Fall student


This summer, several sorority lodges and fraternity houses underwent major kitchen renovations and other enhancements.

By Adrienne S. Harris, Contributing Writer, Campus Life

Emma Giarracco, a second-year pre-med student majoring in chemistry and Spanish, got a pleasant surprise this fall when she moved into the Gamma Phi Beta sorority lodge on Eagle Row. Over the summer, the kitchen had been completely remodeled.

“I knew we were going to have a renovation, but I didn’t know what it was going to look like,” said Giarracco, who lives in the lodge with 22 of her sorority sisters. “The new kitchen is a great social space in comparison to what it was before. People love to hang out there. A lot of sisters are cooking with each other and with guests. Everyone feels welcome.”

The kitchen renovation includes new appliances, cabinets, countertops, and lighting. Giarracco says the best feature is the kitchen’s island, which provides extra seating for eating and a good spot for studying.

6 sorority sisters enjoying renovated kitchen Hanging out in their new kitchen, from left: Meagan Kelly, third-year classics major; Emma Giarracco, second-year chemistry and Spanish major; Hannah Marcus, second-year public policy analysis major; Greer Spradling, second-year psychology and sociology major; Sanne Glastra, anthropology and human biology major; and Emma Platt, second-year business administration major. Photo by Tina Chang.

“The creation of spaces fosters community, and the renovations at our lodge have achieved that,” she said. “It’s an avenue for people to re-engage with the sorority. We all are so grateful for that.”

This summer, several other sorority lodges and fraternity houses underwent major kitchen renovations, and many Greek life residences got new paint, lighting, flooring, and new or re-upholstered furniture, as well as anti-bacterial dispensers, HVAC systems, and newly insulated pipes.

Elaine Turner, senior director of Housing Operations in Campus Life, says her office partners with Campus Services to continually maintain and improve residential spaces with a variety of minor and major upgrades, depending on the need. For example, the Housing Operations summer maintenance repair and renovation list also included new windows in Dobbs Hall, a repaired roof on Harris Hall, and upgraded HVAC systems in residence halls on the Clairmont Campus.

“Some of the work we do in the residential facilities, students don’t even see but hopefully will feel” she said. “Overall, our goal is to create comfortable and well-maintained facilities and an environment that is conducive to student success.”

Along with housing upgrades, the Sorority and Fraternity Life Strategic Plan called for improvements in staffing and programming designed to sustain a robust environment for sororities and fraternities, whose members account for nearly one-third of the undergraduate student body.

Since 2018, when the university adopted the strategic plan initiative, there has been a three-fold increase in professional staff members in the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life. In addition to a director and an associate director, the office has an assistant director and three, live-in sorority and fraternity-life coordinators who advise the sorority and fraternity councils.

This fall, OSFL hired 20 student staff members who will serve as a live-in community advisors for their respective sorority or fraternity residence. Each advisor will have a budget for programming that will focus on four learning outcomes: intellectual engagement, sense of belonging, understanding of self and others, and individual and social responsibility.

Scott Rausch, interim director of the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life and senior director of Residence Life, says it is important for members of Greek letter organizations to know that Emory cares about them and is willing to invest the time, energy, people, and money necessary to support them.

“We want sorority and fraternity members to have the same amenities and experiences that other students have,” he said. “That includes access to resources and programming, as well as facilities that match the quality of other housing on campus.”

Learn more

Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life

Sorority and Fraternity Life Strategic Plan