Since Butler’s founding in 1855, house directors have been a vital aspect of Greek life on campus.
“Every house is required [by the university] to have a house director,” Director of Greek Life Becky Druetzler said.
Druetzler said they serve two purposes: to oversee facility management and also for student oversight.
“The house directors get to know the students really well,” Druetzler said, ”and can be an unbiased source if students are having a problem or issue or just need somebody else to talk to who’s not a student.
“That’s a good resource to have.”
Greek houses hire their own directors, so they do not receive any benefits from Butler. However, they are still afforded many privileges of being on campus, including free admission to sporting events, their own university identification cards and a Butler e-mail account.
Despite not receiving any direct benefits from the university, Phi Delta Theta House Director Brenda Aitken loves her position.
“It’s an experience that I never imagined I would have,” Aitken said. “I love being around all the guys, listening to their stories and having late night chats about things that all us girls always wondered what guys talked about.
“They are so funny and smart and notice the little things that I change. It’s nice to see that they pay attention to me and respect my opinion.”
Aitken is in turn well-loved by the members of the house.
“She’s definitely not a babysitter,” sophomore Kevin Sharp said. “She is more or less someone that’s there for moral support, someone there just to make sure that we’re doing things well.”
Sharp was taken aback at first by the idea of having a house mother, but quickly warmed up to the idea.
“I was nervous at first because it was like, ‘Wow, she’s living in a house with 40 guys,’” Sharp said. “But once you get to know her, she’s really cool. She’s got a great personality. “I know that she’s there if we ever need anything and I appreciate that.”
The members of Kappa Kappa Gamma also enjoy the moral support of their house mom, Lee Dyer—known around the house as “Mama D.”
“Mama D is really sweet and she’s really concerned about all of us,” junior Marcie Mangan said. “She is really involved and always asks us how we are.”
Mangan said that it’s nice knowing that Dyer is there in case of an emergency because she can be there to help.
Dyer also interacts with the girls on a regular basis, even participating in sisterhood events and telling the girls about her life before Kappa.
“It’s cool to hear about what she was like when she was younger,” Mangan said. “We learned all about her life and it was really cute.”
Sigma Nu’s House Director Mike Banner has two important roles on campus—his position as a house director as well as a police sergeant with Butler University Police Department.
“[Banner] keeps to his own mostly,” senior Brett Reardon said. “He does sessions with us regarding risk reduction within a fraternity, which is helpful.” Reardon said Banner’s experience is an asset.
“Having a house director allows for an adult to keep an eye on things,” Reardon said. “In the case of an emergency, it allows for us to go to someone who has experience and a better idea of what to do.”
Before becoming the house director of Alpha Chi Omega, Shari Baldwin worked at the external affairs office at the law school at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.
“She deals with part of the care and upkeep with the house and manages our kitchen,” junior Kayla Samuelson said. “She also prepares special events for the house including Super Bowl parties and snacks to help us study for finals.”
Samuelson said having a house director gives that extra touch of home. “It’s nice to have someone to take on the motherly role we miss when we leave our homes,” Samuelson said. “It helps give a homier feel to the large house we live in and provides us with someone to talk to in times of need.”