“We’re in the process of getting everything approved (by the Town of Chapel Hill),” she said. “... And we’re in the initial steps of it, so technically we can’t put our letters on the house, but it’s our property.”
Chen said the chapter is having members pay a one-time fee for the house and is getting help from Alpha Phi International to finance the properties.
Having a house provides Alpha Phi with new opportunities they did not have last year, Chen said.
“It allows a lot of us to bond with a lot of the different sisters,” she said. “We now have one big meeting place where we can all be together.”
Aaron Bachenheimer, director of fraternity and sorority life and community involvement, said having houses creates similar experiences among women in different sororities.
“A sorority in the Panhellenic community that didn’t have its own house would be a bit of an outlier since all of the other groups do have houses,” Bachenheimer said.
Bachenheimer said having a house provides a center for a sorority’s various activities.
“In a more general sense, I think having a house provides a home, and a space for community building, living together, having meals together and kind of all the things that come with sharing a home with other folks,” he said.
Stauffer said her decision to join Alpha Phi was not affected by the sorority’s current housing situation.
“I know it factored in to a lot of other girls’ decisions and stuff,” she said. “But I think the house doesn’t really matter.”