These questions were submitted by one of our readers. If you have a question you want me to answer go here to submit it: Fraternity Advice.
Our chapter currently has a great house in a unit of a five unit building. We want to take over the other four units eventually. One brother is currently dating a girl from one of the units and asked the president and I to live in that unit with his girlfriend and her other female friend. This would give us two units. But the real question is, can we still have a fraternity house with two women living there and in two units?
I think the only definition of a fraternity house that matters is the one your chapter believes in. If your brotherhood is happy with the arraignment and calls it their house, then who cares what anyone else thinks?
That being said, be very careful with this situation. Girlfriends who live at the house often overstep their bounds and cause resentment from the other brothers. The girls pay rent, so they think of it as their place. The brothers see it as the chapter house, so they see it as their place. This is the recipe for tension that no one needs. I would be very sure the expectations are made very clear to everyone before the school year starts.
I am from a small chapter in New England and our fraternity house only has six rent-paying residents in it. The rest of the chapter either lives in dorms or in their own apartments. The problem is that one of our older brothers is basically freeloading on our couch all the time. He has no place of his own and assumes his brothers won’t mind him staying on the couch. He helps out a lot with stuff around the house and is a very active member, but he won’t find a place of his own. Nobody besides me seems to mind. What do I do?
This guy is mooching off the brothers and the chapter. It is brotherly to try to help a guy who is down on his luck. However, when the guy starts to take advantage of the generosity then there is a real problem.
And if you feel this way, then other brothers probably do as well. If it really bothers you, I suggest you talk to three people about it. First, talk to the individual. Maybe there is more to the story that you don’t know. Next, talk to the president and get his thoughts. Finally, talk to the chapter advisor. He can probably offer valuable guidance on the situation.