Visitors to Bissman Hall may notice a startling change to the doors and lounges inside the building. This summer, WooCorps employees painted the interior of the dormitory white, covering sorority and fraternity crests and letters painted on the walls of the buildingís lounges.
Residents of Bissman Hallís Greek community expressed their shock and disbelief over the decision. Treasurer of Inter-Greek Council and Alumni Coordinator and Service Chair of Xi Chi Psi Fraternity Roger Klein í11 stated that he was ìshocked,” and President of Pi Kappa Sorority Hilary Maich í10 said it was ìreally sad to come back to white” instead of her sororityís colors and crest.
Leaders of the Greek community had prior knowledge of the impending painting, but did not expect the changes to occur this past summer. President of Zeta Phi Gamma Sorority Katie Harvuot í10 noted she had received an e-mail from another member of the Greek community alerting her that the walls of the dorm had been painted white.
ìWe were surprised,” she said, and felt a lack of ìclosure” with the lounges. President of Beta Kappa Phi Fraternity David Boardman í10 also regretted the loss of his sectionís mural, stating, ìA lot of guys put some hard work into those pieces of art.” As Klein notes, “It was a regretful miscommunication that made a lot of members of the Greek community upset and confused.”
Director of Greek Life and Associate Director of Residence Life Joe Kirk stated there had been ìan increase in the conversation over the past year” about the need to repaint Bissmanís lounges and halls. Kirk noted he had met with this yearís presidents of sororities and fraternities in April, where he told Greek leadership that the lounges would be painted.
Associate Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life Christie Bing Kr‰cker indicated that painting the walls ìallows flexibility within the building as group sizes wax and wane.”
Members of the Greek community will be receiving materials to create movable murals with their colors, letters, crests, and mascots. In addition, the leadership of the various Greek groups received a photo CD with ìvery detailed photos” of the wall murals, according to Kirk. Kr‰cker, Kirk, and other administrators in Residence Life will be meeting with members of the Inter-Greek council Tuesday to discuss possible Greek additions to halls.
Due to a prior agreement with the city of Wooster, Bissman Hall will be converted into a dormitory of singles in the near future ó this knowledge, combined with the painting of the murals, has lead to speculation within the campus community over the future of the Greek organizations within the dormitory.
According to Kr‰cker, the administration has made ìno formal decisions about relocating the Greek community at this time,” but also noted, ìThe College would not support a relocation of the groups to another building” if student damage costs remain high.
Kr‰cker hopes the walls will be viewed as a ìblank slate” for the Greek community. Harvuot also expressed her desire to move forward, expecting the plaques to be created in a ìtimely manner Ö to right this wrong.”