‘House mom’ evolves into director

By Dana Netzel

The term “house mom” is not used as much in NIU sororities as in previous years, but the idea is still similar.

The traditional “house mother” checked up on the women, but that is “not my function,” said Lorraine Low, Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority housing director.

“I’m a problem solver,” Low said. There are 54 women in the house who look to Low for counseling. Low said she is retired and available when the women need help.

Alpha Delta Pi’s housing director is “someone who enjoys being with us, (but) definitely not a mother,” said President Stacey McCormick.

The house director is in charge of making things run smoothly at the sorority, Low said. Other duties include ordering groceries, planning the menu, making sure the grass is cut and the snow is shoveled, she said.

Alpha Phi House Director Nancy Baum said, “I enjoy young people, it (the job) is a challenge.”

Today it is common for house directors to also have a full-time job. Tammy McQueen, Kappa Delta alumna and house director, teaches at the Illinois Math and Science Academy. After school, McQueen coaches soccer and softball.

McQueen classifies herself as a “big sister,” who is there if the women need her. “I do whatever they need me to do,” she said. McQueen said she is invited to different functions and to go out with the women.

Although house directors are friends with the women, they also have to be an authoritative figure who sticks by the National Council laws. “I make sure they follow the rules,” McQueen said.

Today, it is not uncommon for sororities to have “house dads” or “house families.” Delta Gamma has a house mom and dad whose function is similar to a house director.