While sipping on mango margaritas at M&G’s restaurant down by New York University, the NYU Kappas and I got to talking about our Kappa-related living situations. While at University of Idaho, each sorority has their own brownstone house, the NYU chapters are housed in a “vertical Greek row.” It’s sort of like a dormitory and every chapter gets it’s own penthouse/floor. Each girl living in the penthouse gets her own bedroom (bed, bathroom, drawers, shelving, closets). Then the Kappas have a shared TV room and kitchen. The girls told me that only 6 females live in their penthouse at a time.
Having only six women living in the house at a time was quite the revelation for me. In Idaho, our chapter always has around 85 girls living in at the same time. We have to keep these numbers up, in fact, in order to pay all the expenses since Kappa doesn’t own our house. The NYU Kappas were so confused about this notion. They wondered where we sleep and where we go when our schedules demand privacy. They asked some strange things and even questioned, “What…Do Idaho girls not [m-word]?!” It was a little uncomfortable to say the least, especially at the dinner table. I guess it was the margaritas that brought out the shameless conversation.
In Idaho, we have “roommates” with which we share a day room. This room has a desk, drawers, shelves, and a closet for each member living in it. We only are in these rooms during the day, and infrequently sleep in them when we’re sick and not wanting to disturb the rest of the sleeping porch with our coughing. At night, we all travel upstairs to the 3rd floor-sleeping porch. The porch is a room lined with twin size bunk beds. The windows have to be open 24/7 for health code reasons. I thought it was a strange notion at first too, but it’s actually really nice. Though freezing in the wintertime, it’s like a giant sleep over party every night! Not to mention all the pillow fights…. Kidding!
The girls were amazed that people actually loved living in a house with such close quarters. They told me they actually have trouble making people live in their penthouse because everyone likes having their very own place. They’re even allowed to have boys stay over and possess alcohol if they’re 21. I’m living in Kappa next year because I absolutely LOVE it. We have a great buffet-style food and salad bar, paid cleaners (bathrooms/dishes), and our household is no more than a 5-minute walk from any building on campus. It’s so convenient. I honestly have no idea how I’m going to find time to cook/clean up after myself when college ends. I never want college to end, because like Asher Roth, I love college.
It’s funny to see the big differences between chapters of KKG because, though we all seem to have similar values, all chapters are special/different in their own ways. I love hearing the things these girls do differently from us; it’s just so interesting to me. They found it so shocking that we all sleep in the same room on bunk beds. We do everything together. Eating, sleeping, showering, fighting, laughing, crying, coping, forgiving, and loving are all done communally. Through it all we’re creating unforgettable memories. In the years after, we’ll always remember our dear Kappa days. The NYU Kappas laughed and said, “You live at a camp for big kids!”
Alena Netia Horowitz