Covid-19 Emergency – A Status Report from HC
Due to highly successful recruitment, we can all look to next fall’s prospects for sustaining Lambda on campus. The emergency appeal to graduate brothers helped to carry us through a time of tightly restricted occupancy – with only 24 guys in the house. Our “financial break-even” is 33, so without the support we received from graduate brothers, we could not have survived. We collected just under $85,000, and that extended our sustainability through the end of the 2020-21 school year. We would like to offer our sincere thanks to everyone who contributed.
We have had to make certain changes to living conditions over these two semesters to keep Lambda going:
- FIJI’s kitchen service consolidated meal preparations to include Kappa Alpha Theta and Delta Gamma in order to provide adequate quantities of meals and retain an economically feasible operation.
- Outside cleaning services were employed daily to assure CDC-compliant sanitary conditions on all 3 floors – the bathrooms, shared spaces, and hand sanitizer dispensers in key locations.
- All brothers lived in single rooms and “pick up” boxed meals were provided. There was no communal dining throughout the year.
- Social distancing was enforced throughout the house – including bathrooms – at all times. Masks were worn whenever a brother left his room.
- During this time of COVID-19 issues, the Fiji House Corporation (Lambda Corporation) kept all house maintenance and improvement costs to a bare minimum while not creating an unsafe or inconvenient living environment. As soon as our financials return to a more solid base in the near future, a number of the costs set aside will have to be addressed.
Lambda also obtained some PPP and EIDL loan funds which permit us to open next fall. Yes, this was really that dire.
With that financing, we expect to have a sufficient number of guys in the house this fall, at least to complete the first semester. When the rest of the guys return from their “virtual” existence, we should be in good shape to finish 2021-22.
The remaining substantial challenge is for DePauw’s campus enrollment to return to a level that will sustain Greek housing, including FIJI. That remains our central concern. Eric Wolfe ’04, Kit Lortz ’62 and I are active participants with the Greek Community Board (GCB) where we advocate for and support DePauw’s development of strategies for a return to normal operation.
Many thanks again to you, graduate brothers! You came through for the chapter when it was sorely needed. Now we can renew our support and encouragement for the undergraduates.
Doug Mitchell ’70
Lambda House Corporation president