QUINCY — People driving north on 18th Street past Quincy University in the past week may have noticed fresh paint and other modifications to the houses that make up the school’s Greek Row.
Through a donation of $25,000, QU has started the first phase of a remodeling project that includes fresh paint and minor renovations to the exterior of the homes.
The university also has started a campaign to raise $175,000 for additional improvements, such upgrades to the kitchens and bathrooms. Preliminary designs include an outdoor social gathering area in the backyards of the houses. Grills, seating, fire pits and a bocce ball court also will be added.
“We think it’s important for the community because it improves the appearance of that area,” said Christine Tracy, vice president of student development at the university.
“But for us, specifically, students want to be part of something. They need to be part of something. When they feel like they’re part of something, then you want to stay. You want to give back. So Greek life is another thing for our students to be part of. So, now you have houses that will attract students … who will be part of an organization that will give back to the community and give back to themselves and fulfill a larger mission (that matches the university’s).”
The donation kickstarted a reboot of Greek life at the university.
“We don’t have a big Greek life experience on this campus,” Tracy said. “We never have as an institution, and so we want to give everyone another outlet — another avenue to get involved, another opportunity to gain leadership experience, gain community service experience and find another group of friends.”
The university is adding a new men’s fraternity called Iota Phi Theta. Iota Phi Theta is a member of the Pan-Hellenic Council, which is composed of historically African-American fraternities and sororities. Delta Tau Delta is the other fraternity on campus.
Sigma Phi Eta is being added as a new women’s sorority. Alpha Omicron Pi is the other sorority on campus.
Each house is tied to a philanthropic mission — some national, some local.
After the past couple of years of dealing with COVID, projects like this for students are even more essential.
“We need to reteach young people how to communicate with one another and how to interact with one another,” Tracy said. “This is just another avenue to do that.”
To donate, visit www.quincy.edu/greekrow.
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