News

More Greeks find it difficult to pay dues

The slowly recovering economy still has everyone watching their wallet, and members of the University of Miami’s Greek community are no exception.

Although recruitment numbers are up this year, Greeks have been taking extra steps to cope with the recession.

Several measurable effects reveal the extent to which the recession has impacted Greek life at UM, which is rooted in members’ abilities to contribute fees and raise funds.

Events, materials and efforts made by fraternities and sororities are possible through the flow of money, most of which comes from membership dues.

“We have more girls on payment plans [for membership dues]than we have had the past couple semesters,” said Ashley Somers, treasurer of Sigma Delta Tau.

Ethan Alpern, president of the Interfraternity Council and a member of Phi Delta Theta, agreed that paying dues has become more difficult, but has not necessarily resulting in reduced membership. He said that a lot of students have been getting part-time jobs to help pay for dues.

The amount paid in dues varies among the different Greek chapters. A Zeta Beta Tau brother living outside the fraternity house at UM pays $800 per semester in dues, whereas a Sigma Alpha Epsilon brother pays $480 a semester. Living in a fraternity house increases costs.

“All of our brothers have been able to pay dues for our chapter, but it has not been as easy,” said Justin Williams, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi and treasurer of the National Panhellenic Council, an umbrella organization for historically black fraternities and sororities. “More leniency has been given to pay dues a little later than what was expected.”

Greek members agree that fundraising has also been significantly impacted by the recession. Each fraternity and sorority has a philanthropy event, designating a charity organization for its members to raise and contribute money on behalf of.

“The biggest hit was to philanthropy events,” Alpern said. “We try to get sponsorships for larger events but, with the recession, it has been more difficult, so we are not able to make as much money for philanthropies, since it costs more of our money to put on the events.”

Although fundraising has become more difficult, it has not been impossible.

“We have been able to still hold our traditional flagship events as we have in the past. We unfortunately have had to reduce spending in places like food and decorations to make up for lack of fundraising ability,” Williams said.

In response to the economic climate, Greeks have taken measures to reduce and mitigate the effects of the recession.

“We are more conscious as a chapter. Our executive board has already been told how serious and finalized their budgets are. As the treasurer, I am definitely taking a more conservative approach to spending our money,” Somers said.

The Interfraternity Council is in the process of creating a scholarship system to help prospective fraternity members that are facing monetary issues. Alpern explained that his executive board and scholarship chairman are formalizing the scholarship, which will either give three $500 grants or one $1500 grant to help members pay for their first semester of dues. Individual chapters are also implementing scholarships, Alpern said.

Greek life is elective and necessitates spending some extra money in return for brotherhood or sisterhood.

“There are so many benefits of being a member that students will continue to take the initiative to go Greek,” Alpern said.

Lauren Press may be contacted at lpress@themiamihurricane.com

March 10, 2010

Reporters

Lauren Press


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “More Greeks find it difficult to pay dues”

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Thursday: • Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has an interesting theor ...

Juwan Dowels vividly remembers his first winter on the Syracuse University campus. Like the other 11 ...

The University of Miami football team has another player with a season-ending injury — and this one ...

University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga received a grand jury subpoena for his phon ...

Get ready for an avalanche of University of Miami defensive backs and linemen descending on the Hard ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

Here are three matchups to watch Saturday as the Hurricanes take on the Syracuse Orange at Hard Rock ...

The University of Miami men's basketball team will begin the season as No. 12 in the USA TODAY ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

The University of Miami volleyball team returns home this weekend to host Atlantic Coast Conference ...

The Hurricanes will look to slow down an inspired Syracuse team at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday. ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.