Administrators at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor want their young male students in group homes, returning to the fraternity model of yore, with housing directors—aka "house moms."
The request comes after U-M fraternity members completely trashed a resort in the northern part of the state this past January. A house mom, administrators hope, would provide the necessary supervision and role-modeling these guys need to combat behavioral issues in Greek life.
According to USA Today, more than 120 Sigma Alpha Mu members tore up the Treetops ski resort, destroying everything from ceiling tiles and exit signs to furniture. Also? They peed all over the carpets. At the time, the resort estimated damage to 45 rooms at around $100,000. That number has jumped to nearly half a million dollars. The fraternity has paid out $25K to the Gaylord, Michigan-area report. Three U-M students were charged in connection with the incident.
University administrators met with 30 national Greek organizations, an effort to encourage the groups to change the culture of fraternities. They encouraged them to have a more mature, experienced voice around the campus, as sororities do. Only two fraternities have these live-in advisers.
House moms disappeared from regular fraternity life when fewer men joined the groups and even fewer lived in the houses. These directors had become an unaffordable role in the Greek system. Some fraternities found success in placing mentors in fraternity houses by tapping into their network of graduate students. Universities, including U-M, have called on the national fraternities and their alumni networks to help bring oversight and guidance to the young men facing so much temptation to be irresponsible.