The idea of introducing a fee for Greek life into Southeastern’s semesterly fees is greeted with almost equal support and opposition. A survey conducted by Southeastern UReporter staff shows that 52.4 percent of respondents do not believe such a fee would be beneficial or necessary.
The 42 respondents ranged from college age students, to adults. Most of them attend or attended
Southeastern, less than 10 percent did not. There were only four male participants compared to the 38 females. It should also be noted that only 16.7 percent were never involved in a Greek organization.
Those in support cited many reasons to the possible benefits of the fee as well as arguments to other benefactors of current fees. One response that summed up most of the explanations said, “Greeks have expenses just like every other organization/sports team on campus that we fund. Greeks could benefit tremendously by having a budget for us all.”
Some suggested that the fee be imposed on only Greek students, not the entire student body. Seth Leto, a member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity as well as SGA said, “I would support a fee for students who are Greek, however, not a fee for every student. It seems unfair to make another student pay for an organization they aren’t apart of.”
Most participants who opposed the idea took a similar stance to Leto’s point. The general consensus of the open-ended questions of the survey was that respondents felt that Greek life is a choice and something not technically available to every solitary person at Southeastern, and therefore they (the student body) should not have to pay for it.
This point is countered often by the support. They argue that there are countless organizations and athletics that have small fractions in the fees, and that Greek life is a substantial enough demographic and a great contribution to the campus. “Greeks do great things for this campus, we are leaders, are philanthropic and high achievers,” said Walter Ladner, a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity.
Kayla Morgan, an alumna of Southeastern and Phi Mu said that while she would not agree with the fee, she cannot deny that Greek life makes campus more attractive. “I was only so involved on campus because of my sorority. (Greek life) brings more activities to students who would not have another opportunity.”
The survey responses showed a number of current Greeks frustrated that they pay fees for things such as the cheerleaders, which are a much smaller population and much more exclusive than Greek organizations.
Erin Cowser, an employee of Southeastern said, “Programs and projects that are considered to benefit the student body as a whole must be supported (fees) by all individual students who make up that whole. The same holds true in modern society.” She compares it to paying taxes to pay for a bridge in Lafayette, even though she may not drive on it, she pays the tax for the greater good.
A refreshing point in support of the fee is surprisingly made by a non-Greek student. Jaime Gelpi, a Senior Communication major said, “Like any organization (like our music, band and cheer fees) Greeks provide an outlet for students that you can’t get outside of a collegiate setting. Greeks usually are the top performers and the most involved on campus, so I don’t see a problem in helping them keep up with what they do.”
Gelpi’s brother recently began the Southeastern Lacrosse team, and she said that they are in the process of trying to get a fee passed so that they can become a legitimate part of campus. A fee of just $1 is small for a student, but would culminate to make a world of difference for the team.
The Greek fee idea is not on the table or anyone’s agenda, but was recently discussed and thrown around at a Greek leaders meeting according to Phi Mu President and Order of Omega President, Katie Williams.