SA denies Greek life funding appeals

The Student Association fielded 40 percent fewer funding appeals from student organizations this year after allocating about $800,000, but maintained funding cuts for GW’s two largest Greek life groups.

The appeals committee granted 32 of the 36 requests for more funding, giving out an additional total of about $30,000.

The Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association, whose appeals were denied despite successful petitions in recent years, have already planned how to offset the funding cuts. Fraternity leaders said they would double chapters’ semesterly dues to the IFC, while sorority leaders are proposing to slash spending at recruitment events.

In reports to the Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Association, the finance committee concluded that the organizations’ allocated funds don’t yield advantages for all members of Greek life and that members benefit more from their individual chapters. The committee also cited the Interfraternity Council’s past spending patterns, including a lavish $1,000 transition dinner in 2010 which led the organization’s president to resign after seven chapter presidents called for his removal.

“We didn’t understand why past actions by people who don’t go to the University anymore have to impact members of our community,” executive vice president Michael Buss said. “It’s disappointing that we’re not going to be able to do everything that we wanted to do. We’ll be fine moving forward, but obviously we are disappointed.”

The SA slashed funding nearly in half for the Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Association, from $25,000 to $15,000.

GW’s 17 fraternity chapters will now pay $10 per member to the governing body each semester, bringing fraternities closer in line with the Panhellenic Association’s $13 dues per member.

The fee hike will add roughly $12,000 to the Interfraternity Council budget next academic year. But the organization’s leadership said the group will also seek to expand event co-sponsorships and corporate sponsorships to stretch its dollars.

The Panhellenic Association is directing the brunt of the $10,000 cut toward its costliest event – fall recruitment.

Sororities will host preference nights in their chapters’ townhouses to reduce costs for space rentals and private transportation to events on the Mount Vernon Campus. The association’s 55 temporarily disaffiliated Pi Rho Chis, who guide potential new members through the recruitment process, will no longer stay at the GW Inn during recruitment.

Panhellenic president Rachael Abram said her organization planned to cut these expenses before the finance committee gave its initial verdict last week, but hoped to increase programming by retaining the $25,000 funding level.

“Overall, we’re going to be OK. This is just going to be a year where we’re very conscious about what we spend our money on,” Abram said.

The average amount of money that groups earned through appeals was about $812. About 65 groups requested an explanation for their allocations.

The Jewish Student Association, which received $22,500 last year, and the Agape Campus Christian Fellowship, which received $100 last year, were also denied appeals. This year, they were allocated $20,000 and $80, respectively.

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