Early on, Alpha Chi Omega demonstrated a strong commitment to chapter housing.
Chapter Housing As of 1912, only Beta (Albion) had a lodge.
But in 1913, National President Alta Allen Loud recommended chapters at schools where fraternity housing was allowed,
and with strong financial footing, take immediate steps toward owning a chapter house—and a national committee be appointed to advise and guide these efforts.
In 1915, reports showed Theta (Michigan) had purchased a lot for $2,700 with plans to build a $12,000 house; Lambda (Syracuse) had plans to purchase a house for $17,000.
Other chapters across the country soon followed suit.
The momentum continued to grow, and in 1921 it was reported, “The seven chapters comfortably housed show satisfactory results in reducing their indebtedness;
six or seven additional chapters are building up financial reserves which will mean new chapter houses in a short time as many more chapters have modest sums to the credit of their building funds.”
House rules and decorum were addressed following World War I in a letter to collegiate chapters:
We think you will find it helpful also if you will insist on a little more formality in your attitude in the chapter house.
The old adage that ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ is proven true time
and time again in chapter house life if one is not careful.
A certain reserve is necessary if one is to be well-bred. Such little details as the forbidding of the wearing of kimonos downstairs at any time,
the insistence upon more formality and if possible upon dressing for dinner, a social hour after the meal
(with after-dinner coffee sometimes or always in your receptions rooms) help to cultivate the social ease we all desire and make your chapter house one of which you may always be proud.
Not that Alpha Chi Omega was feeling competitive, but a chart published in the November 1920
issue of The Lyre indicated that Alpha Chi Omega ranked third among women’s fraternities in the percentage of chapters living in chapter houses.
By 1924, one-fourth of the collegiate chapters owned a house, and nearly all chapters had an active building committee working to increase that percentage.
National President Gladys Livingston Graff expressed her hope that “before another year passes that at least one-half of our chapters either own their own homes, or have them under construction.
Chapter Housing The advantages of living in and owning a chapter house are too obvious to require discussion.”
Special praise was given to Pi (Berkeley) for their recovery from the fire that took their chapter house. Pi was able to rebuild the following year.
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