Former DKE house converted into new Leadership and Service House

The house is intended to enhance student opportunities in the West End neighborhood by providing a non-Greek-Life, multi-purpose space for students.


Barrie Barto

The newly named Leadership and Service Space, as photographed on Oct. 19, 2022. (Hustler Multimedia/Barrie Barto)

Brina Ratangee and Gabe Loewenson

The Office of Student Organizations, Leadership and Service opened the Leadership and Service House, a multipurpose space for a variety of student organizations, in the space that previously housed the former Vanderbilt Gamma chapter of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. DKE was closed by its parent fraternity and subsequently removed from the space in February 2021 as a result of alleged health and safety violations. 

The student organizations and offices housed in the space include Vanderbilt Student Government, the Interfaith Council, the Vanderbilt Service Council, Experience Vanderbilt, the Vanderbilt Performing Arts Community, the Student Fee Services Office and Vanderbilt’s Sigma chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Executive board members of PIKE declined to comment on the house’s new role or their use of the space. The chapter was removed from their former location on West End—the current Phi Delta Theta house—following the 2021-22 academic year, due to Vanderbilt’s Tennessee Alpha chapter of Phi Delt returning to campus and reoccupying the space in Fall 2022.

Junior and VSG Vice President Ari Sasson introduced the space and its intended purpose at an Oct. 4 opening event. 

“The purpose of the Leadership and Service House is to give more spaces to students on campus to facilitate whatever they want to do, whether it be throwing events, having meetings, or just talking with other student leaders or other students on campus,” Sasson said. 

Interfaith Council President and senior Malak Elmessiry said that the council plans to use the space to host their signature dialogue dinners, as well as hold office hours and small meetings with various student-run religious and spiritual organizations on campus. She hopes that the shared space will encourage collaboration between the Interfaith Council and other organizations.

Access to the new Leadership and Service House not only opens doors for our organization, but symbolizes a recognition of the importance of interfaith dialogue and a prioritization of it by Vanderbilt admin,” Elmessiry said. “We hope that these office hours will offer the student-run religious and spiritual organizations that are under our umbrella increased accessibility to our resources and promote collaboration with organizations outside of our umbrella, particularly the other organizations that were chosen to occupy office spaces alongside the Interfaith Council.”

Asya Miles, senior and Vanderbilt Service Council Co-Chair, echoed Elmessiry’s goals for collaboration between her organization and others. 

“VSC hopes to use our space to collaborate with various other organizations across campus, especially those with similar aims of serving the Vanderbilt and greater Nashville communities. Ideally, we’ll be able to use the space we’ve been given to host events with any organizations that are interested in carrying out a specific service initiative with us,” Miles said.

Likewise, junior and Experience Vanderbilt president Garrison Clower said he hopes the shared space will encourage partnerships to promote economic inclusivity.

“Experience Vanderbilt is excited to have a home in the Leadership and Service House. We look forward to having space to create one-on-one relationships with EV recipients and other org leaders,” Clower said. “By partnering with other organizations in the House, we will continue to promote a community of financial inclusivity and engagement on our campus.”

According to Sasson, events hosted in this space are designed to create more social opportunities for students. 

“Our goal is to allow all students to have fun with their fellow students in the West End neighborhood and create more social opportunities for all students regardless of the organizations they’re in,” Sasson said.