The Office of Residence Life and Housing (ResLife) established a new assistant director of operations for sorority and fraternity housing this semester.
Jeff Tate, who now holds this position, wrote in an email to the Wheel that his responsibilities consist of supervising the 10 fraternity house directors and the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life fellow, who serves as the housing director for sorority village.
Tate will be working with groups such as ResLife, the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life and the Interfraternity Council (IFC) on housing improvement projects and concerns.
Fraternity housing has been a topic of controversy during the past few years. Last semester, IFC proposed changes to the University’s Phoenix Plan, which guarantees fraternities housing through long-term agreements.
“The new position stands at a critical crossroads between several different parties, all with an interest in the future of Greek housing yet occasionally differing views on how to best get there,” IFC President and Goizueta Business School senior Victor Rudo wrote in an email to the Wheel.
In the past, ResLife shared responsibilities for Greek facilities, according to Mary Romestant, ResLife’s director of operations.
“Now, we’ll have one person overseeing and coordinating with campus constituents,” she wrote in an email to the Wheel.
Prior to coming to Emory, Tate managed 20 sorority, fraternity and religious organizations’ use of campus housing at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
“When this opportunity at Emory came along I saw this as a way to advance professionally at a university that has a great reputation … and I hope to have the opportunity to have a positive impact on the Greek community,” Tate wrote.
While his position falls under ResLife, Tate explained that he will also be working closely with Megan Janasiewicz, the director of Sorority and Fraternity Life. His main focus, he wrote, “will be on the integrity of the houses from a facilities standpoint.”
“Most recently I have been focusing on getting all the facilities ready for the students to come back, and since they have been back I have been following up on some minor issues,” Tate wrote.
Janasiewicz said this position is important because “there are so many different [fraternity houses] and they are all built at different times; they all have unique needs.”
Thus far, Tate has conducted facilities assessments of each fraternity house.
He plans to begin “working on prioritizing work that needs to take place soon,” and to begin looking at long-term options “for some of the more big-ticket items,” Tate explained.
In searching for a candidate to fill the position, the University conducted a nationwide search, according to Janasiewicz.
After bringing three candidates to campus for interviews, Emory chose Tate because “he absolutely stood out and he has a great deal of experience.”
According to Dean of Students Bridget Riordan, the idea of a new position focusing specifically on Greek housing was proposed by a 2008 Task Force Committee on Greek Housing.
â€” By Jordan Friedman