Fraternities at the University of British Columbia are cashing in on the 2010 Winter Olympics by renting out their bedrooms.
Five of the eight frat houses in the “fraternity village” have decided to rent out their houses to athletes. The village is located near UBC’s Thunderbird Arena, where the Olympic hockey games will take place.
While several fraternities are participating, the decision was not entirely made by the residents.
At Psi Upsilon, the fraternity alumni decided to rent the rooms on behalf of the students.
“Because the house is owned by alumni, we do not own the contract of the house, the alumni does,” Kyle Mitchell, president of Psi Upsilon’s Zeta Zeta chapter, explained. “So they made the decision on what to do with the house.”
While most members were able to find alternative housing, a committee was formed to help some who were unable to find a place to live.
According to Mitchell, fraternity members spend about $730 a term to rent a room in the house, including food. By renting out the space, many of the frat members will make a profit. However, Mitchell was unwilling to comment on exactly how much the fraternity stands to make.
At Alpha Delta Phi — another fraternity located in the village — the decision to rent rooms was made by the residents.
“[The decision] could not have taken place without the approval of the students,” Tim Laidler, house manager of Alpha Delta Phi, said. “It was something that we brought to a meeting back in May and students made a resolution at the students’ annual general meeting.”
Terrie Eastmade, assistant executive director of Alpha Delta Phi’s international chapter, noted the decision to rent the rooms was made locally.
“The international [chapter] had nothing to do with this,” East said.
Laidler mentioned the windfall reaped from the rentals would go into much-needed house repairs as well as a student bursary to be given out at the end of the year.
“It is very positive for the students. They’re all benefiting from this greatly,” Laidler said.