1. So, this is a 'fraternity'? Gamma Eta Gamma started out as a fraternity. However, it is no longer 'just for the boys.' Our current treasurer and president are both ladies.
2. Is there a fee to become a member of the Gamma House? No, there is no fee.
3. How many people live there? There are twelve rooms in total at the Gamma House. Usually, there are between 7 - 12 people living at the house. There are some rooms available, or big enough for two people living together, but this hasn't happened recently.
4. Where is it located? Gamma House is located at 1126 5th Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414. It is less than two blocks away from the U of MN campus and 15 minutes walk to the law school. It is 2 minutes away from Dinky Town which is convenient for all the student-friendly restaurants and bars. Law school can be a bit stressful and Dinky Town is only minutes away if you want to wind down after a day of reading cases.
5. How big are the rooms and how much is the rent? All of the rooms except for one are big enough to hold a full-size bed plus desk and whatever you want in your room! Basically, they are pretty good sized rooms. As Jeff pointed out in other posts, the highest rent for a room is $410, and it includes all utilities.
6. Sounds like a lot of people are living there... is it suitable for studying? Most of the people living at the Gamma House are law students and others are graduate students from the U of MN. We are all adults here with individual schedules and we all respect that. Law school can be hard and it is clearly understood and respected here. We all have similar schedules in terms of exams and classes.
7. How do you manage the house? Everyone living at the house has to participate in the cleaning duties. It's not much, to be frank. Everyone does their own dishes but you get to clean the kitchen about twice a month which is basically wiping countertops, sink, stove, and once a month (for everyone) mopping the floor. And everyone cleans the bathroom on their floor about once a month.
During the summer and before some alumni events, we have a "spring clean."
That's it! The key is that we are all pretty flexible and people will understand if you forgot to wash up because you're busy.
8. Anything else? We have a common living room where we watch TV; a dining room where people chill and study; a basement TV room where there is a DVD machine and TV; a basement game room with a pool table and a mini-bar.
My name is Jeff Woltjen. And for those out there wondering where to live, here are the issues of finding housing for law school as I see them.
First of all, LOCATION. There are lots of good places to live in Minneapolis, and each of them has their own flavor. Uptown is cheap, but it is overrun with hipsters and you have to take a bus to school everyday. Housing in the warehouse district is nice, but it's pricey and the demographics skew a little older. You can live at Seven Corners, right next to the law school, but again, it's expensive and do you really want to that close, all the time? Gamma is located in Dinky Town, which means that you're surrounded by other students, and you're within reasonable walking distance of the law school, (about 10-15 minutes). The nightlife is reasonable, as a couple of bars and a dozen restaurants are just a block away.
Next on the list, PRICE $. None of the rooms at gamma are more than $410, and there is a fair share of common space to be shared. You will be hard pressed to find a better deal, or at least not one that caters specifically to law students. If you live at Seven Corners, odds are you will be paying around $900-1300 a month.
Third, how does your housing cater to your LAW SCHOOL EXPERIENCE? This is really where I see Gamma having a leg up on other options, because at the Gamma law house, you live with 2Ls and 3Ls. Orientation is confusing and awkward, and a lot of time spent during your first semester involves trial and error, i.e. what study habits that work, when to start outlining, which professors give which kind of exams, and so forth. Living at the law house allows you to mitigate this. 2Ls and 3Ls, when not being overrun with work, are happy to chat about school. This will help you hit on all cylinders perhaps faster than others.
Finally, when students get away from studying for a few precious hours, Gamma has been known to throw a party or two. We annually host the Disorientation Party, for incoming 1Ls, the Halloween party (the biggest of the year), and the T.O.R.T. party which is the party for the law school's annual musical extravaganza! by the Theatre of the Relatively Talentless. Why? Because Gamma is the official law fraternity (misleading since women live here too!) for the Univerisity of Minnesota Law School and we get the job done!
So, you could do what I did my 1L year and choose to live alone in a run-down apartment for $670 a month, or you could be like some of my friends who lived alone at the $1300!?! a month at Seven Corners and be right next to the school, or you can live in uptown with the despicable hipsters... OR Gamma. As for me, a synthesis of the financial and social considerations have landed me at Gamma.
We at the law house have not been doing a very good job at getting information onto the internet about the house or its inhabitants. That is about to change however. Hopefully we'll put some pictures up and post info about the house very shortly. That having been said, in the mean time, if you have any questions about living here in the future, please feel free to contact Stella or me, (we're doing legal stuff all summer, so distractions are welcomed).