This story is developing, and has been updated from its original version.
Beginning in the next academic year, Music House, currently located at 230 Washington Street will be moving locations to 200 High Street, otherwise known as Eclectic Society, according to a campus-wide email sent on Feb. 12 from Director of Residential Life Fran Koerting.
“I regret to report that due to judicial sanctions Eclectic has lost program housing status effective at the end of this semester and will not be an option for students next year,” the email reads.
200 High Street has been home to Eclectic Society since 1906 as a co-educational society. The society was established in the 1830s when students began to meet to work together on literary works and social events; in 1837, Eclectic became the first fraternity established at the University. In the 1970s, Eclectic alumni sold the house to the University.
As Eclectic solidified its role at the University, the goal of this society became to promote independent thinking and creative expression. Members have been responsible for planning, hosting, and staffing many events for the University community, including concerts and films.
The change of residency follows several recent incidents regarding Eclectic, including an apology released by the society last semester regarding instances of racism in their recruiting process, students coming forward with accounts of sexual assault, and a photo campaign to reclaim and undermine the ideas of University Greek life.
Assistant Professor of Art History Claire Grace, and Eclectic House Advisor since Fall 2015, expressed her longstanding concern about Eclectic.
“I agreed to serve as house advisor because I was impressed both by the energy and ethical commitments of some of Eclectic’s newer members in their hopes for the Society to turn over a new leaf, and by their renewed dedication to the spirit of Eclectic’s current stated mission,” she wrote in an email to The Argus. “I am disappointed that these aspirations did not prevail, and I support the decision to terminate Eclectic’s program housing status.”
Eclectic’s apology last semester reflected similar sentiments.
“It is beyond long past due that Eclectic openly acknowledges our collective failure as a society to fully and unquestionably support Karmenife and another member, then active members of Eclectic, following their coming forward as survivors of rape and sexual assault,” the apology reads. “It is with a deep, inexcusable shame that Eclectic is complicit in these atrocious acts of violence, and as such, enabled, reinforced, and perpetuated the culture of rape…. Eclectic failed not just these survivors, but to embody what we stand for as a society.”
Koerting added in the campus-wide email that, despite this change in residency, Eclectic may continue as a non-residential organization. In addition, 200 High Street, with its new residents, will still remain as a vital social space on campus. Music House, true to its name and mission statement, will most likely continue the tradition of musical appreciation in the space.
“Music House aims to provide for Wesleyan students a supportive, creative environment for musical activity, from discussion and the exchange of ideas to performance, composition, music production, recording and appreciation,” their statement reads. However, it remains unclear exactly what form their role on campus will take.
“In the fall, I will work with the Undergraduate Residential Life Committee and the WSA to determine future use of the house,” Koerting’s email reads.
Koerting’s email further included other changes that will occur in the upcoming academic year, including the return of Psi Upsilon’s (Psi U) program house at 242 High Street and Buddhist House renamed as Middle House. Beta Theta Pi (Beta) at 184 High Street and Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) at 276 High Street will remain off limits to students.
“Whenever there are changes in program housing, it directly impacts the students who had wanted to live in that house,” Koerting wrote in a separate email to The Argus. “I hope [Eclectic members] are able to find an alternative that appeals to them among the 30 options that exist.”
She added that although Eclectic will no longer have status as a program house, its members will still be able to exist as a campus society.
“Eclectic Society still exists as a student organization, and is able to organize events,” she wrote. “There are no constraints to their ability to do so.”
Though Eclectic will not be a viable option for program housing next year, there is a chance that it could eventually be reestablished.
“The decision was based on a pattern of failure to meet program housing expectations,” Koerting wrote. “There is always the possibility of them returning to program housing in the future.”
This article will be updated with additional information as the story develops.