At a time when the University is struggling to find funding for many projects, fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) is gearing up to begin $150,000 renovations.
“One of the biggest reasons we’re doing this is because alumni came back to the house and said, ‘Wow, this place really needs a little facelift,’” said DKE President Todd Keats ’11. “Hopefully [the renovations] will attract some alumni who haven’t been in contact with the chapter in some time.”
According to Keats, the first renovations will involve repairing the back porch and leakage problems in the basement. Over the summer, the fraternity plans to replace the wood floors, the light fixtures, and some of the furniture in the common rooms, entrance hallway, and library, and to repaint some bedrooms.
The Kent Literary Club, DKE’s alumni association, is in the process of raising the money.
“We circulated an e-mail amongst the DKE alumni in which we asked them to donate funds for the house,” said DKE alumnus Kent Literary Club Treasurer Bill Daly. “Some of the renovations are necessary due to maintenance being required.”
While a $150,000 price tag might seem a hefty bill for fraternity alumni to foot, Director or Residential Life (ResLife) Fran Koerting explained that DKE does not receive University funding for renovations. Although DKE is considered part of campus program housing, the University is not responsible for the building.
“Physical Plant is not in charge of fixing leakages or maintaining the house because it is an independently owned house,” Koerting said. “The alumni are at liberty to renovate the house if they wish to do so.”
According to Keats, alumni will also be taking an active role in the renovations that goes beyond donating money; a work day over the summer will bring students and alumni together to paint the house. He said that he hopes the renovations will draw a sizeable number of DKE alumni back to campus.
“I think we have done a poor job with our alumni relations recently,” he said. “I think it will inspire them to come back to the house and share their memories with undergrads as well as provide some networking opportunities. We will be having a dedication for the new renovations during Homecoming next fall and we hope to attract hundreds of alumni for the event.”