How Much Does it Actually Cost to “Go Greek” at MU?

With formal recruitment two months away, potential new members are asking Greek men and women a plethora of questions, with one of the most common being about dues.

The answer to that question is not the most accurate description of the cost of going Greek.

“Majority of these fees go to the national organizations to provide resources for the chapter. Another bulk of the fees go towards the insurance policies that each national organization uses to provide protection for their members and guests to the organization,” said Jon Buchalski, Assistant Director of Student Activities for Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Buchalski also mentioned that each organization has an operational budget used to host events and programs that support their values.

Every Greek organization pays the aforementioned dues each semester. At the University, the range of dues for fraternal organizations is approximately $175 to $550 each semester, while sorority women pay approximately $300 to $600 per semester, depending on the organization.

Another factor into paying dues is whether or not they are all inclusive, indicating payment for items such as t-shirts, formal, or social events.

If organizations dues are not all inclusive, t-shirts come at a hefty price. Customized t-shirts run around $20 each, which means approximately an additional $100 is required of the members.

Greek members additionally partake in a number of events throughout the year such as Homecoming, recruitment, philanthropy events, Relay for Life, and Greek Week.

Other events include formal and socials. Formal is an annual event hosted by each organization. Members have the option to invite a date to and get dressed nice for a night of fun.

Depending on the venue that the organizations book for their formal, tickets can run anywhere from $40 each to $100 each.

If the location is typically far from campus, such as in Atlantic City, NJ, a popular location for formal, the cost of a hotel room is additional.

Socials, on the other hand, are where fraternities and sororities mix to get to know the members of each organization on a closer basis.

Supporting other Greek organizations comes at a cost, too. Almost every Wednesday, fraternities and sororities host events in which proceeds benefit its specific philanthropy. Some examples include Lovestruck, Monmouth Idol, Big Man On Campus, ANAD Vigil, Sub Eating Contest, and the Car Smash.

Greek organizations are required to have 50 percent of the chapter in attendance. Tickets are $5 in advance, and $7 at the door.

There are 16 Greek organizations total, which requires another $80 from the members.

Sororities include Alpha Kappa Alpha, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Sigma Tau, Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Phi Epsilon, Lambda Theta Alpha, Phi Sigma Sigma, and Zeta Tau Alpha. Fraternities include Alpha Kappa Psi, Delta Tau Delta, Phi Kappa Psi, Tau Delta Phi, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Theta Xi Sigma Pi, and Sigma Tau Gamma.

Individuals can be part of a business fraternity as well as a social fraternity. Alpha Kappa Psi is the only business fraternity on campus.

Alex Noboa, a business administration major and member of both Alpha Kappa Psi and Delta Tau Delta, said it is difficult budgeting money for both fraternities, but looks at it the same way he looks at paying tuition.

“It’s an investment where I’ll be getting a lot more out of it in the long-run. While tuition pays for academic experience, my dues pay for social experience which is just as important,” Noboa said.

Another large factor in Greek organizations is Big and Little reveals, or Sapphire, Secret, or Angel reveals. Taking on a younger brother or sister within an organization comes at a cost.

The older brother or sister supplies their Little, Sapphire, Secret, or Angel with food and gifts during their six-week new member process. Taking on a younger member will never be included in dues.

Katie Cozzi, a senior graphic design major and Monmouth Greek, took a Little and a Secret Sister in the spring of 2013. She mentioned that she spent around $1,000 on her Little and Secret combined. Each girl was given two baskets a week during the new member process. “While I don’t think the presents are necessary, I thought it was worth it,” Cozzi said.

Greek organizations add to the cost of student’s yearly tuition, however, being affiliated comes with benefits.

According to an article published in USA Today on May 18, 2012, students who are affiliated with a Greek organization are more likely to graduate on time. This is due to study hours, and being held accountable for maintaining particular grade point averages.

Not only do Greeks graduate on time more often than non-Greeks, USA Today also mentioned that records have shown that their grade point averages are noticeably hig er, and they can graduate from college with an open network of thousands of people, which means connections to potential job offers.

“It’s an opportunity that helps make your college experience the best it could be. When you look back you’ll remember the memories, not the price,” said Melissa Naranjo, a freshman health studies student.

Depending on the organization, payment plans may be offered .