Student Senate passed a resolution last week in hopes of encouraging the university to step up and help greek chapters find funding for state-mandated sprinkler systems.
The resolution passed last week, though the university administration has not seen it yet. It calls for interest-free loans from the university to individual greek chapters to help them pay for the sprinkler systems before the Jan. 1, 2013 deadline.
The debate is perhaps more relevant now than ever, only days after a fire gutted a fraternity house at Illinois State University this week.
“[The fire at ISU] enforces the rationale behind these laws,” said Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Jesse Koch. “This house planned on installing sprinklers and if they had them the damage wouldn’t have been as bad.”
Former Student Body President Nick Swiatkowski said the fire at ISU proves that installing fire sprinklers by 2013 is necessary for the greek community.
“I think while on a smaller level, completely losing a greek house to fire would prove devastating not only to the members of the chapter effected but to the greek and campus communities as a whole,” he said. “It’s something that can be completely avoided by getting all chapter houses on campus fitted with sprinkler systems as soon as possible.”
Ken Dickenscheidt, president of the Interfraternity Council said he also agreed that fire sprinklers are necessary and greeks on campus need Bradley’s help.
“At this time, most, if not all, fraternities that still need sprinkler systems installed are unable to afford the cost,” he said. “Most chapters will be relying upon alumni donations to pay back Bradley University over the next five to 15 years. Since the greek community is approximately 30 percent of campus and growing, Bradley is looking to help the student body.”
Danielle Glascott, president of the Panhellenic Council, said she believes university loans would be important not just to the greek community, but to the university as well.
“Since many chapters are either small in size or do not have a strong alumni community to help fund this endeavor, this is a great way for Bradley to help them out,” she said. “Essentially these chapters would be taking out loans from Bradley instead of a bank. This is a win-win situation because the chapters will be paying lower interest rates and Bradley would be accumulating a small interest from the chapters.”
The resolution suggested 10- 15- or 20-year payment plans from the greek chapters back to the university.
It wasn’t clear when the student body officers would pass off the signed legislation to the university. Senate resolutions are non-binding.