Frat Row may have once been the site of outrageous parties, but in at least three houses this fall, the previously minimal supervision will be expanded and more closely regulated.
That's right, gents: house directors have been imple- mented at UT.
In lieu of a 2012-2013 school year that sent two chapters packing, a Greek Life Task Force's recommendations are resulting in mandatory house directors in every house by Fall 2014. The advisers and housing corporations plan to hire extra weekend security in Fraternity Park in the meantime.
This fall, Associate Dean of Students Jeff Cathey said that a house director has already been selected for PhiSigma Kappa and will be joined on the Row by another house director for Beta Upsilon Chi, the new brotherhood moving into the old Pi Kappa Alpha House.
Additionally, the sisterhood of Delta Gamma, which is living in the Phi Gamma Delta house until its new house in Sorority Village is completed, will also have a house director.
"We're looking for the fraternities to give us more in writing the detail of what they're looking to do this fall," Cathey said in an interview Thursday afternoon. "And then at a later date, [we're] looking for them to start giving us proposals for how they plan to provide supervision and house directors for the next fall."
He acknowledged some logistical issues, such as houses that lack the facilities for a house director or have the com- plications of budgetary concerns and preexisting student housing contracts.
To supply supervision in the interim, each chapter's housing corporation is working with the other advisers on the Row to secure off-duty police officers on the weekends.
Word has slowly spread throughout the Greek community that houses will be under a closer watch this football season, and Phi Sig's president Ryan Vernich, a senior in biosystems engineer- ing, said the response has been mixed.
"There are a lot of guys who aren't too happy about it," he said in a phone interview Thursday. "The cool thing is, the more I've learned about it, the more I'm supportive of it. ... It's actually kind of opened us up to have a little bit more freedom. When you follow some of UT's regulations, that gives us more freedom to do what we want."
Vernich said the decision was made by their chapter's alumni in hopes to get out in front of the trend.
"Our chapter wants to be the face of the change," he said.
Other fraternity members have weighed in on the issue, and at Sigma Nu, the changes don't seem so radical. Brian Isham, a resident of the Sigma Nu house for two years, said that their chapter had a live-in graduate student a few semesters ago.
"He was a grad student that was originally a Kappa Sig at Georgia Tech," the rising senior in engineering said. "He was awesome."
Isham indicated that the Sigma Nu experience was nothing but positive, adding that the "house dad" had a lot of good advice for the brotherhood. Though not technically a house director, the resident, like Phi Sig's, was implanted by the alumni board.
The exact role of these university-sanctioned directors, however, is yet to be determined. Cathey admitted that the notion of house directors has not been met with universal acceptance; some advisers think there are better ways to provide supervision.
"That's why I'm saying is it an abso- lute that every house going to have a stereotypical house director?" he said. "I don't know."
The University of Florida dealt with similar issues by mandating house directors on their fraternity row. The policy, which was most recently revised in June of 2008 but dates back to the mid-'90s, calls for a House Director that can "provide oversight and supervision for all activities occurring at the chapter house in collaboration with the Chapter Advisor."
Despite the precedent set in Gainesville, Cathey was cautious to com- mit to emulating the Gators.
"One thing that's different is that it's a wet campus," he said. "Because it's a wet campus, students can be a little more open about having some alcohol in the house after a football game.
"And one of the things we've learned is that some of their house directors clear out on a Saturday night after a football game... That's not necessarily the only model."
Whether the directors follow the model set by Florida remains to be seen, but for now, there will be three adults living on Frat Row this August.