Sigma Chi opens chapter house on Witherspoon Street
Although fraternities and sororities are not officially recognized by the University, there are several Greek organizations that exist on campus as unofficial student groups.
According to a recent Facebook invitation to a housewarming party located at the “Sigma Chi Chapter House,” the rented space is officially recognized by members of the fraternity as its chapter residence.
“Sigma Chi is proud to introduce its brand new chapter house,” the event page stated. “The first and only at Princeton. Ever.”
Several members of the fraternity said they were unable to comment, because they had been instructed not to talk to anyone about the new headquarters.
When asked about the chapter house, William Krause ’13 — the Sigma Chi chapter president — said in an e-mail only that the fraternity had not purchased any property.
“The Princeton chapter of Sigma Chi has not bought a house,” he said. “While we receive significant guidance and financial support from local Sigma Chis, we do not have plans for purchasing a house anytime in the foreseeable future.”
He did not respond to a further request for comment.
Aside from hosting social gatherings, the space will also serve as a residence to several of the members, according to a student familiar with the situation who asked not to be named.
At least three junior fraternity members have recently moved out of University housing into the new residence, according to the student.
“It’s just a couple of guys living together,” one of the juniors said when asked about the chapter apartment.
The juniors do not currently maintain residences on campus, according to the University’s college facebook.
The national organization of the Sigma Chi fraternity has been involved in the process of establishing the chapter headquarters, though it is unclear to what extent.
As the University does not officially recognize the presence of fraternities or sororities on campus, the relocation of several undergraduates to an off-campus fraternity house may raise questions on a campus with an emphasis on the undergraduate residential experience.
Last spring, President Shirley Tilghman said she would review the status of the Greek organizations at Princeton, and, in September, she established a working group on campus social and residential life. One of the stated goals of this group was to determine “the role of fraternities and sororities at Princeton.”
Currently, the University sends out a letter to all newly matriculated students before their freshman year explaining that Greek organizations are not officially recognized and encouraging students to avoid joining the organizations.