Despite early discussions led by a city councilmember and members of the CSUN Greek community, the university did not include a plan for a Greek row in its Envision 2035 campus Master Plan.
Many Greek leaders on campus agree that they want a Greek row. Most, however, said they feel the chances of getting a row of fraternity and sorority houses all in one area are minimal at best. Many cite lack of space, support and funding as reasons.
Pi Kappa Alpha President Jacob Kantor said he believes it would only be possible if the school were to invest in the project and help the Greeks out.
Kantor, a senior communication studies major, said that if there were a Greek row, his fraternity would definitely want to be a part of it. He said having a Greek row at CSUN would help eliminate problems with neighbors and enhance Greek unity.
According to Sarah Jackson, vice president of Panhellenic Council, an organization that oversees the six national sororities on campus, there are four houses on Halsted Street, where at one time an effort was made to create a Greek row.
Several fraternities and sororities already have houses, but they are scattered throughout the area. In order for a Greek organization to officially operate a house, it must be zoned for multi-family living, according to Jackson.
When the city approved two more lots on Halsted Street for multi-family living, this would have enabled the creation of a Greek row, according to Jackson, however, before any Greek organization had a chance to purchase the lots, the land was bought by a developer, who is now building condominiums at that location.
Although Greeks are often subject to negative stereotyping as simply, Jackson said that Greeks also contribute countless hours of community service and thousands of dollars to various philanthropies.
As it is, the Greek organizations on campus generally support each other in their philanthropic endeavors, but many feel that a Greek row would further promote unity and collaboration, helping them to accomplish more together.
Northridge’s representative to the Los Angeles City Council, Councilmember Greig Smith, has historically advocated for the creation of a Greek row near campus.
Smith’s staff said he supports the idea and will do all in his power to assist the Greeks in making it happen. At this point, Smith’s staff said he believes that he has done all he can do to show his support.
According to Mitchell Englander, Smith’s chief of staff, “the ball is (in) the university’s court.” The next step to creating a Greek row on campus would be for CSUN to include it in the Master Plan, he said.
“Every community has a master plan. It sets out plans for development in that community,” Englander said.
Due to issues involved in proper zoning and authorization for the development of a Greek row, no further progress toward achieving this goal can be made until it is added to the CSUN Master Plan, he said
The past year has seen a great deal of preparation for CSUN’s Envision 2035 Master Plan. The final plan will be submitted to the CSU Board of Trustees for final approval in early 2006.
The plan is not an official approval for any specific development, and thus would not guarantee the creation of Greek row, but many think the mapping of a space on the Master Plan is essential to it becoming a reality.
The plan is likely to be brought to the Board of Trustees in some form does not include a Greek row. The plans, however, does mention proposals for additional student housing closer to the main academic area of campus, as well a large space for faculty and staff housing on Halsted Street between Etiwanda and Darby avenues.
William Jennings, the head of planning for Envision 2035, has a daughter in a sorority at another university, and he said he is not against or in favor of a Greek row, but said that it simply “didn’t happen in this plan.”
Jennings did say that approximately every eight years, the plan is revised and resubmitted, and it is possible that a Greek row “could be in future plans.”
Niki Moore can be reached at email@example.com.