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Greek Council may halve budget

The proposal was in part a response to Delta Phi and Sigma Chi’s objections to old policies

By
Contributing Writer
Monday, November 25, 2013

Greek Council Chair Michael Coates ’14 and Treasurer Alexander Sherry ’15 laid out a plan at a Sunday meeting of the Council to halve Greek Council’s budget — cutting it from about $7,000 to $3,300 a semester — and require houses with more than 30 members to pay a flat rate of $300 rather than $10 per dues-paying member.

Coates and Sherry developed the proposal after Delta Phi and Sigma Chi threatened to withhold payments to the council this past Tuesday unless Greek Council reconsidered both its budget and how it determines the amount each house has to pay.

“There were a number of things in the budget that were no longer necessary,” said Connor Grealy ’14, president of Sigma Chi and a Herald sports editor, who also proposed a budget to the council.

The meeting centered around Greek Council’s current policy requiring all houses to pay $10 per member. Sigma Chi labeled this policy as problematic, since larger fraternities pay more than smaller ones, without receiving additional benefits. The new proposal sets a $300 maximum on the charge, preventing larger houses from incurring greater monetary burdens.

“We plan on agreeing with the proposal,” Grealy told The Herald.

In past years, Greek Council’s budget has been used for inter-Greek events, philanthropy and Greek Week, among other things. The new budget would maintain funding for these events.

“We had a lot of room for creativity and outside events,” Coates said of the previous budget. “We found ways to save money and still throw the best events possible.” Halloween on Wriston, an event in which the council sends buses to bring underprivileged children from Providence to trick-or-treat on Wriston Quad, will still receive funding in the new budget. The council has also budgeted some funds for impromptu charitable actions, like the Hurricane Sandy relief fund founded last year.

Fraternity presidents reacted positively to the budget proposal. Delta Phi, one of the largest fraternities on campus, was especially supportive of the plan. Last year, Delta Phi paid $1,750 to the council, much more than the $600 it would pay for two semesters under the new plan. Delta Tau was also satisfied with the cuts, which will reduce the dues it pays to the council by 50 percent.

“The purpose of Greek Council is to promote inter-Greek relationships and provide an independent outlet for disciplinary concerns. In my opinion, these roles can be fulfilled without an unnecessarily large budget,” said Salaar Khan ’15, president of Delta Phi. “I feel that Coates and Sherry did an excellent job. Delta Phi is in favor of the budget cuts.”

Smaller fraternities were also pleased with the plan.

“I’m really happy about it, because we never got to take advantage of the co-sponsored funding with Greek Council,” said Harry Ramsamooj ’14, president of Phi Kappa Psi, a fraternity with 23 members. Phi Psi was on social suspension this past semester and as a result could only apply for co-sponsorship funds if  the event was taking place outside of the fraternity house.

If the presidents of campus fraternities and sororities approve the proposal this semester, houses that have already paid more than $300 in dues to Greek Council will be refunded.

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