IWU renovates Sigma Chi to Emerson Hall

By Farah Bassyouni Oct 14, 2022

                                                                   Photo: Taken by Argus staff

Monday, October 10, Illinois Wesleyan began renovations on Sigma Chi, a fraternity house that has been shut down since a hazing incident in 2021. The fraternity will now be Emerson Hall, a residence building that will be available for upper-division students as part of the general housing selection process. 

Sigma Chi operations have been suspended after a first-year student suffered forehead wounds, and a Facebook post from an IWU parent circulated claiming the student suffered “psychological trauma and physical abuse as a fraternity pledge,” said the post. 

Sigma Chi has to meet certain conditions to prove they’re able to be positive members of the campus in order to re-open their chapter at IWU. All of the members who were present during the hazing incident must graduate first. 

The necessity of renovations is directly related to the demolition of Gulick Hall in Summer 2023 and will displace students in need of housing. In place of Gulick, the Pietrick Idea Center will be built, anticipated to be finished in 2025, and will serve as a living, learning and creating facility for IWU students, but it also means the loss of living space for students in the meantime. 

“Emerson Hall will help us provide quality housing for students next year. We will also use Emerson Hall for summer conferences,” Dean Karla Carney-Hall said. 

The Emerson Hall renovation will cost approximately $2.1M, and is planned to be completed by Summer 2023. 

“The most important thing is that students will be able to select to live there for Fall 2023 and have that option for housing selection,” Kyle Griffith, the Director of Residential Life, said. 

With enough room for about 38 students, Emerson Hall will have two separate study rooms, a social area, an upgraded kitchen and living room, and the laundry will be moved to the first floor for convenience. 

“Our students here now will have access to what I think is going to be a good space,” Griffith said. 

In addition to Emerson Hall, the university will also be renovating Munsell and Ferguson, and preparing to build the new Pietrick Idea Center, all in 2023. 

“This is a significant, exciting investment in the residential mission of the university,” Dean Carney-Hall said. 

Related Post