By Claudia Leslie, Contributor
A circulating rumor amongst the Furman community is that off-campus sorority housing is banned due to a South Carolina law that prevents unrelated women from living together in one home at risk of being considered a brothel, but these laws are actually widespread myths that began as early as the 1960s.
The so-called “brothel law” is nonexistent in South Carolina. In fact, sororities and fraternities are explicitly exempt from most housing laws regarding landlord obligation, rental agreement and rules and regulations for tenants. College of Charleston and University of South Carolina have sorority houses, so why is Furman different?
Greenville City Zoning ordinances prohibit group homes with more than six unrelated persons, regardless of gender. That is likely why only four or five fraternity brothers live in the off-campus fraternity houses. Therefore, there is no law preventing sororities from having the same type of housing as Furman affiliated fraternities.
Then why do we not have them? Is it Furman policy? Or is there just no need?
“Some people think it is unfair to give fraternities the privilege of having a house, and I think that is probably true,” junior Greek woman Kaitlyn Pugh said. “I think that if you are going to apply rules to one type of Greek organization, you should apply them to all types of Greek organizations.”
Panhellenic President Erin Bailey said, “Furman is a much smaller school compared to USC and College of Charleston which I think is a big difference. Because it is a smaller school and there is a big emphasis on living all together all four years, Furman most likely does not want to break that community feel with off campus sorority housing.”
This is an interesting point, but if Furman wants to maintain its tight knit community through housing, why allow Greek men houses? Greek women could handle a house just as easily as Greek men. Although the halls and the apartments give Greek women the opportunity to bond with their sisters, having a house could offer that opportunity within a whole new environment. Why just give Greek men that oppurtunity?