Greek Row: The cost of going Greek

By By Arthur Raymond

By Arthur Raymond

Friendship, academic support, leadership, social opportunities, community service and networking — these are the themes that “run central to all fraternities and sororities,” according to the U’s Greek Council website.

Gaining access to these experiences comes with a price tag. All new and continuing members of campus fraternities and sororities pay for initiation, a monthly due, rent and meals if they are resident members and might have to contribute to the cost of holding events. The cost can top $1,000 for a single semester.

Typical costs for sorority members for Fall Semester are $650 for non-residents and $2,290 for members who live in the chapter houses, which includes meals at the residence. Spring charges are slightly lower at $625 and $2,260. For fraternity members, $500 for non-residents and $1,340 for residents per semester. A daily meal plan is not included in the men’s residential cost.

“Fraternities and sororities are chartered organizations that have fee obligations to their national headquarters. Local chapters have to raise operational funds from their local members,” said Lori McDonald, assistant dean of students and Greek Council adviser.

These fees help offset expenses associated with the groups, which include insurance, upkeep and maintenance of residence houses, hosting and staging events, sending officers to conferences, contributing to administrative costs of national headquarters and small contributions to the Panhellenic and Interfraternity Council groups, which are associations that help connect the individual chapters of local fraternities and sororities.

McDonald said that there is some variation in fees among the groups and that it is typical for sororities to charge more than fraternities. These differences can be attributed to different approaches in how events are paid for and that more sorority houses provide meals for their resident members. The cost of events hosted by sororities is typically covered by their member fees, while it is usual for fraternity events to be financed as an addition to their fees.

Specifics about what these fees pay for is a guarded issue among some of the groups, both by local officers and national headquarters. Only the Greek Council is privy to these figures — McDonald offered information on averages.

Neel Limaye, chapter president of Beta Theta Pi, said the benefits that members enjoy are well worth the fees. He noted that the social opportunities, community service projects and academic support make for a complete experience at the U.

“Not only is it reasonable financially, it makes it easier to be a student,” Limaye said. He highlighted the convenience of living close to campus and said resident members, as a group, have a grade point average “significantly higher than the average for the U.”

Joey Toone, a senior in business administration and the treasurer for Sigma Nu, also finds the costs related to fraternity membership reasonable and said that even though members spend a bunch at the start of their membership, he feels the costs are comparable to “what any other student is paying to go to school and attend some activities.”

Sigma Nu has a $220 one-time initiation fee, in addition to monthly dues.

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