- INSULTS AND STUPIDITY LEADS TO SUSPENSION
- TRAGEDY LEADS TO OFF-CAMPUS FRATERNITY SYSTEM
- STRATFORD HEIGHTS
- BALANCING UNIVERSITY NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICIES AND THE FIRST AMENDMENT: THE CLASH BETWEEN UGA AND BYX
- APPEAL FILED IN AEPI FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION CASE
- HAZING: A PRIMER AND REMINDER
Newsletter > January 2007 > "STRATFORD HEIGHTS"
Private-public partnerships to redevelop and revitalize neighborhoods are being forged in almost every American community today. In particular, colleges and universities are joining with municipal and state governments and private developers to revitalize neighborhoods adjoining campuses as part of university-wide strategic planning. These developments almost always include a residential component aimed at the students, which may have an impact on the traditional fraternity and sorority model of housing.
The construction of one such development was recently completed next to the campus of the University of Cincinnati. The University partnered with a non-profit group aimed at revitalizing the surrounding area, the University Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (UHCURC), to plan and construct the Stratford Heights community. Stratford Heights is a neighborhood of fifteen residential buildings positioned around a large, open green space. Unlike a traditional apartment complex, Stratford Heights is marketed as an opportunity for members of student groups or students with certain similar interests to live in a central community, including fraternities and sororities.
Greg Braun is a UHCURC trustee and University of Cincinnati and Lambda Chi Alpha alumnus who is closely involved with the operations of Stratford Heights and his fraternity’s housing corporation. According to Braun, Lambda Chi Alpha’s Cincinnati chapter previously owned its own house on UC’s campus. Since Stratford Heights was constructed, however, the chapter has sold its house and the members have moved into one of the buildings in the community. The chapter pays a per bed yearly fee to have its name on the building, and the members execute individual leases with Stratford Heights.
The rent at Stratford Heights includes utilities (with air conditioning provided), furniture, big screen televisions, wireless internet, cable, room and common area cleaning, and professional management of the complex, all in a brand-new facility. “While the monthly rent may be a bit more expensive, the advantages for the students greatly outweigh any increase,” according to Braun. The move has even better advantages for the leadership and alumni of the fraternity. Without having to serve as the landlord for each member, the chapter is no longer responsible for maintenance of the house or utilities, and does not have to worry about collecting rent from its members. The leadership of the chapter is then free to focus its energy on programming and the business of running the chapter itself.
For the alumni, rather than having to concern themselves with the operation of the house and the mortgage associated with it, they are also free to focus their efforts on programming. In addition, the proceeds from the sale of the former chapter house can be used for the benefit of the chapter and its members. “The Cincinnati Lambda Chi Alpha chapter took the proceeds from the sale of its house and started a 501(c)(3) education foundation for the chapter,” Braun said. The foundation provides educational programming and scholarships to members, and allows alumni to make tax-deductible donations to the fund.