A University of Vermont fraternity that was shut down after a scandalous membership survey will become a Champlain College residence hall under a five-year lease agreement.
Sigma Phi Epsilon, which occupied an 8,200-square-foot house at 371 Main Street, is undergoing interior upgrades and will be home to as many as 30 Champlain College students in the fall, said John Caulo, interim associate vice president for campus planning.
The building is owned by the national Sigma Phi Epsilon organization, which closed the UVM chapter indefinitely in December amid a furor over the survey, which had reportedly asked fraternity members whom they would like to rape. News of the survey prompted a police inquiry, campus protests, and an investigation by UVM that continues. The national fraternity has owned the house since 1956.
Caulo said Champlain College has leased the house for five years. Burlington’s Development Review Board approved the college’s application for a change of use, from fraternity to dormitory, in June. An estimate for the interior work construction totaled $300,000, plus $30,000 to replace all the windows.