Interview: Building a Fraternity House Front

Sarah Harper



Minnesota Daily A&E: How did you come up with the designs?


Chris Hipp (computer science junior, Pi Kappa Alpha): I did the designs in SketchUp. My major is computer science, but I don’t have a background in architecture or anything. Basically we just put it together piece by piece, it’s all sort of common sense.


I think this is our third year in a row doing a 3D design which definitely gives it a little extra. We decided that the theme was monster truck madness, so we knew we had to have a monster truck. Originally, it was going to be a monster truck in the yard rolling over a hawkeye, but we decided that a monster truck coming out of the wall was probably the easiest way to make it 3D. We had to make it kind of boxy so it’d be easy to make, but not too boxy so that it doesn't look like a monster truck.


Minnesota Daily A&E: How many man hours have you guys put into this project?

Chris: We require people to do 10 hours of homecoming work, so that’s 600 from the house overall right there. I’ve put in about 80 hours personally doing the designs, assembling some of the structure, attaching the chicken wire. The cost was just around $3,000. Construction isn’t too hard — just scaffolding on the sides that we built up and laid the frame over.

We’ve also had a lot of help from Alpha Epsilon Pi and Phi Beta Phi. They’ve been over to help us pomp (authors note: pretty sure this means shoving tissue paper into chicken wire) all week, and we couldn’t have done it without them. Some alumni who graduated last year came by yesterday too, which is definitely helpful. It’s been a great community building exercise putting this together.


Minnesota Daily A&E: What’s the competition between other frats?


Chris: It’s all part of the homecoming competition. You win bragging rights and it gives you a chance to win homecoming overall. There are like 5 homecoming competitions and this is one of them. Awesome house fronts are kind of our thing. It’s been passed down from our founding fathers when we got recolonized here.