Decide Who Gets the Brownstones

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Who deserves to live in the brownstones on 114th street: FiJi, still exiled to EC; AXO, the only [PanHel] sorority without a house; a special interest community? Figure it out soon, because you might get to decide—or at least assist with making recommendations for a final decision!

Terry Martinez, Dean of Community Development and Multicultural Affairs, is starting a committee of administrators and students that will review the applications of groups that want to live in the brownstones and make recommendations to Dean Shollenberger. If you want to “meet to develop criteria that will outline a successful application process for groups who are interested in living in these residences,” it’s as easy as filling out this application by 5 pm Friday.

If you’d rather live in the brownstones than decide who gets them, there will be applications for 2014 brownstone housing in April. But next year, the brownstones will be in the regular housing lottery.

Brownstone Review Committee
I am convening a Brownstone Review Committee that will oversee a fair review process that will determine which groups will reside in the 536, 542, and 546 brownstones located on 114th Street. The committee, which will consist of students and administrators, will meet to develop criteria that will outline a successful application process for groups who are interested in living in these residences. Students interested in serving on the committee must complete the Brownstone Review Committee Application so that we may vet for a committee that is as fair as possible. While there will be both Greek-affiliated and non-affiliated students serving on the committee, no student serving on the committee may be part of the application process. Students who serve on this committee must be in good academic and judicial standing.

Role of the Committee:

– Develop the criteria for a successful application
– Hold open information sessions to help answer any questions or clarify the process
– Review completed applications
– Make recommendations to Dean Shollenberger for final decision


February 24th – Students interested must submit completed applications by 5:00pm
February 27th – Review and vetting of applicants begins
March 9th – Committee convenes to hear charges and expectations
April 13th – Brownstone applications available
April 15-28th – Open information sessions
September 28th – Completed applications due to committee by 5:00 pm
October – Applications reviewed
November 19th – Decisions sent to applicants

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  1. COÖP  


  2. Anonymous  


  3. Anonymous  

    AXO doesn't have a house because the concentration of hot girls would make the other sororities too jealousss.

  4. circastani  

    CIRCA, bitches!

  5. Anonymous  

    is it to late to join a sorority?

  6. Anonymous  

    Regardless, it's going to be sour grapes when Pike, AEPi, and Psi U finally realize that administration tricked them into acting goody goody for a year and taking leadership positions in Greek Life. They probably won't get their Brownstones back (I say "their," but the buildings never belonged to them in first place). There are other groups that have been waiting for years without sending their members to jail, therefore they should get the space. That's the argument the committee/Dean Martinez can and should use, otherwise it perpetuates a culture of lying and placation rather than consistently good behavior.

  7. What?  

    AXO is not the only sorority without a house. There are 6 other sororities on campus without a house.

  8. special interest house  


  9. Anonymous  

    SIC=Special Interest Community, not committee!

  10. Anonymous  

    get the band the brownstone

  11. Anonymous

    The administration really should consider giving pike, psi u and aepi first crack at these houses. It was collective punishment when they were first thrown off (it also happened before the NYPD proved anything, anyway. And no one ever showed that they were dealing from the houses). Their punishment for their members' wrongdoings--three years probation and losing housing--was billed as a type of probation, and if these fraternities have done everything right in the interim, they really should be able to get the houses.

  12. Anonymous

    is the only one besides theta and dg that people know about...

  13. Boom:  

    Philo, Band, Circa

    That would reach the largest non-Greek contingent of students, get tons of parties out of EC, and generate some much needed good will among the nerdier reaches of campus.

    • The question is  

      how would any of those groups benefit from living together under one roof? Furthermore, what campus "community building" events would these groups host? Those are the major factors of which new groups will be getting these houses, and I just don't see any of the previously stated groups really making a strong case.

  14. JJ12

    "Without sending their members to jail."

    That's the question, isn't it? Is the school officially blaming the fraternities for what happened? If so, was there an investigation and a chance to defend themselves?

    WERE these frats to blame? Does being a fraternity mean you have responsibility for the private actions of all members, or is this collective punishment?

    More than that, there is no one who was in these fraternities who will be eligible to live in these houses.

    And isn't gracefully enduring punishment (they've been on probation as well, in addition to losing the houses) reason enough for being given priority in terms of the housing?

    • Anonymous  

      These are valid questions. Down vote as you like. We had a very great multicultural house that also had a dealer, yet they are not being collectively punished.

      Should a whole floor of mcbain be punished when one person on their floor gets busted for something similar? There is no way you did not know they smoked weed or maybe even sold it. You live on the same floor never mind the same house.

