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Zeta Psi fraternity moves houses to make room for UA's new honors village

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Heather Newberry | The Daily Wildcat

Árbol de la Vida, a dorm specifically for Honors students. UA plans to create a new honors complex by Fall 2019.

UA’s proposed honors village is set to be built on Drachman Street, between Park and Fremont avenues; this area, which is currently home to the Beta Delta chapter of Zeta Psi Fraternity, will soon be overtaken by the university’s project.

According to university plans, this centralized honors village will include 1,000 new dorm beds, a set of classrooms and offices, a recreation center and a new parking lot. Elliot Cheu, interim dean of the Honors College, expects that the complex will be open to students as soon as the Fall of 2019, meaning the landscape of this area will be rapidly changing. Zeta Psi is located where the university plans to construct the dorm itself.

Zeta Psi is a recognized organization according to the Interfraternity Council and UA, but their current house is not recognized. The building fails to meet IFC codes because it does not have working fire sprinklers. Being unrecognized by the IFC and UA, Zeta Psi’s fraternity house is not allowed to display letters at this location.

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Drawing near the expiration of its one year lease, Zeta Psi will be forced to relocate in the coming school year. Currently, the building they are living in is being leased from American Campus Communities. Michael Polzin, regional manager for American Campus Communities did not respond to requests for a comment.

The fraternity, having occupied the space for two years, will move to another location closer to campus. The new house will also be unregistered due to IFC regulations.

Originally, Zeta Psi believed that the owners were building an apartment complex in their area, but they recently received news of the honors complex.

“We are bummed though that we are losing the property, as even though the house wasn't much, it was a place our fraternity saw as a home and now we are forced to look around campus to find a new place,” said Josh Nadler, president of Zeta Psi Fraternity and UA sophomore.

While tentatively moving forward on plans for their new house, Nadler recognizes the importance of the new honors complex. The complex will expand the campus and attract students to the college from across the nation.

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“It is also cool and interesting to see that the school is expanding north of campus around the medical campus and Eller,” Nadler said.

Sentimental attachment to the old house is met with excitement from other members about the new house they will be living in next year. Members feel that the house will be an improvement and attract potential new members.

“Yeah, pretty sure we got a dope house next year. We’re stoked on our new house and two pool houses,” said Nicholas Belville, active Zeta Psi brother and UA junior.

In light of these exciting new opportunities, members like Belville are indifferent to the actions of the honors college. They see the change as a casual inconvenience.

“It’s really no big. We have had the house for two years and when they said we can’t renew, we found another house. That’s it,” Belville said. “We found out later that they’re probably selling it to the school to build an honors dorm.”


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