By May “Mosaic” Advincula, Staff Writer

Emory Greek Housing
Photo credit: New South Construction

Sisters at Emory University will have the opportunity to make their presence more well-known on campus with the recent grant of housing in The Lodge, Emory’s housing for Greek organizations.

Currently, Greek life at Emory comprises about 33 percent of the student body, with more than a dozen fraternities and sororities housed in The Lodge. With this recent grant, the Emory chapter will be the first and only multicultural Greek organization that will be represented on Fraternity Row.

The process of acquiring housing began approximately three years ago when housing became available after the suspension of three Greek organizations on campus. After signing up on the waiting list, the chapter received the official application in October 2011.

Chapter President Sandra “Diesel” Barlaan followed through on the application with the initiative “to have the best application since [the chapter had] been wanting [housing] for forever.”

The application itself consisted of six essays in which the chapter had to explain details, such as why they wanted housing, the values of the organization, past major accomplishments, how they would benefit in the housing and how living in The Lodge would contribute to the Greek community. From there, sisters formed an essay committee in which sisters were assigned to write and proofread the application.

The Emory chapter was the only sorority to apply for The Lodge. After submitting their application in November 2011, they received notice at the beginning of the year that they had been granted housing.

“[We’re] very proud and excited that it is really happening,” Barlaan said.

Six sisters from the chapter will move into the housing at the beginning of the 2012 fall semester.  The housing has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a basement and a meeting area that the chapter can utilize for chapter meetings.

Emory sisters hope that acquiring housing at The Lodge will help to strengthen the chapter’s presence on campus and offer more publicity as the Greek letters will be visible on the outside wall of The Lodge once sisters have moved in.

“Everyone will be able to see it, and that will hopefully help us have a higher number of girls interested in recruitment,” Barlaan said.

In addition to more visibility on campus, the chapter also hopes that this will also allow them to make stronger connections with other Greek organizations, as the housing will allow them to be physically closer to those organizations also residing on Fraternity Row.

Another goal Barlaan noted was “to strengthen the sisterhood. [The] central location is a home base to go to at any time and will build stronger ties with sisters. We hope to host events at The Lodge and open it up since it’s a convenient location.”

The notification of the housing grant seemingly had perfect timing, as the chapter also celebrated its 10-year anniversary.

In reflection of this milestone, Barlaan said, “[The chapter has] gotten a lot better [recognition]. I don’t have to explain who DPhiL is [to people] anymore. After the article [in “The Emory Wheel”] was posted, a lot of people said ‘Congratulations on your house.’ This will be the first step of knowing more about [our sorority].”

Barlaan also added words of wisdom for the chapter: “When things get tough, and they will get tough, don’t give up hope. Set concrete goals for your chapter, and don’t ever forget the sisterhood.”