Sigma Delta Tau looks to new beginning

Sorority publicly opens first house since establishment of U.Va. chapter

ns-SDTHouse-RaviSuresh

The new SDT house is located at 1505 Virginia Ave. 

Ravi Suresh | Cavalier Daily

Around the Corner, a little ways up Virginia Avenue, is a white, 1916 remodeled house that proudly hangs the sign “Sigma Delta Tau Opening House.”

The sorority Sigma Delta Tau had an open house Sept. 24 to celebrate its transition from a floor in the GrandMarc apartment to its own house just off Grounds.

“We have been wanting a house ever since we started [at the University],” said Madison Lewis, fourth-year Curry student and SDT housing chair.

SDT had been looking for a house for various reasons.

“I think one of the biggest things is just to kind of have a place … To call home, which is a huge part of being at a sorority,” Lewis said.

Lewis said she hopes that a house will strengthen the relationships between SDT sisters.

“It’s just really cool to see — when we have chapter at the house, it’s just filled with everyone,” Lewis said. “It’s just kind of a nice open space when people don’t have anywhere to go, just to hang out and know that there’s most likely always going to be someone there.”

Owning a house has brought benefits like providing members with a meal plan, which serves as a further opportunity to bring members of SDT together.

“[Meal plans] are all great because you don’t have to live in [the house] to come eat,” said Elizabeth Holland, fourth-year College student and SDT president. “So that just brings in a wide variety of people who just swing by on their way home after class.”

A house has also opened up new avenues for the type of events SDT can do, Holland said.

“I think I’m really excited to do formal recruitment here and watch that process in our house,” Holland said. “And I’m really excited for any events … Like a philanthropy here. Just utilizing [the house] and bringing in the larger community [are benefis].”

For the SDT members who are the first to live in their house, the experience has been novel.

“It’s such a new process for us and we’re still trying to figure out the kinks of the stuff so it’s really cool to be in that position,” Lewis said. “Now, we’re selecting the girls to live in it next year, which is also exciting because I get to be one of the first people to live in it, and now I get to select the next girls to live in it.”

As of now, eight SDT members live in the house.

“We’re hoping to expand out back within the next two summers and bring it up to 16 to 20 girls,” Holland said.

Although having a house has many benefits, the process involved many obstacles that were overcome with the aid of outside help.

Amy Krouse, current national coordinator and past national president of SDT, helped the sorority land the house.

“Honestly, the biggest challenges was that there was not a lot of property available for communal living,” Krouse said. “We needed to look at many properties for rent, and we really wanted a permanent home and a commitment to the University to be here for the long-term.”

In addition to finding a physical house, much effort went into funding the purchase of the house as well.

“A lot of [the house] was funded through other chapters of SDT,” Lewis said. “So we had the Michigan chapter who funded all the bedroom furniture, which is really cool that our other chapters across the U.S. are helping us out.”

Lewis said she hopes that her chapter can eventually return the favor.

“Hopefully one day, we’ll do that for [other growing chapters] who want to buy a house,” Lewis said.

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