Beginning next fall, the eight black fraternities and sororities that comprise the National Pan-Hellenic Council at UNC will have housing in Ram Village Apartments. Previously, NPHC chapters didn't have official on-campus housing.
“It's a step forward to have a physical space for that,” NPHC President Alton Peques said. “This will be a great space for our organizations to convene, do the work that is meaningful to their organization, collaborate socially, professionally.”
Director of Housing and Residential Education Allan Blattner said the process to secure housing specifically for the NPHC began around three years ago. Blattner said NPHC stood united in their pursuit of official on-campus housing available to all of the members of this Greek community.
“One of the things that's important to them was that if it's offered to one, it's offered to all of them,” Blattner said.
Blattner said Carolina Housing is open to conversations with any student organization that believes living together would be beneficial.
“My hope is that it makes them even stronger than they are now,” Blattner said. “I think they're some of our most vibrant chapters, and I think they add a lot of value to campus already.”
Through these fraternities and sororities, students are often able to find a safe space on campus, Peques said.
“I think it's important because people often underestimate the experience of being an underrepresented student,” Peques said.
Blattner said Ram Village was specifically selected for NPHC’s housing because over half of the NPHC members were currently living there.
“They knew it was a place where their members already saw high value and again could add even more value by allowing them to live together and share a community and build off of that,” Blattner said.
The amount of space set aside for the NPHC community is conditional on the membership of the individual fraternities and sororities as well as the desire of members to live on campus.
Still, for Keith Beasley, president of UNC’s Omega Psi Phi Inc. chapter, this is one of the first steps to bring the NPHC on a level playing field with the Interfraternity Council, whose chapters often have large houses on Fraternity Court.
“It's just really important for us to one, all have a space where we can be together and two, bring about that greater sense of Greek community because not only does it affect your student organization,” Beasley said. “There's a lot of organizations together to collaborate with housing initiatives, planning events and having a space for everyone to come together.”
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.