The Daily Gamecock

Phi Mu poised to join Greek Village

In first shift since 2002, chapter will replace Pi Kappa Alpha

USC and Phi Mu officials said Monday the organization will move into the Greek Village after this semester, taking over the house currently occupied by Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity.

The move marks the Greek Village’s first housing change since it opened in 2002.

Phi Mu’s replacement came after Three Undergraduates Inc., an outside entity that subleases the two-story house at 6 Fraternity Circle, chose not to renew a 3-year lease with the fraternity.Three Undergraduates instead signed a letter of intent with Phi Mu.

The contract between Three Undergraduates and Pi Kappa Alpha concludes at the end of the spring semester, said Anna Edwards, director of Student Services at USC.

The house is the sole one in the Greek Village not owned by the organization that inhabits it, Edwards said, as the 36-bed house was built for Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, but the organization didn’t have enough interest to occupy it. Phi Mu colonized at USC in 2009 and has been in discussions with university administrators concerning a possible house since, the sorority said in a release. Phi Mu President Brittany Walls referred all comment to national headquarters, which couldn’t be reached late Monday.

“Pursuant to University policy, and as required under the lease, TUI has received the University’s approval of its decision not to renew the current lease,” the corporation said in a release.

James Means, a spokesman for Three Undergraduates, said terms of the lease with Phi Mu weren’t finalized yet. He declined to say why the corporation chose to not renew the lease with Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity.

Pi Kappa Alpha President Will Caldes said the fraternity is examining the legality of the lease’s termination. Caldes said he was told the situation late Friday afternoon and criticized Edwards and Jerry Brewer, USC’s associate vice president for Student Affairs, for being “pretty slack on communication.”

“We want to make sure we’re not getting the short end of the stick,” Caldes said.

Caldes, a third-year management science student, said Pi Kappa Alpha was strong enough without a house.

“The house doesn’t make the fraternity,” Caldes said. “The fraternity makes the house. Obviously, it’s nice to have a house, and the news is frustrating to hear. But it’s not going to change the way we do business.”