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about 5 months ago

OS Cribs, Fraternity Edition: Chi Phi

When you think of a frat house, luxury probably isn’t the word that comes to mind. Maybe empty Natty cans, sticky floors, and filthy bathrooms come to mind. While those images are all endearing in their own special ways, it doesn’t come close to describing Chi Phi.

Though Chi Phi was disbanded back in 2008 as a result of not being able to meet the financial obligations of a new State College borough mandate that required sprinkler systems in each fraternity house, the fraternity regained admission to the IFC about a year ago after alumni spent five years running a successful fundraising campaign. The house underwent a $1.4 million renovation, and now it’s one of the most badass frat houses in all the land. Check it out.

Chi Phi

This is the view that you’re greeted with upon arrival. It looks like a castle. According to the fraternity’s president Rishi Kumar Mittal, the whole place will be decorated with Christmas lights soon now that the holiday season is upon us. The kicker is that they aren’t even going to make the pledges do all of the work — Rishi says that everyone is going to take turns climbing on that frighteningly steep  roof.

Chi Phi

The first room we saw on our tour was this Hogwarts-looking gem, which Rishi referred to as the “large club room.” Why, yes there ARE five luxurious leather chairs and two luxurious leather couches in this room — along with photos of previous pledge classes, large displays of the fraternity’s letters, and a badass fire place. Bet you wish you could come here to study instead of going to the Harry Potter room in the Library.

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Or perhaps you’d prefer somewhere cozier? You could curl up with a book in this “small club room.” Or you could draw those pretty red curtains shut and this would make a pretty stellar table at which to play Kings, amiright?

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Then again, if you’re going to be studying, then you might as well do it in Chi Phi’s personal library. Sadly they don’t have one of those little sliding ladder thingies so that you can whiz around it and sing like Belle in Beauty of the Beast, but they do have a Mac tower with double screens, a PC, and free printing for all brothers. Also, following in the footsteps of Ron Burgundy, it looks like they “have many leather-bound books” and as though this room might “smell of rich mahogany.” Just a guess, though.

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They literally have interactive keypads to lock their doors instead of physical keys. Not only that, the keypad TALKS TO YOU. Holy antitheft measures, Batman. This is pretty sick.

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This is my personal favorite part of the house: the spiral staircase. The thing goes from the basement to the tippy-top floor, and though walking up it may be a bitch, it’s so much fun to look at and would definitely be fun to slide down.

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This is the women’s bathroom. Yeah, you heard me right. They have a clean, private, gorgeous, WOMEN’S BATHROOM. Aka, you don’t have to squat over a toilet in a co-ed bathroom while some guy simultaneously pees and vomits on himself in the stall next to you.

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This appears to be the favorite living space of all of the brothers, and why wouldn’t it be — there’s a 70 inch plasma screen TV hanging on the wall (at the time this photo was taken, these guys were watching Pitch Perfect while they ate their dinner), oodles of plush couches to cozy up on, and a pong table that was actually made by one of the brothers. Kudos for the Swiffer chilling in the corner, too. That means the place is clean! “It’s always clean, no matter what,” Rishi said. “We have a chore chart. And not just for the pledges, either. Everyone has a job to do. We get a lot of work done, but we still have a lot of fun.”

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Just in case you never get lucky enough to see the bedroom of a Chi Phi brother in person, here’s what they look like. Simple, functional, and shockingly clean. As of right now, every person living in this house has their own room, which is just totally unfair.

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This is Greg, the fraternity’s chef. Apparently he’s really good, too. Just look at what he cooked the night we visited:

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Baked ziti. With garnishes, for crying out loud! Though Rishi and Chef Greg offered us a meal, we declined… but we accepted the garlic bread, and I can confirm that it was delicious.

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Which brings us to… the fratio! This frat-a-licious patio overlooks a ginormous backyard with a fire pit, a brick grill, a tire swing, and a half-court basketball court. The grates in the railing are custom-made with the Chi Phi letters, see:

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(Hint: they’re backwards if you look at them from the inside.) But isn’t that sick? The details on this house are incredible.

“I love living in a frat house that I can actually walk around barefoot in, and that it doesn’t smell like vomit,” said THON chair Mike Ianniello.

Think you (or somebody you know) has a better looking dwelling for us to photograph and feature? Email me at alicia@onwardstate.com with a few snapshots and I’ll be the judge of that. My credentials? I watch a whole lot of HGTV.

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