Flood, attacks set back ADPi move-in by week

Jodi Genshaft

While most Northwestern students were moving in during New Student Week, members of Alpha Delta Pi slept in lounges at the Foster-Walker Complex.

Because of complications arising from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and an Aug. 2 flood, the sorority encountered an unexpected delay in obtaining an Evanston occupancy permit. Nearly 30 girls were forced to migrate to the Plex and stay there until Friday, when they moved into their sorority house at 710 Emerson St.

During the flood, water filled 2-foot trenches in the basement where new plumbing was being installed. Missing doors, which were stranded on a plane in Utah when airlines shut down on Sept. 11, and rescheduled electrical inspections of the 75-year-old building added to the delay, said interior designer Vicki Martin. Cosmetic elements such as painting, carpet installation and some electrical wiring also were incomplete Sept. 14.

The university transformed 10 Plex lounges into bedrooms by hauling in beds, desks and locks. Although telephone outlets were placed in lounges, members used pay phones for incoming calls.

But the living situation provided more opportunities for the sorority members to bond. The girls played cards and watched Animal Planet and movies.

“I was envisioning myself in a sleeping bag on a couch for a week,” said ADPi president Francesca Rodriguez. “The biggest inconvenience was not having access to Ethernet.”

Renovation of ADPi’s new residence began July 10 after the university inspected 710 Emerson, a former dorm. The $600,000 project included installing a full sprinkler system and new drywall, changing lighting and making the house handicap accessible.

But the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington put into perspective the move-in delay, said Rodriguez, a Speech junior.

“This is a minor inconvenience, but certainly not a disaster,” Rodriguez said.

ADPi members and alumnae gathered for a housewarming party on Sunday, wearing blue and white ribbons in memory of an ADPi alumna who died Sept. 11. Lynn Edwards Angell, wife of “Frasier” executive producer and creator David Angell, was on American Airlines Flight 11 when it crashed into the World Trade Center, according to ADPi International.

“Alpha Delta Pi is sisterhood for a lifetime,” Rodriguez said. “We’re going to remember you no matter what happens.”

ADPi members surrounded Sharon Wanner, who was an ADPi member at NU in 1955 before transferring to the University of Illinois, while she told stories about the NU chapter and talked about the recent terrorist events.

“If you believe in a life hereafter, then these people are still alive,” Wanner said. “We should elevate our thinking to a more spiritual level.”

Alumnae from the Chicago area brought gifts, scrapbooks and stories to the housewarming party. Among the gifts was silverware from NU’s original ADPi house, which closed in 1972 because of lack of interest.

Because the sorority house lacks a kitchen, ADPi members must eat lunch in the dining halls in agreement with University Housing. Fraternity caterers will provide breakfast and dinner for the sorority. Also, NU placed a Resident Assistant in the ADPi house until it contracts a house mother next year.