Inside a Fraternity House

Formal Living Room

The formal living room is primarily used for two major things: guest functions, and active member education. Guest functions include a mom’s weekend and a dad’s weekend. This is a great way to get your family down to Ames and keep them active in the fraternity. Active member education typically consists of educational speakers. Examples of this may include: the academic success center, sexual assault awareness speakers, formal etiquette speakers, etc. Oftentimes, chapters will have a trophy case filled with trophies for national and local accomplishments. You’ll also typically find a composite in this room. The best part about composites is that you can see the current size of the chapter, as well as composites from previous decades that give you an inside look of the chapters history. Chapters may also have their charter in this room. This document is from the national fraternity recognizing a chapter’s status as a local chapter—this document may be over a hundred years old! You also may find a chapters campaign board in this room. This board recognizes alumni who have donated money to the chapter. All of our chapters have top-notch facilities with recent renovations or rebuilds that really go to show how much the fraternal experience meant to alumni who went through it years ago!

Chapter Room

The chapter room is where chapters will conduct their chapter meetings. Chapter meetings usually consist of executive reports letting you know where the chapter is financially as well as what events are upcoming. This is typically going to be your only mandatory event as an active member (1-2 hours per week.) When you are a new member, you will typically have chapter meetings once a week as well as new member education meetings where you will learn your chapter’s history and have discussions on your chapter’s values. Beyond these activities there will be plenty of optional events like socials and philanthropies- you can really pick and choose what you are involved in!


Meals in fraternities will either be catered or cooked by a chef that comes in and cooks in your chapter’s kitchen. A typical fraternity meal plan will give you 14 meals per week with lunch Monday-Friday, dinner Monday-Thursday, as well as a full continental breakfast, 24 hour kitchen access, all the groceries you could ever need, and a refrigerator full of leftovers! You will never need to buy groceries or go out to eat while living in a fraternity. Meals within fraternities are very good and what is really unique is that you can give your chef feedback or request specific meals!


Some fraternity houses have cold air style living. This is a room that will always be cold, dark, and quiet. It got the name cold airs, because back when the military draft was still a thing, men would come home from World War 2 and had decided they liked military sleeping quarters, so they built them in the fraternities! The problem was they were getting sick all the time, so they decided to leave the windows open 24/7 365 regardless of how cold it was outside, so even if it was -30 out the windows would remain open, making this room very, very cold. Nowadays, most fraternities have air conditioned cold airs and keep these rooms between 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit.  What is really nice about cold airs is that if your roommate is up late or has to get up early, he can do that without worrying about disturbing you!

Cold-Air Style of Living

This is the room that is associated with the cold-airs. This room will come with desks as well as wardrobes and will be very customizable. You will use this room for studying, entertainment, and relaxation whereas you will sleep in the cold-airs associated with this bedroom. This room will not have beds in it. Rooms like this will share a bathroom with the rest of the floor.

Residence-Hall Style of Living

This is another bed room style that will be very similar to the cold-air style of living. The only difference is that this room will actually have beds in it, along with wardrobes, desks, and will again be very customizable. This room will also have common-space bathrooms shared among the entire floor.

Suite-Style of Living

These are usually 2-3 man rooms that may or may not have a cold air room associated with it. Typically, this room will share a private bathroom with 3-4 other men. This room will come with a desk and a wardrobe and will be very customizable.

Apartment-Style of Living

Apartment style rooms are very rare and will only be found in Acacia and Delta Upsilon. These rooms will have everything you’d expect from an apartment—a kitchen, bedroom, living room, and a private bathroom. These rooms will come with a desk and wardrobe and be very customizable.

Brotherhood Room

This room will typically be one of the most social rooms in the chapter house. This will be a great room if you are ever looking to take a study break as there will always be other men here to hang out  with in here. Oftentimes, this room will have a large television, gaming systems, a pool table, etc. The brotherhood aspect of fraternities is amazing. Many chapters will pay for members to go do different activities. Examples of this may include paintballing, snowboarding/skiing, broomball, sport-tournaments, etc.

Study Room

This room will typically have projectors, whiteboards, and plenty of desk space to study. Oftentimes fraternity men will practice presentations, do group projects, host study hours, and have this room just be a nice quiet study environment. When this room is not being used for academics, the executive team will use it. The executive team is composed of 10-12 members that have been elected for various leadership roles, and this team will meet in this room to set goals and get on the same page before chapter meetings. You can expect WiFi throughout the entire chapter house as well as free printing. Rooms like this really contribute to the Greek community having a .12 higher average GPA than that of the typical undergraduate.