Greek insurance policies cause difficulties for local organizations

By Caroline Jacobs
Contributing Writer

While freshmen must patiently wait for their opportunity to join a sorority or a fraternity, the time for upperclassmen to rush is just around the corner. As previously covered by the Purple, some Greek life associations must also consider new financial policies that resulted in a dramatic increase in insurance prices this year.

Last semester, Sewanee notified sorority and fraternity leaders that they will no longer be handling insurance. The new policy will not necessarily be a significant issue for national chapters who receive more financial support from their national chapters. However, smaller organizations may face financial stress while trying to keep costs low for their members. 

“We’re trying to find a way that our sisters won’t have an insane amount of money to pay, that they are unable to pay, because we pride ourselves on not being expensive,” explains Alpha Tau Zeta president Kate Graham (C’20).

While joining a fraternity or sorority can already be a financial issue for many students, the recent insurance policy has the potential to create a larger financial burden. Paying dues each semester is costly for many people, but dues have the potential to rise if Greek life has to pay more to keep a place on campus. 

Alpha Delta Theta House Manager Sarah Covington (C’20) explained that “local sororities and fraternities formed a corporation either individually or as a group… and [they] have filed for insurance.” In forming a 501(c)(7), it makes these Greek organizations their “own legal entity” and then the University is not legally responsible for them. 

Leaders at sororities and fraternities are struggling to keep Greek life affordable, and Graham (C’20) says that “people outside the Greek community don’t quite know as much about the costs that go along with the insurance policy.” 

Some of the larger sororities are able to get more financial help from their alumnae, but that doesn’t mean that the process is easy. Even if the organization has financial resources, the process of figuring out how to set up insurance can be intimidating and time consuming. 

Alpha Delta Theta president Maria Trejo (C’20) describes the process of figuring out how to handle insurance, explaining, “I feel like some people are pretty angry about it… it felt a little out of the blue and kind of rushed because obviously everything has a deadline.”