Greek organizations have a long history at the University of Central Arkansas, dating back to 1915 when Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity was known as the “Owls.” UCA currently has twenty-one (21) fraternities and sororities under four governing bodies – Inter-fraternity Council (IFC), National Panhellenic Council (NPC), National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), and Independent Greek Council (IGC). Nearly 1,000 students belong to the 21 Greek organizations. The following is a breakdown of size of each Greek organization, as of May 1, 2011.
IFC Organizations Members Sp. 2011 5 Year Average
- Pi Kappa Alpha 67 63
- Sigma Tau Gamma 47 78
- Phi Sigma Kappa 18 21
- Sigma Nu 28 46
- Kappa Sigma 82 87
- Phi Lambda Chi 50 43
- Sigma Phi Epsilon 95 120
Panhellenic Organizations Members Sp. 2011 5 Year Average
- Alpha Sigma Alpha 102 98
- Alpha Sigma Tau 99 105
- Delta Zeta 92 103
- Sigma Kappa 80 90
- Sigma Sigma Sigma 58 64
NPHC Organizations Members Sp. 2011 5 Year Average
- Alpha Kappa Alpha 37 19
- Delta Sigma Theta 26 27
- Zeta Phi Beta 8 7
- Kappa Alpha Psi 17 14
- Omega Psi Phi 16 12
- Phi Beta Sigma 8 10
- Alpha Phi Alpha (returning fall 2011) 7
Independent Greek Organizations Members Sp. 2011 5 Year Average
- Beta Upsilon Chi 27 N/A
- Sigma Phi Lambda 18 N/A
Total # Groups – 21 # Members - 975
Current Greek Housing
There are currently three types of Greek housing at the university. Eleven groups have Greek Chapter rooms in three residence halls – Carmichael, Arkansas and Conway Halls. One group currently owns a private house adjacent to the campus. Four groups lease houses from the university on Western Avenue, and one group leases a house on Augusta Avenue.
Greek Chapter Rooms on Campus. As early as 1970, eleven (11) UCA Greek organizations had chapter rooms in the residence halls. In addition, Greek members lived in rooms next to their chapter rooms on each residential floor. This practice changed in the early 1980s when the residence halls were converted to freshmen halls, forcing upper-class students to find housing off-campus. Several groups, however, still retain chapter meeting rooms in the three residence halls.
Off Campus Property. The first off campus, privately owned fraternity house was constructed in spring 1990 by Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. Since then, three other fraternities – Sigma Tau Gamma, Sigma Nu, and Pi Kappa Alpha – built or purchased off campus property. Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Tau Gamma, and Sigma Nu have since sold their houses and now lease property from the university.
University Leased Property. In fall 1998, Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity was the first Greek organization to lease a house from the University. Four groups – Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Nu, Sigma Tau Gamma, and Kappa Sigma – now lease houses from the university on Western Avenue; and one group – Phi Sigma Kappa – leases a small house on Augusta Avenue.
Current Issues Facing UCA Greek Housing
Below are are issues or challenges related to current UCA Greek housing:
- Current facilities are old and outdated. Sorority chapter meeting rooms are located in residence halls that are over 45 years of age; and most houses leased by fraternities are too small and in need of repair. It is time to plan for the future with regards to Greek meeting and living space.
- Current Greek facilities are preventing the UCA Greek community from growing. Chapter meeting rooms in residence halls are too small for sororities to grow in size. (The fire code, for example, limits the number of members in chapter meeting rooms to 80). In addition, the university has no meeting or living space for other Greek groups who may wish to colonize at UCA. There is a desire to create social Greek organizations for Latino students to assist with recruitment of this expanding population. There is also an interest in establishing at least one more Panhellenic sorority. There is no campus space, however, to accommodate any of these groups.
- There is constant tension between residence hall students and Greek groups in residence halls because of noise, trash and other related issues.
- The diverse mix of housing and meeting room arrangements create an imbalance among groups in terms of recruiting new members due to differences in size, appearances, and policies.
- Many Greek chapter rooms cannot accommodate students with disabilities.