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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 9, 1973)
inter estates they ain't
by Tim Anderson
The stereotype of the Greek house as a rich man's
university-based winter estate may not be as valid as it once
was, according to Greek officials.
In fact, most houses are finding that with rising dormitory
costs, they might become competitive in the student housing
According to the Panhellenic and Inter-Fraternity Council
offices, the average sorority member pays $936 yearly for
room and board. Costs in a fraternity house range from $880
to $1,080 yearly.
The Board of Regents voted Saturday to raise room and
board in the dormitories next year to $1,020.
However, a difference still exists between living in the
dorms and houses.
Sororities, according to the Panhellenic Council, pay on the
average $115 for social dues each year, plus pledge fees
(averaging $20) and initiation fees (averaging $80), during the
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Fraternities, showing a wider variety of costs, list dues
ranging from $48 yearly to about $150. The figures differ
mainly because some include pins, fees and speical
assessments, while others do not.
Panhellenic President Debbie Danberg said she often hears
rumors that the houses are having difficulty finding enough
money and members, but she never hears anything from the
"As near as I can see, there hasn't been a decline in the
number of members," Danberg said. "There seems to be the
same plateau of numbers going through rush, it's just that they
She explained that in recent years some houses have
received more pledges than others, instead of all having the
"The loss of members would truly constitute a loss of
funds, but there just doesn't seem to be a loss of members,"
However, Sigma Kappa, a sorority which will lose its
representation on the Panhellenic Council after this semester,
is shutting down operations, according to Sigma Kappa
vice-president Ellen Luebs.
Luebs said that even now the house is primarily a boarding
house. She said negotiations are currently underway to rent
the house to the Theta Chi fraternity.
Luebs said that the primary reason for shotting down
operations was low membership. The house corporation,
consisting of members and alumni, decided to rent the house
out rather than sell it, hoping to someday start operations
again, she said.
Dave McBride, Interfraternity Council president, said he
knows of no fraternity houses in financial trouble and a check
with houses seems to back his belief.
Jerry Tritsch, FarmHouse fraternity president, said that
FarmHouse members pride themselves on the house's financial
"For the first time in history, however, we don't have our
house full," Tritsch said. "We're set up for 70 members and
this year we re three short."
Sigma Chi President Jack Schultz said the financial
situation at Sigma Chi "looks better than the last couple of
Schultz said the "bills have gone up, but everyone seems to
be meeting the price."
One way the members are meeting the rising costs,
according to Schultz, is another departure from the
stereotyped Greek-part-time employment.
"That whole ideology about only rich kids being in
fraternities is just not true anymore," Schultz said. "Many of
our members are working to put themselves through school."
McBride agrees. "There once may have been a time when
you could stereotype houses like that, saying that they pulled
in the rich, but not anymore."
"Oh, sure we've still got some rich kids, but we also have
members from entirely different financial backgrounds,"
McBride said studies have been done concerning the
socio-economic backgrounds of pledges which show that the
smaller fraternities often gain members from small towns.
These pledges usually are without any previous Greek
background, such as parents or relatives who were members.
The larger and more established houses, McBride said,
seemed to get the students from the larger towns who have
some Greek background.
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