Rendering courtesy of Joseph Wong Design Associates
If construction plans pull through, the only Christian sorority at San Diego State will soon be without a home.
Alpha Delta Chi was notified by the school on March 4 that its chapter house near the corner of Montezuma Road and Campanile Drive will be demolished by May 2020 to make room for a new apartment complex. The land will continue to be owned by the SDSU Research Foundation, which said the new complex is not part of the Sophomore Success Program. The property will be managed by the developer, according to the Research Foundation.
The sorority officers are circulating a petition online with the goal of saving their house, which the sorority has been in for the last 12 years.
The petition received more than 520 signatures as of Thursday, April 4, and hospitality and tourism management junior Emily Gomes said the sorority hopes to present the petition at two open forums at the Faith Presbyterian Church. The first hearing was held on April 3 and a second will take place on April 10.
“We have been relying on our community, local churches and different campus ministries,” Gomes said, “asking them to write letters for us to present them at the hearing.”
The housing forum on April 3 offered no solace for the soon-to-be-displaced women. Concerned College Area neighbors argued that an apartment complex will keep the area safe from house parties — even though Alpha Delta Chi can’t throw parties as a sorority and a Christian organization.
Lou Haberkern, project manager for the developer, said their lease not being renewed has been available knowledge since September 2018, and the developer is not responsible for finding compensation regarding their displacement.
The SDSU Research Foundation is in charge of ownership and any leasing agreements with the houses and was at the hearings over spring break.
Deborah Brighton, director of communications for the research foundation, said the renters were notified that the property of Alpha Delta Chi was under redevelopment at the time of the lease.
“The tenants at 5750 Montezuma were notified through a clause in their lease that the property is subject to redevelopment and they were informed last fall of the proposed development,” Brighton said.
Child and family development junior and vice president of Alpha Delta Chi Daviana Navarro said her university experience before becoming a part of her sorority was socially lacking. She said the extent of her campus involvement was showing up to her classes.
The Alpha Delta Chi house, in addition to two neighboring properties, are the only non-apartments left on that section of the north side of Montezuma Road.
“Demolishing these smaller properties wouldn’t be a big deal because they’re not looking at who is affected … They’re just thinking about money,” Navarro said.
Alpha Delta Chi President and child and family development senior Alexis Kojo said if the house is removed, it will diminish the sorority’s sense of identity.
“We are students, we are SDSU Aztecs and we’re Christians,” Kojo said, “and we’ll have one aspect of us kind of taken away to make room for impacted living.”