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Bradley greek life lobbying for tax-deductable donations

Two students will represent Bradley at a conference this weekend to lobby on behalf of all greek organizations.

Chi Omega member Kate Green and Alpha Epsilon Pi member Mitch Slack were chosen by their national organizations to attend the Capital Fraternal Caucus in Washington, D.C. The caucus is in support of the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act, a bill that would allow all charitable contributions to non-profit organizations, such as fraternities and sororities, to be tax-deductable.

“This act isn’t just pro-greek,” she said. “It can benefit and help organizations on campus with houses such as Hillel and the Newman Center.”

According to the Capital Fraternal Caucus website, currently, contributions made to greek organizations are only considered tax-deductable if the grants are used for an educational nature, such as scholarships, computers and study areas.

Slack said this means that any donations the organization receives cannot go towards housing infrastructure or safety, an area where many houses on campus are in need of funds.

In 2005 a bill was passed that requires the majority of fraternity and sorority houses to have an automatic fire sprinkler system installed by Jan. 1, 2013. Because of this bill, a large stress has been placed on several Bradley greek organizations.

“We aren’t sure how we are going to pay,” Green said. “Maybe we have to raise dues or pull money from savings. It is a lot of money and if you raise dues you would be making all members pay for something they may not part in or see, that’s not fair.”

Associate Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Jesse Koch said the bill might encourage more donors.

“It’s going to give alum and even parents more incentive to donate for projects, brick and mortar projects that are necessities to many houses,” he said. “It can help with fundraising efforts.”

Slack and Green will attend the four day event starting today until April 12 where they will personally meet and interact with senators and congressmen to lobby for the act.

“It sounded like a really neat experience and it is a chance to participate in a democracy and express your opinion to someone that matters,” Slack said. “Hopefully they will listen.”