Nabor House is a small, agricultural fraternity at the University of Illinois. Located on Lincoln Avenue, Nabor House has the shortest walk to the Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES) campus of any fraternity. Nabor House is also the lowest cost housing option on campus, with a rent of $650 per month that covers utilities, internet, cable, parking, and 16 meals per week. Members value agriculture, cooperative living, Christian values, and recreation. Nabor House has posted a cumulative GPA above 3.0 for 27 consecutive semesters and hosts weekly Bible studies. Nabors all pitch in to the cleaning of and cooking for the house to keep costs to a minimum, learning valuable life skills in the process.
Nabor House was founded as a low-cost housing option, and Nabors do their own cooking and cleaning to keep housing prices among the lowest on campus. All the Nabors that live in the house are assigned weekly cooking duties, and first-year members are assigned a weekly cleaning duty. As a result, Nabor House costs just 60 percent of the dorms on campus. Members pay a monthly house fee of $650 per month, which includes rent, cable, internet, utilities, 16 meals per week, social fees, parking, and printing.
Nabor House was founded as a low-cost housing option for agricultural students who might not otherwise be able to afford attending Illinois. By the 50s, the housebill was about half of alternative housing, where it has stayed for the last 60 years and counting. Nabor House alumni have remained committed to this ideal by donating back more than $1.8 million towards the new house in just two years, allowing Nabor House to stay at 60 percent of the cost of the cheapest dormitory. While already about 75 percent of the way to paying off the 2011 mortgage, alumni are committed to "Burn The Mortgage" in the next few years to reduce house bills as much as possible and keep Nabor House bills considerably lower than the next-cheapest housing option on campus. Over the course of four years, Nabors stand to save more than $21,000 over dorm living, even while living in the newest fraternity on campus.
How is Nabor House so inexpensive? Nabors save money by doing all their own cooking and cleaning. It's something the house was founded on. In fact, the founders of Nabor House ran into trouble with the University in 1939 because no one believed that a group of men could live together without a house mother. But 75 years later, we've proved them wrong.
College men cooking and cleaning for each other might sound like the food isn't good and the house isn't clean, but that's not the case. Members learn how to cook steaks, Italian chicken, mostaccioli, pork chops, and much more in Nabor House's diverse and delicious menu. As for cleaning, the kitchen gets cleaned three times a day, and the entire house is cleaned every day. With the duties getting split up 40 ways, no one spends more than a few hours a week on house duties while saving thousands of dollars a year from not hiring professional help.
With the goal of achieving the lowest-cost housing possible at the University of Illinois, members of Nabor House all pitch in to cook and clean for the house throughout the year. Members have fewer cooking and cleaning responsibilities each year at the house, which allows upper-classmen time to find valuable jobs and internships while maintaining the value of low-cost living.
For cooking duties, freshmen are assigned four hours of kitchen duties per week, with each hour representing a cooking or dishes duty for one of the house’s nine hot lunches or dinners per week. Sophomores have three hours of kitchen duties, juniors have two hours of kitchen duties, and seniors have one hour of duties.
First-year members are assigned one day per week to vacuum the house and clean the bathrooms and other surfaces in the house. This “phone duty” usually takes up about one hour per week.
New Nabor House
In the summer of 2011, the Nabor House Fraternity Board announced plans to move forward with a new structure at 1002 S. Lincoln Ave. The house was built by Homeway Homes and trucked to Urbana in 19 pieces. The construction was completed in less than five months, and the current Nabors moved in to the house in early October 2012. In the year after the plans were announced, Nabor House alumni pledged more than $1.5 million towards the $2.4 million structure. Thanks to the generosity of donors, Nabor House maintains a monthly house rent of $650 per month, which puts the house on par with the lowest-cost housing options anywhere on campus.
The state-of-the-art structure includes brand-new kitchen appliances, study desks and more than $8,000 of new living room furniture, all provided by generous alumni. The house can accommodate 42 members among 11 study rooms. Each spacious study room, which accommodates three or four Nabors, provides the most square-footage per person of any fraternity on campus, and the house also provides two common lounges, which hold couches, big-screen TVs and a pool table. The kitchen includes an industrial-sized fridge, freezer and dishwasher.
Nabor House is committed to the academic success of all its residents. The results speak for themselves. The house has had a cumulative GPA above a 3.0 for 28 consecutive semesters as of the completion of the Fall 2013 semester and has housed 30 Bronze Tablet honorees in its history--almost twice the rate of the average housing option per person. Nabor House eases the academic transition of small-school men into the 24th-best University in the world by requiring quiet study hours until each member has reached at least a 2.5 GPA. The study hours run from 7-10 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday nights and also include 8-Noon study hours each morning from Monday through Friday. The results have been so positive that many members choose to continue to observe study hours even after they are no longer required. Nabor House provides quiet study rooms during these hours. In addition, there is a quiet library on the first floor and a computer lab on the second floor. The computers on the second floor are equipped with Microsoft Office and everything each student needs to succeed at the University of Illinois level without having to purchase a computer if finances are an issue.