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High greek fees deter some

Students weigh high dues against the benefits of being greek.
Sophomore Maggie OMalley shows her bid card to junior Anna Barton at Bid Day on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, at TCF Bank Stadium.
Image by Ichigo Takikawa
Sophomore Maggie O’Malley shows her bid card to junior Anna Barton at Bid Day on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, at TCF Bank Stadium.

The University of Min­nesota’s greek community experienced recruitment growth again during this year’s rush week.

While some students find significant value in join­ing a fraternity or sorority, others say high member­ship costs outweigh the benefits.

On average, dues per ac­ademic year for University greek chapters are $1,600 for fraternities and $2,300 for sororities, according to greek organization leaders.

Freshman Skyler Wer­ner said she wouldn’t join a sorority because of the high costs.

“I feel like you’re pay­ing for something you don’t necessarily need to pay for, like making friends,” she said.

Each chapter’s member­ship dues go to both local and national divisions of greek organizations, said Fra­ternity and Sorority Life program director.

Local dues help pay for events, some meals and ac­cess to common areas in chapter houses, he said.

Additionally, Levine said, members pay dues to the na­tional headquarters of their fraternity or sorority, cover­ing staff and insurance costs.

Some scholarships are available from greek or­ganizations and individual chapters to help meet the costs of dues.

Freshman Madison Gal­lardo knew the cost before rushing began but decided to go ahead with it and joined Alpha Phi last week.

“I knew that it was kind of expensive,” she said, “but it was something that I really wanted to do.”

But for management information systems fresh­man Erica Aarons, the costs don’t justify the benefits of membership.

“I wouldn’t pay that much,” she said. “School already costs so much, so I don’t have that money to throw around.”

Biology junior and Delta Kappa Epsilon member Grant Bischof said rising student housing costs actu­ally make greek housing prices competitive with oth­er options.

“I think it’s a stereotype of the past that people would come to college and only rich kids would be able to afford [greek housing],” he said.

To live in a sorority house, members pay an av­erage of $7,400 per school year, according to greek leaders. Average fraternity housing costs total $6,500 for the school year. These costs generally include membership dues, in addi­tion to other services like meals and cleaning.

Most standard double occupancy rooms in Uni­versity residence halls cost about $4,700 per year.

When deciding to join a greek organization, some students compare different chapters’ prices.

Phi Kappa Psi vice presi­dent Mac Mischke said he considered cost before de­ciding which fraternity to join.

“I chose Phi Psi because it was one of the cheaper ones, but my parents are willing to help pay for it,” he said.

For Mischke, the ben­efits of joining a fraternity outweighed the costs be­cause of the friendship and support he gets.

“I think it’s something students can find a way to afford,” he said.

Marketing freshman Hattie Holm said she was “very concerned” about membership costs and de­cided to drop out of the re­cruitment process before bid day last week.

Holm has to pay for most of her housing and tuition and said joining a Greek organization would be too much.

“For me to commit to a sorority and only do their events,” she said, “I didn’t think it would be worth it.”

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