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Soroties and Fraternities in the US
Who pays the costs to run them?

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13 replies to this topic

#1 GeminiSix

Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:06 AM

I was watching Legally Blonde last night and I started googling to find out about sororities and fraternities in Universities in the US.

Wikipedia had a very detailed page, but I am still curious as to how they are funded? It looks to me like a group lives together in a large house and are fed there.  Do they have to pay a fee to be part of a sorority? If not, who pays the costs of running the house/electricity/maintenance/food/cleaning etc?  

Seems like a good deal to me if there are no costs involved!

Can any of our US members shed any light on this?

#2 *-*

Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:59 AM

Apparently they have a monthly house bill?  So not free from what I can work out.

#3 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:01 AM

I had always assumed they were incredibly expensive and funded privately...ie the student (or more likely the student's parents) pay, and they are really only in the domain of the very wealthy...

Interested to hear from someone in "in the know" though!

#4 WinterIsComing

Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:07 AM

Sounds a bit like all the St Brat's colleges we have within our universities - also the domain of the wealthy and well connected.

#5 mumtoactivetoddler

Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:07 PM

Winteriscoming I think that is probably true about some of the colleges but at least at UNSW in the college I was in there were plenty of people who were not well connected and were not wealthy. Actually I can only think of one person who was well connected and they were from overseas. I can't speak for Sydney uni though.

#6 Blossom73

Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:11 PM

I was in a women's fraternity (aka sorority) in uni in Canada. We had to pay membership dues to the fraternity, and if you lived in the house you paid room and board as well.

Not everyone who joins a fraternity or sorority is wealthy or well-connected, trust me.

#7 Mamabug

Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:14 PM

What is the difference between a college and a residential dormitory? I lived on campus at uni and it was just what you did so you had somewhere to live, not because we were wealthy or connected - it was based on grades more than anything.

Or does being in a city v rural campus make a difference?

I always thought a fraternity was just a souped up version of a campus residence.

#8 la di dah

Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:20 PM

They're private clubs, but I know plenty of people in them who aren't wealthy or well connected. Admittedly most of the people are know are in historically black or Jewish frats/sororities but while they're a bit "join the one your [parent/auntie/cousin] did," they're definitely not the domain of the wealthy. Rather working class backgrounds in some cases actually.

Yeah, they're for people who can go to college, but I know a lot of nurses/schoolteachers in them.

EDIT: you can live on campus but not be in one, and you can be in one and not live on campus.

Edited by la di dah, 01 February 2013 - 01:21 PM.

#9 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:27 PM

Thanks LDD and other posters! I was completely off on my assumption then! I guess i was basing it on movies like Legally Blonde, where they did all appear to be from quite wealthy backgrounds.....but I guess there was Animal House ....they certainly didn't have silver spoons in their mouths!

#10 la di dah

Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:33 PM

I think it varies a lot, like uni kids in general. I don't mean that to sound snotty. There ARE some wealthy ones (or wealthy chapters of more middling ones) but it's not like frat = wealthy automatically.

Legally Blond was a bit, uh, not literal. I did like the chihuahua though. laughing2.gif

#11 Blossom73

Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:35 PM

Definitely varies a lot, like everything in life!!

#12 Bel Rowley

Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:40 PM

QUOTE (WinterIsComing @ 01/02/2013, 12:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sounds a bit like all the St Brat's colleges we have within our universities - also the domain of the wealthy and well connected.

I lived at a college at Melbourne University for two years, as did my 3 siblings, and we are not wealthy or well connected. My family lived in the country 350km away, going to university meant we had to move away from home. As far as my parents were concerned having us live on campus was the most sensible option, all our meals were taken care of, we could get to classes easily, plus we didn't pay during holidays when we would go home anyway, so it's not like having to pay rent on a share house for a year.

Unfortunately in my case it didn't work out so well and I spent most of the two years in a drunken stupor... but it worked for lots of other kids.

#13 kpingitquiet

Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:52 PM

Yep. My stepdad was/is in a Frat. Not at his school, but at a similar one, his Fraternity charges about $300 in initiation fees, $50 per month "new member" fee for the first year and it's about $4500 per semester to live in the house, which isn't far off the room/board rates of standard issue dorms on the same campus. Now, they are a bit picky and expect all brothers to live in the house while attending school there.

#14 GeminiSix

Posted 02 February 2013 - 08:12 AM

Not at his school, but at a similar one, his Fraternity charges about $300 in initiation fees, $50 per month "new member" fee for the first year and it's about $4500 per semester to live in the house, which isn't far off the room/board rates of standard issue dorms on the same campus

Thanks kpingitquiet, interesting, I had just assumed it was all free which was why people wanted to join them.

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