Saturday, July 4, 2020

East Lansing approves new sorority house

November 15, 2019
<p>Newly elected city council members including Mayor Pro Tem Aaron Stephens (left), Lisa Babcock and Jessy Gregg during the East Lansing City Council meeting at the East Lansing City Offices on Nov. 12, 2019.</p>

Newly elected city council members including Mayor Pro Tem Aaron Stephens (left), Lisa Babcock and Jessy Gregg during the East Lansing City Council meeting at the East Lansing City Offices on Nov. 12, 2019.

Photo by Connor Desilets | The State News

East Lansing City Council unanimously supported rezoning and special use permits needed for the construction of a three-story sorority house on Grove Street at the Nov. 12 meeting.

"For those of you who don't know about our current housing situation, we have turned lemons into lemonade," Amy Rodnick, Sigma Delta Tau's Beta Beta chapter advisor, said.

Members of Sigma Delta Tau are spread out between four houses on M.A.C. Avenue, and the sorority is the only one on campus without a permanent house, Rodnick said.

For the house to be built, a duplex and single-family living space will need to be demolished. Final approval for the project will have to go through the Historic District Commission.

The proposed house will hold around 45 of the 169 chapter members.

"Living in one sorority house as a community is a huge part of the sorority experience," Rodnick said.

Sigma Delta Tau raises thousands of dollars for Prevent Childhood Abuse America annually and is active in community events.

Chapter member Sarah Woodstein said the house will help them with their fundraising efforts as well as sorority events.

"To have our sisterhood under one roof would provide more meaningful experiences through philanthropic events, community fundraising and chapter meetings," Woodstein said.

Chapter President Julia Bretschneider said the sorority has been forced to hold many events at places like hotel ballrooms and places around campus, presenting spatial and financial hurdles.

"We just can't physically house and hold events that can have our entire chapter present at," Bretschneider said.

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