as well as across sororities," Knerr said. "These women were selected to make sure that Reeve hall is a safe, comfortable, intimate living and learning environment."
The building boasts numerous features to ensure safety. It is locked 24 hours per day and is accessible only via card access. Even within each building, women can access only their specific sorority unit and chapter room. Security cameras are located in entrances and elevators and security phones will be installed so guests can contact residents to be allowed into the building. Each floor also has a security phone so residents can quickly call for help in an emergency.
"Safety was a key priority in the development and planning of this building," Knerr, a Kappa Delta alumna, said. "It is our desire that this be a safe space."
Each building houses four living-learning community units and students can chose from double or single rooms with either pod-style community bathrooms or in-room private baths. The complex can accommodate 360 women - eight units with 45 beds each along with a chapter meeting room, multi-purpose TV room, kitchenette, laundry area and office.
"The furniture in the room is so nice and it gives us a place to actually sit at a desk," said Kaitlyn Schmitt, an Alpha Sigma Alpha member and junior speech pathology major from Washington, Ind. "We have Individual rooms now ... so school can come first instead of having to deal with other people's schedules we also use the office in our chapter room for study time."
Each unit also has its own outer courtyard area for cookouts and other social functions, Schmitt noted.It's not only current students who are celebrating the opening of Reeve Hall, the first new campus housing facility at Indiana State in more than 40 years.
The name of the complex pays tribute to a part of university history. Helen Reeve served as Women's Residence Hall director from 1926 to 1947 when she became dean of women and a former building named Reeve hall served as the only residence hall for women from 1924 to 1959, except for a brief period during World War II when it was converted to Navy barracks for sailors in a training program.
"With all of the exciting things happening at Indiana State, it's a great time to be a Sycamore, and it's an especially great time to be a sorority woman at ISU," said Kim Hendricks LaGrange, a sorority alumna and faculty advisor for Chi Omega sorority.
"As a second generation member of a sorority at ISU, I have had a lifelong fondness for Greek life," she said. "Membership in a sorority and the friendships made with sorority sisters last well beyond the collegiate experience."
The positive impact of Greek life can be measured in many ways, LaGrange noted. Students who join fraternities and sororities are more likely to remain in college and graduate on time, she said. She also noted that sorority women at Indiana State have a higher grade point average than non-sorority women and Greek organizations model Indiana State's commitment to community service. Fraternity and sorority members provided more than 24,000 hours of community service last year, she said.
"The real impact of sorority life is deeper than the statistics, however," La Grange said, noting that Panellenic organizations are committed to helping members achieve personal excellence.
"National sororities have been present on the Indiana State campus for 65 years," she said. "Thousands of ISU alumnae have been impacted by their sorority experience. On behalf of all of those alumnae I ... extend my congratulations on the opening of this beautiful facility where young women will be shaped by their sisterhood, memories will be made and life lessons learned."
Source: Indiana State University