Greek life cost doesn’t have to be expensive

Samantha Donegan

Organizations offer various payment plans to ease the financial burden of going Greek

It is no secret that being part of a fraternity or a sorority is not a cheap venture. With contributing to national dues, insurance, philanthropy events, socials and formals that a member’s Greek organization sponsors, being part of a sisterhood or a brotherhood can add up.

However, many Greek organizations on campus are making it easier for members to pay expenses.

“Our treasurer works really well with people,” Emily Dorrell, member of Sigma Sigma Sigma said. “If someone gets paid two times a month, they can pay her every other week. She can work with your payment schedule from work or however you want to do it. Right now you can pay in full or you can pay in halfs or quarters.”

Joe Baker, treasurer of Interfraternity Council and member of Sigma Nu, said most Greek organizations on campus offer payment plans and financial hardship options for its members.

“Say a brother one semester can’t make the dues,” Baker said. “He can claim financial hardship, give us his case and we’ll see if it is acceptable and waive his dues for the semester.”

By simply living in the Greek organization houses, dues can be lowered. Baker said the new Sigma Nu house opening next semester will save members $50 a month on dues if they live in the house. Dorrell said her sorority also offers a $250 discount for residing in the house.

For the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority members, dues are lowered each year that a member is part of the sorority. Freshman pre-med major Alison Minerovic, who joined Sigma Sigma Sigma this semester, said her dues came out to be almost $1,000 for her first year because of several one-time fees including her badge and initiation.

“I didn’t realize that your dues went down significantly after your first year,” Minerovic said. “Part of the reason that kept me from joining right away was I didn’t know where the money was actually going. If people have that sort of information, they won’t be so hesitant coming in.”

Ben Spott, president of Alpha Epsilon Pi, said his fraternity is planning to increase its fundraising efforts as a whole to help everyone pay less money.

“We are very flexible,” he said. A lot of the cost does go toward our national organization because they provide real good insurance and other benefits for us. And every fraternity and sorority has that.”

Matt Cohen, social chair of Alpha Epsilon Pi, said beside payment plans and financial hardships, his fraternity offers other incentives to keep rates low, including having good grades. Alpha Epsilon Pi is also looking to set up a scholarship through its alumni to try to help lend money to those who are not financially sound.

“I hear a lot of non-Greeks say that when you go Greek, you buy your friends,” Cohen said. “That’s really ignorance speaking. That’s not really the case.”

Alpha Epsilon Pi member Rahim Mangalji said the money goes to a lot of activities that make the fraternity experience what it is.

“I think everyone needs to put things in perspective,” Mangalji said. “Like in any club, like ski club, you have to pay to go do activities, right? Same with Greek life.”

Baker said with the financial crisis he thinks people will put more thought into Greek. He believes, however, that being a brother is more of an investment in a person.

Spott agrees with Baker, in that experiencing Greek life is worth its cost.

“It’s not just about paying money,” Spott said. “It’s about building a brotherhood and having experiences that will go with you for the rest of your life.”

Contact Greek life reporter Samantha Donegan at [email protected].