Phi Kappa Psi clarifies recent housing status rumors
Many people have started to wonder what the state of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity is. Rumors have been swirling around campus that the organization has died out, or that its house has been revoked and turned into a dorm. However, these claims are a little off base. The Round Table sat down with Phi Psi President Noah Sisson‘20 and Recruitment Chairman Max Moderski‘19 to discuss the fraternity’s new changes.
Most of the talk about Phi Psi’s status on campus stems from their new housing contract with the school. “We’re kind of a dorm-frat hybrid right now,” explained Sisson. The frat is still very much an active organization on campus, but they have worked out a new deal with Residential Life. Most members of Phi Psi live in the house, but now any open space can go to non-members for student housing. “Phi Psi is actually in a growth period right now,” Sisson said.
For several semesters, the fraternity had been struggling to fill their house. After discussions between the organization and Residential Life, an RA was moved in, making it a potential location for student housing. “I know other Greek houses are having trouble filling house as well,” said Moderski. “It’s actually interesting because I don’t really know what the school wants to do with Greek life at the moment.” Currently, only students who are in Phi Psi or were formerly in the organization live in the house. “[Res Life] always said every semester that we haven’t fully filled beds, they said they were going to move people in that aren’t affiliated,” Moderski explained, “but they have yet to do so. Even when they moved [the RA] in we still have open beds.”
Phi Psi sees this change as a positive. Much of their issues in the past stemmed from financial burdens – paying national dues can often be expensive. However, with their new partnership with student housing, some of these past monetary issues have been alleviated. “With the new deal, it’s the same thing, except we no longer get paid for filling beds, and we no longer pay the school for empty beds,” said Sisson.
Both Sisson and Moderski reported to the Round Table that most of the members of Phi Psi were excited about the change. “We see it as a way to get more in touch with the student community,” said Sisson.
Since Phi Psi is a fraternity, many have wondered if the open spaces in the house would be available to female-identifying students. “We’re open to anyone living here,” said Sisson. “Phi Psi has been around since 1856, and we’re always willing to adapt.”
“We’ve even gotten help from outside as well,” said Moderski. “This past month, we had multiple members from the fraternity go to a regional officer training in Chicago to learn more about our positions and how they work.”
All in all, Phi Psi sees their new living situation as a possibility for other Greek houses on campus. “Beloit is a small school, and about 20% of students are in Greek life. This means that when rush season comes around, three separate fraternities end up fighting over like, 19 people,” said Sisson. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that this campus can’t support three fraternities. I think it can, but the mentality of the [administration and] students needs to change.”
With rush season upon them, Phi Psi is hoping that being the first Greek house to have a hybrid living setup will bring them more exposure to the Beloit College community. “Sometimes people are hesitant to come to the door,” said Moderski, “but I think they’ll find it’s actually a really fun place.”