Low enrollment spurs Greek budget cuts

The decrease in enrollment this year has led to more budget cuts, this time cutting the Greek Council budget by 10 percent across the board.

Greek Affairs and Residence Life is an auxiliary that provides funding for the four student governing councils on campus, which is generated based on the number of people living in residence halls, apartments and Greek houses.

Since the number of beds being filled at the University has gone down, the amount of funding has as well, said Ronald Binder, associate director of residence life and director of Greek Affairs.

This year, Greek Affairs allocated $16,200 to be divided between the four councils, compared to $18,000 for the 2006-2007 academic year.

Ben Forche, president of the Inter-Fraternity Council, was informed before this semester that his council was facing a budget cut, but he didn’t know by how much.

“Our budget cut wasn’t that bad,” he said.

The IFC’s budget was cut $500 out of the total $1,800 but half of the budget comes from residence life, or rollover from that, and the other half comes from the dues paid by the 16 social fraternities in the council.

Forche said he didn’t know exactly why their budget was cut, but guessed it was because of the enrollment being down, since he heard there’s a whole wing in Kreischer that’s empty.

Forche said the IFC needs money to find new and innovative ways to promote scholarship, cater to their chapters, improve their public image and coordinate special events, such as Sibs and Kids Weekend or the Welcome Bash that’s at the recreational center at the beginning of the school year.

President of the Greek Independent Board, Aysen Ulupinar, said people asked why the budget was cut, but Binder was very knowledgeable about the topic and explained the reasons well.

Ulupinar said the $300 cut hasn’t affected their council’s major focuses, which are emphasizing multiculturalism and service through activities like Toys for Tots, but GIB did have to take money from its retreat fund for the second semester.

We got to keep academic and chapter incentives, which are the areas that are important to us, Ulupinar said.

“It could’ve been worse,” she said.

Over the past five years Binder has been at the University, Greek Affairs has allocated about the same amount of money to each of the four councils, even though it is supposed to be based on the size of each council, ability of the councils to raise their own resources, needs and history.

Binder said a task force made up of representatives from Greek, RSA, hall councils and members of residence life is being formed to examine future funding of these groups.

The task force will hold several meetings to generate new ways of allocating funds and will recommend them to the director of residence life.

Binder said the task force will be meeting in a week or two and they’re excited because prior to now, funding has been distributed based on historical knowledge and not on the current need or merit of the organization.

He said the four presidents of the Greek councils were disappointed when they heard about the budget cuts, but they understood that less money comes from residence life when the number of students is down.