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Hi,

I was wondering if you had any suggestions for my situation. I am a college freshman at Knox College in Galesburg, IL, and a member of Pi Beta Phi. On our campus there are two sororities (us and Delta Delta Delta - which is very annoying to type) and five fraternities. My problem here is that we don't have Greek houses, and the boys do. The main reason for this is lack of funding. Within the last few years, we obtained two "houses" (the Pi Phi bungalow and the Tri-Delt Lodge, as they're called) that are not residential and are only really used for meetings, rush, and ceremonies, and the occasional movie night. We must have an alum there if anyone is sleeping over. This recent investment in so-called houses and the lack of well-off alums has caused us serious problems in getting somewhere to live.

So enough of the background. I'm contacting you NOT for a check (since women's movements aren't really that well funded, as far as I can tell) but for any advice of how we could get a "check" or at least support for our house. As you can see, this is an extremely sexist situation and the only thing keeping me from pushing Pi Phi to sue the school is the fact that the school has no money. But the fact remains that fraternities literally pay about $1 per year in housing since all the room and board fees go back to them since they're living in the frat house. We pay MORE than them - in dues - and still get nothing to show for it.

In the chance that you may have the idea that we, as a sorority, are somehow conforming to patriarchal society's perception of women, I would like to clarify that we are most certainly not. Personally, I get called the "feminazi" by my friends and am extremely pro choice. If you have any ideas on support and/or fundraising, that would be most appreciated.

Thank you for your time (especially since I've been long-winded),
Jackie

Dear Jackie,

I don't know if you have explored invoking Title IX funding in your situation - Title IX funding requires that schools commit equal amounts of funding to men's and women's programming. Given the situation you explained, it doesn't seem like your school is in compliance with this federal legislation. I suggest that you explore more about Title IX, which you can do through your own school or through the federal government, the Department of Education or the department of Budget & Finance.

If this doesn't work, which it should since not doing so would be in violation of this federal legislation, you should try looking at how many female students are at your school vs. male students and count up the amount of tuition spent by each gender. My guess is that your school has a larger female population than male population. If so, your school should be committing even more money to women's programming than to men's.

I hope that helps - and mostly, I hope that you get justice, since the current situation seems incredibly unjust.

Good luck.

Amy

 

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