Chinese House moves to Curtis following Sigma Nu suspension

The Chinese House will move this fall to Curtis Street, where it will share a house with Kappa Alpha Theta. The move follows the university’s decision to suspend Sigma Nu (SigNu)’s charter at the end of the past academic year, leaving space in the 90-94 Curtis St. house open.

Mingquan Wang, senior lecturer of the Chinese program and language coordinator, said the Chinese House had been located in a Latin Way suite since 2004, but that the small living space limited house activities such as dumpling nights.

“We have been requesting a stand-alone building for the Chinese House for many years, and we were notified by [the Office of Residential Life and Learning] finally in May this year that the Chinese House will move to Curtis Street this fall,” Wang told the Daily in an email.

According to SigNu President-elect Ryan Buell, the fraternity’s suspension and the subsequent loss of its house were the result of a number of factors, the most recent being an incident involving the fraternity’s pledges and alcohol abuse that occurred this past spring semester.

“Other factors relate to difficulties in recruitment, maintaining chapter size and a lack of officer accountability,” Buell, a senior, said.

SigNu had occupied the Curtis Street house since last September, when it celebrated its return to campus after a previous suspension in 2012. 

The decision for SigNu to leave the Tufts campus was mutual — agreed upon by the fraternity and the Tufts administration, according to Buell. During the SigNu’s suspension, the brothers will not be able to organize on campus and will have to reapply for recognition.

“We worked with the administration and came to an agreement to suspend our charter for four years,” Buell said. “After four years, SigNu is allowed to recolonize on campus,”

He added that, although SigNu will no longer exist on campus, the members of the fraternity will remain brothers.

“Every brother has essentially been made an alumni,” he said. “We are still SigNus even if we are not SigNus actively.”

Meanwhile, the Chinese House’s new location will house 10 to 12 students, according to Wang. The house’s mission will be to provide language-learning experience outside of the classroom and to facilitate cross-cultural exchange and understanding within the larger Tufts community.

Students interested in living in the Chinese House must fill out an application to be considered, according to Wang. The applications are then reviewed by the Chinese faculty and selected applicants are interviewed by the faculty advisor, Min Wan. The Chinese program faculty and current house managers make the final decisions in choosing residents.

Wang said that the Chinese House residents will lead Chinese conversation nights twice a week and hold dumpling nights twice a year, as well as organize other cultural events, such as film nights. Those living in the house can practice their Chinese and help others improve their own language skills.

The dedication of the house’s faculty advisors, house managers and residents has turned the Chinese House into a center that cultivates a sense of pride within the Chinese student body and enriches the Tufts community by providing learning experiences, Wang said.

“They also contribute to multiculturalism within and beyond the diverse community at Tufts,” he said.