By Joyrenzia Cheatham, The Whetstone
“More money, more problems.”
Those lyrics from the famous Notorious B.I.G. song certainly apply to this situation.
The Greek Union received a combined budget for all Greek letter organizations this semester – not individual budgets as fraternities and sororities have gotten for many years.
The Greek Union will now divide money among themselves.
“Greek organizations do not get voted in by congress and they usually have larger budgets,” SGA President Betty Lee said.
Instead of fielding large requests for money from the Greek organizations, the SGA decided to give the Greek Union, which oversees the half-dozen fraternities and sororities, 14 percent of the entire SGA budget of $38,500 to distribute. That’s $6,416.67 for all the Greeks. (Including rollovers from last semester.)
Student Affairs supported the decision.
“They now split the money among themselves,” SGA Treasurer Austin Pendergast said. “They are like a mini SGA within themselves.”
SGA Vice President Kelsey Fitzpatrick said that SGA talked to the Greek Union before the change was made.
Greek Union Advisor Mark Berry said Greek organizations requested 35 percent in the fall of 2017.
“A better way to control funding was needed to protect both Greek and non-Greek organizations,” he said. “This will ensure the SGA budget remains available to all organizations on campus, not just Greek letter organizations. Additionally, a centrally combined budget will unify our Greek Life program more.”
Phi Beta Sigma member Jamal Earls agreed that it helps unify the Greek Union.
“It teaches all the Greeks on campus to work together,” he said.
Zeta Phi Beta member Kyndal Showell said she is OK with the change.
“It makes it more fair and is better for other organizations,” she said. “At the same time, there are a handful of organizations on campus that do a lot that should get a bigger budget.“
“It gives the Greek Union more freedom,” Phi Beta Sigma member Stephen Yorkman said.
Berry believes the budget will continue to be combined.
“The combined budget is a better fit and it protects other campus organizations,” he said. “It ensures that there is money left for them.”
As with any change, there is always a concern about how it will work out.
“The major concern that comes with a combined budget is ensuring that everyone receives an adequate amount of the allocated funds,” Berry said. “Everyone will not be able to receive all the funds they have requested because we did not receive enough to fully cover all that our Greek letter organizations.”
“We are still getting less money,” Phi Beta Sigma member Elijah Tinson said. “It forces us to work together and bring unity.”
Berry said he believes the Greek Union treasurer Tariah Edmonds has everything under control.
“I have complete confidence in her abilities to do adequately divide the Greek Union funds,“ Berry said.
SGA President Betty Lee emphasized that the change had nothing to do with past hazing incidents.
Vice President Kelsey Fitzpatrick said the separate Greek organizations were welcome to request more money.