ZACH CORREIA — The Chamberlin lodge space was officially opened to students last Friday in a ceremony dedicating the new social space. Located on the first floor of Chamberlin Hall, the lodge offers a large social gathering space that students can register to host parties in. The lodge also includes offices for the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), which up until this point have lacked any space for their member organizations.

The event was attended by around forty members of the Denison Community, including a number of senior staff from student development. Dean of Student Leadership & Community Engagement Erik Farley and Vice-President of Student Development Laurel Kennedy both spoke at the event. In opening the space Dean Farley placed the opening of the lodge in the larger context of the changing social space at Denison saying “As many of you know this academic year, students and staff have been having a very honest conversation about our social culture on campus, are renovating current spaces and important new ones. We really hope to offer spaces to meet the needs and interests in current and future Denisonians.” Dean Farley went on to ask that students continue to be involved with the process and that “after spring break we’ll be sending out some additional information about updates being made to solicit student ideas.”

In her remarks, Dr. Kennedy said that she “couldn’t be more pleased as a college, by which I mean all of us, that this space, that the resources for the renovation of these spaces, that all of this has gone into creating what this [space] is going to be for campus in the coming years.” Dr. Kennedy also noted the significance of the new offices for MGC and NPHC origination saying that the lodge “will physically acknowledge your presence on campus and your contributions to the lives of individual students and to our campus community. It’s really high time that we finally to acknowledge your presence.” Dr. Kennedy went on to note how the MGC and NPHC offices will help further their values and missions and how space will meet their organizational needs.

The space that the new lodge and officers are located in has been vacant since 2007 when the Denison chapter of Phi Gamma Delta was preeminently suspended. In 2014, DCGA passed a regulation to use monies from the Reserve Fund to build a campus bar in Chamberlin and to establish a lodge space for La Fuerza Latina in Moshier-Hutchinson Hall. The La Fuerza space was approved but the campus bar was struck by the administration from the final resolution. At the time Dr. Laurel Kennedy cited three reasons for the decision to not have a bar that included students wanting more social spaces, the failure of the Roost as a bar and difficulties moving Denison’s liquor license to Chamberlin, according to an April 2014 Denisonian article by Jewell Porter.

After a collapse of a floor at the Clemson University party made national news the administration at Denison started to look at the safety of parties on this campus. Citing structural issues that limited the size of parties in the Sunset Apartments, Student Development started a working group to head up a restructuring of Denison’s party system and social spaces. As some spaces became unsuitable to host parties, the administration looked to open up new ones to students. Chamberlin Lodge was the most likely space to be opened up due to its past as a potential space.   

The Chamberlin social space is open to all students to register for parties and will be a substance-free space, similarly to how Sunset Lodge is used for parties.