Fiji house ranks in top 30

Somewhere between articles titled “One of the Hottest Brooklyn Decker GIFs Ever” and “5 States that Secretly Control the Rest of America,” was BroBible.com’s list of “The Thirty Best Frat Houses in the United States.”

At number 30 was the University’s Phi Gamma Delta chapter, commonly referred to as “Fiji” among students. 

Boasting about the house’s Civil War-era history and amenities that include a purple felt pool table and a roof with the “best view in Burlington,” BroBible.com posted that Phi Gamma Delta was an unusual choice to make the list, given that UVM is not traditionally defined as a Greek school.

Andy Moore, an assistant editor at BroBible, said during a phone interview that while Phi Gamma Delta may have been the smallest house on the list, it was architecturally beautiful and had a history worth mentioning.

Moore said each pick was based upon user submissions, of which the website received nearly 60 or 70. Phi Gamma Delta’s submission stated that the house was built in 1877 for Union General William Wells, making it the oldest fraternity house in the country.

It is said that a team of Italian craftsmen were commissioned to design the house’s interior woodwork. According to Phi Gamma Delta’s Tumblr page, the house cost about $15,000 to build at that time. 

Sophomore Ned Garvey, a member of Phi Gamma Delta, made a statement on behalf of the organization. 

“We’re all pleased when a home with a history like ours is recognized,” Garvey stated in an email. 

“It’s really sweet that we made the top 30,” first-year and fellow Phi Gamma Delta member Will Klein said. “Fiji is different from other houses. Instead of white pillars it’s brick and the inside is this old fashioned wood.”

A glance at the rest of the houses rounding out the list indicated that most hailed from Southern states. According to some of BroBible’s comments, many houses were celebrated for social happenings inside just as much as the architecture.

But Moore said the criteria for the rankings were only based off of architectural uniqueness, history and location – not the social aspects of college fraternities. 

“Everyone says they party the hardest, but that’s pretty tough to judge when you’re compiling it on a computer in New York,” he said, laughing. “I guess we could have tried to judge all these submissions based on partying, but that kind of research probably would have taken years.”