The 11 students who live in the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house on Mesa Vista Road must find new places to live after ownership of the house changed hands in early December.
Phi Gamma Delta, also known as Fiji, is one of about six Greek organizations at UNM that has a chapter house. Of those six, the Fiji house is the only one not owned by either alumni or the Greek organization’s house corporation. An out-of-state investor owned the Fiji house before it was sold to a local investment partnership in early December. The owners plan to renovate the house and could rent it back out to the fraternity or lease it to other tenants.
UNM director of communications Dianne Anderson said Greek organization chapter houses are privately owned, so the University played no role in the real estate transaction. She said she didn’t know the names of the investors who bought the Fiji house or the circumstances surrounding the sale.
Ryan Lindquist, associate director of the Student Activities Center, said Student Housing reached out to the fraternity to see if any students living in the Fiji house needed help finding housing on campus. The University was willing to try to place the students in dorms grouped together to re-create the communal living environment. Lindquist said he has been in touch with the fraternity’s house corporation director, who said the students who needed housing found arrangements for themselves.
A representative from the fraternity said those with the authority to speak to the media on behalf of the organization were unavailable.
According to the chapter website, the Alpha Nu chapter of Phi Gamma Delta was founded at UNM in 1966. Anderson said the chapter has about 45 members. The Fiji house made national headlines in October 2011 when a severed goat head was left on the house’s front porch. The head had a note attached that read “done” with a heart drawn over the “o”. The Daily Lobo reported at the time that members of the fraternity said they were unsure what the head and the note meant, as they didn’t match up with any tradition or mascot that Fiji or any of the surrounding Greek organizations had.