Greek Housing vs. Nature Preserve: What Will Prevail?

A location has been chosen for Greek housing, but it may kill a few owls


Ryan Murphy

Photo by Ryan Murphy | Business Manager

Gregory Cox, Contributing Writer

Greek life could be getting on campus housing in the near future, but it could be at the expense of FAU’s nature preserve.

The Boca Raton House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday, April 3 that supports the construction of Greek Housing on lot five, located just north of the FAU football stadium.

“The Greek community serves as [a] beacon of tradition and school spirit for Florida Atlantic,” states the bill. This bill is authored by Chris Ferreira, William McElligott and Felix Hartmann, who are all members of different Greek fraternities and involved in student government.

This isn’t the first bill related to Greek housing that the house has passed. Previous bills “were pretty broad in general, but this [bill] reinforces that and it’s a little more detailed,” said Ferreira, a member of the house and Boca Raton governor-elect.

Previous bills never stated a specific location for the housing to go. The proposed Greek housing plots would be located in lot five, right between two preserves that are home to burrowing owls and gopher tortoises respectively; gopher tortoises are considered a threatened species.

However, not everyone likes the planned location. Dr. Evelyn Frazier, a FAU professor of ecology and entomology, acknowledged that building on or around a preserve could adversely affect the animals around it.

“There is tons of grassy areas everywhere else. If you build a house… it’s going to impair the normal movement of these tortoises in and out of the preserve.”

Frazier also explained that this preserve is used as a classroom. Rather than having to travel to the Everglades or other parts of Florida, students are able to walk to the back of the Boca campus and visit a preserve. “There is research being conducted in that [preserve],” said Frazier.

This is something that Ferreira did in fact consider: “That’s going to be a controversy when we get there… my solution would be to move the preserve to somewhere else, but then at the same time you’re destroying our schools mascot.”

It will still take time in order to confirm the location and logistics of Greek housing, but there is a rationale for greek housing to come to FAU.

“I think for the size of school we have, compared to FSU or UM, I think it does [justify building greek housing], and then we also have more students living on campus which is always good for the university,” said Ferreira.

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