      Look at it this way, should the white house been taken down when Bill Clinton was having sex with Monica, or should the IMF have been scrapped when Strauss Kahn was put into jail? There is no way such an organization that has daily meetings did not know about the ethics of their leaders. Right?

      also bring on the downvotes

      • Guy that was originally quoted.

        The fundamental problem with those examples is that a fraternity isn't just a group of guys living together- it's a family. In every fraternity ritual, you make a pledge to act as though you represent all of your Brothers and, more importantly, that their successes and failures are yours as well. The collective fraternity is responsible for the actions of their Brothers. This is something that people have a hard time understanding and, ultimately, the fraternities who don't understand this fail.

        In all honesty, I don't have a problem with recreational drug use. In terms of selling drugs, it a risk that the individual knowingly takes on. The practice crosses the line (morally, not legally) when you start doing it in the home of people that don't necessarily understand or accept the risk, but to whom you are inevitably connected to. It's like a father deciding to fast and throwing out all of his house's food to make it easier on himself. He made the personal decision to fast, but his family didn't therefore he is in the wrong. Whether or not you agree with fasting doesn't change the fact that there was collateral damage caused by the practice.

        • Anonymous  

          Does anyone remember that the IRC also had a drug dealer in their house? The reason why they're still around is because their structure and close cooperation with Columbia administrators proved that the group was sound despite what happened. Martinez/Ke$ho made it clear that they weren't investigating drug dealing but rather the organizations themselves, their history, and their contributions to the campus community in the wake of a highly publicized incident. There are drug dealers in most dorms on campus and many of the currently occupied brownstones. Sometimes it's well known and sometimes it's a secret, but that's not something Columbia can speculate on when evaluating an organization. Columbia will look at all the organizations that apply and choose the ones that will have the biggest impact for their members and the community. Maybe they protected the IRC and nixed the frats because they couldn't stomach killing a multicultural program or maybe they were right and the IRC was actually able to demonstrate greater contributions to the school. At the end of the day, I think you're right that the fraternity members are expected to have higher accountability amongst themselves than most other groups, but that mentality should be leveraged to evaluate how those fraternity members held each other accountable and worked together after the drug bust. Must we really be so cynical to think that all these frat kids are bad people? I'm not saying that all these guys deserve houses now, nor that they deserved to keep them after the drug bust, but if they've worked hard to achieve better plans, more events, higher membership, and better contributions than other applicants what else can you ask for?

    • John Mackingcock III  

      U mad bro?

  15. SANTORUM 2012


  16. Anonymous

    WBAR 4 Brownstone

  17. Anonymous  

    Who the fuck cares?

  18. anonymous  

    an Alex Donnelly brownstone for anyone who likes hugs and kisses and friendship!

  19. Anonymous  

    More frats having housing is a good thing for the social scene at Columbia. It's also especially more fair when those houses don't belong to frats that are based primarily upon sports teams.

    Hate them or love them, most of these non-sports team fraternities at Columbia have higher average GPAs then the rest of the campus, and the "happiness" one can find in being able to have a 'social release' is a primary contributor on this fact.

    We were recently rated the most stressful college in the nation two years in a row; this should not be a source of pride. For those that want to be involved, and for those who are really bored and can't leave campus easily, Greek life is an excellent opportunity to shed some of this stress. (I personally go to the gym.)

    I don't really want to write more, but one can do some googling to find great articles on (the lack thereof) a meaningful and fun social scene at Columbia and the role Greek life, when stripped of its unfair characterization by the community can have in improving this.



    • Anonymous  

      I have to agree with this guy. This campus is incredibly stressful and fraternities have barely thrown any parties since Operation Ivy. Does anyone really want another student group to get a house all to themselves? (Resist the urge to blurt out that your Society of New Age Poets Club definitely deserves a brownstone). Fraternities, whether you're in them or not, help energize the social scene on campus. Any other group isn't going to care about opening their house for those long-forgotten NSOP parties or homecoming weekend. Unless you have an extreme distaste for Greek life or are really against them getting houses so your club can be in the running, I can't see how fraternities (at least one) aren't the best option for these brownstones. I think we'd all welcome a little fun on campus every now and again. I mean......Glass House Rocks just isn't cutting it.

  20. Twitch

    More importantly, fraternities that aren't associated with sports teams have parties that are open to everyone. They actually perform a social function for non-members, especially for freshman.

    With the possible exception of the band, which is basically a frat anyway, none of the other groups that would be in the running would regularly use the space for non-members.

  21. Anonymous  

    Regardless, the fact that you are acknowledging that this could be "mean" makes me honest, not a bitch.

    xoxo <3

  22. Theater Kid  

    I really want to see a CUPAL house. And then film it and sell it to MTV. West Side Story snap fights everywhere!

    But seriously, whoever said Philo and Band: correct.

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