CFS houses offer their members financial aid
While some rushees might be turned away by the heavy price tag that some Greek houses carry, the leaders of such groups also recognize that not all students can afford to pay membership fees that can climb to as much as $500 a term.
Whether it be through physical tasks, national funds or local scholarships, houses have implemented systems to some of its members bear the financial burden of Greek membership.
Lyndsay Harding '00 said that she received aid from her sorority every term she was an active member in Epsilon Kappa Theta.
"They are really flexible and very understanding of the demands of those who have to work to meet their financial commitments," she said. "If students are hesitant about becoming part of the Greek system because of financial reasons they should be aware that the system is extremely flexible."
Stefanie Tjaden '00 said she only pays partial dues for her sorority Alpha Xi Delta.
"I asked about financial aid when I was rushing, I knew I would not be able to pay the full amount," she said. "Its like being on financial aid from the College, some people will talk about it and others feel uncomfortable."
At Alpha Xi, members who need financial assistance to pay dues fill out an application form each term. The only person who reviews most applications is the sorority's treasurer, she said.
President of the Coed Fraternity and Sorority Council Jaimie Paul '00 said she thinks the system does a good job of accommodating students with financial needs, but she said the system could be improved.
"There are flaws in the system," Paul said. "Some people think that it's unfair that they have to work off their dues."
According to Paul, the CFSC is exploring other options to reduce the cost of belonging to the Greek system.
In general, Greek houses with national affiliations have higher dues each term, as well as a flat fee that members pay to the national body upon initiation. To compensate for these greater costs, these houses have available nationally sponsored scholarships.
On the other hand, local Greek houses tend to have lower fees, but, without national affiliation, they also have less money available to offer in financial aid.
As it is now, most Greek houses have two funds to which members contribute each term. One is for the cost of house maintenance, and the other for social functions. Of the funds directed towards social functions, the majority in most houses is used to purchase alcohol.
Members of Kappa Kappa Kappa fraternity who are unable to pay the $300 per term fees can work them off by completing tasks around the house for which they are paid on an hourly basis. Approximately five or six students out of 50 each term participate in this program.
Sigma Nu Fraternity pay members flat rates per term for cleaning a part of the house.
"This alleviates the cost, a little," said Andy Pease '01, a member of Sigma Nu fraternity. Pease earns $150 per term for cleaning the basement.
"But, I don't think money is a huge problem for anyone," he added.
There are, however, exceptions to this pattern.
Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority is one such example. Although a local organization without a national fund, KDE does not require students to pay their dues if they are unable.
"It's never an issue whether someone can pay," said president Anne Mullins '00. "Our basic policy is that anybody who wants to be in the house, is going to be in the house."
Mullins said that although KDE does not require members to perform odd tasks around the house, many do.
"A lot of people don't feel comfortable just not paying," she said.