Member: Sorority priceless

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    Each semester, Greeks pay their chapters hundreds of dollars in dues, used for everything from philanthropies to recruitment, Greek officers say.Will Sager, Interfraternity Council president, said chapter dues range from $450 to $800 a semester and many chapters have summer dues.

    Amanda Ziehme, Alpha Chi Omega treasurer, said active members of the sorority paid $440 in dues this semester and new members paid $741.

    Ziehme, a junior interior design major, said all new members are required to pay higher dues their first semester to pay for new member education, including the initiation brunch and retreats.

    “I think the budget gets looked at negatively,” Ziehme said. “Sorority girls get a rich-label vibe because of all the dues, but we try to keep the dues as low as possible.”

    Ziehme said the sorority’s dues are determined by its national organization.

    Alpha Chi Omega allocates 13 percent of its budget for social events, including parties, formals, Homecoming, Parents’ Weekend and intramural sports, Ziehme said. The majority of the sorority’s budget is sent to its national organization for items such as insurance and house maintenance, she said.

    Phi Gamma Delta Treasurer Robert Sawyer said the fraternity’s dues range from $450 to $750 a semester for new members, active members and fifth-year seniors.

    “I hate it when people think we’re only paying for our friends and parties,” he said. “I don’t like it when people think all our money goes to socials. It’s not true.”

    Sawyer, a senior finance major, said though the fraternity’s social budget accounts for the highest percentage this semester, the budget for housing fines has topped the social budget in previous semesters.

    Sawyer said TCU requires 25 people to live in the fraternity’s house and will charge the fraternity $2,500 for each person under this minimum requirement.

    James Parker, assistant dean of Campus Life, said each IFC and Panhellenic Council chapter has a contract with the university to fill a certain amount of space. If the 25-member minimum is not met, the chapter is assessed a fine for the amount a member would pay.

    But, Parker said, if a chapter has more than 28 members living in a house, it receives $250 credit for each person over that number. After a chapter has 33 members living in the house, the chapter’s room fee of $2,500 is waived.

    “It’s an incentive for them to exceed the minimum contractual agreement,” he said. “If they exceed the minimum, the university rewards them in return.”

    Sawyer said Fiji’s budget also covers philanthropies, intramural sports, insurance and other fines such as damage to the house.

    “The budget for fines isn’t very high because we try to keep our members in line so they don’t do things to get us in trouble,” he said.

    Sawyer said the budget for fines covers damage to ceiling tiles, exit signs and telephones, for example. But the budget is lower this year because the Fiji men aren’t as rowdy this semester, he said.

    Chi Omega Treasurer Katie Haugh said active members pay $375 per semester and new members pay $600 during their first semester.

    Although Chi Omega’s social events use about $25,000 of the sorority’s budget each year, Haugh, a junior graphic design major said, the money is used for events including the sorority’s alumnnae brunch, where the sorority celebrates its founders, and for awards, scholarships and honors that recognize students within the sorority.

    The Chi Omega budget also pays for recruitment, which totals $5,000 each year, Haugh said. The budget for recruitment is set by the university, not each chapter, she said.

    “Every chapter has the same budget to make it fair,” she said. “The money is used for all the supplies and the whole production.”

    Haugh said Chi Omega’s budget also goes toward philanthropies and intramural sports. Although the sorority has exceeded its budget for intramurals this year, every member will still compete, she said.

    “We set aside a budget for intramurals,” she said. “If more girls want to be a part than we have the budget for, we have a cushion for that so everyone can be a part if they want to.”

    Lindsay Beattie, a senior English major, said she dropped out of Alpha Chi Omega her sophomore year because she couldn’t commit her time to the sorority and the dues were a financial stress.

    “Our dues weren’t that high considering what they pay for, but it gets a little expensive on top of tuition and other expenses,” she said.

    Kendall Delk, a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma, said she sometimes feels the dues are too high but said they are constructive.

    “I think it’s worth it because there is so much that we experience; it’s almost priceless,” said Delk, a junior psychology