Phase one of Greek Village includes five sorority houses for the historically white Panhellenic Council sororities and four chapter rooms for the historically black National Pan-Hellenic Council sororities.
Kaylon Bradford, National Pan-Hellenic Council advisor, said one of the biggest reasons the NPHC sororities were not included in the plans for Greek housing is the size of their chapters.
Bradford said historically NPHC sororities and fraternities have been relatively smaller partially due to the number of minority students on campus.
Right now, Bradford said, he doesn’t think the NPHC has enough members to sustain housing facilities.
“We will hopefully get there,” he said. “That’s our goal, but right now the space we have allotted those groups is substantial and they will be able to do the business that they need to do in those rooms.”
Bradford said he hasn’t heard any backlash from other students about Greek Village. The Greek organizations often took up space on campus, but now that they have their own space, it frees up facilities for other organizations, he said.
“Greek students are in every department on this campus, so students don’t view this as a competing project,” said Ronnie Williams, vice president of student services and institutional diversity. “It’s a real testament to how valuable these students are to future growth.”
An alumni Greek advisory board as well as the leaders of the student organizations were part of making the decisions of who and what would be included in phase one, said Gary Roberts, dean of students.
In addition, the Panhellenic Council has a national policy in which all groups must be given access to the same housing privileges as not to have a recruitment advantage over another, Roberts said.
“We made a commitment to include our smaller groups which is our traditionally African American groups,” Roberts said. “This is a critical thought. We haven’t found any institutions at this point that have NPHC facilities.”
UCA believes this will be a turning point in recruiting minority students to the university, Roberts said.
Williams said Greek Village has been designed with growth in mind, so if the NPHC organizations do grow, there’s potential to accommodate their needs.