In recent weeks, the âAbolish Greek Lifeâ movement has gained traction, with protests on campuses across the country calling on universities to get rid of these 200-year-old institutions.
Opponents argue that students are not interested in joining Greek Life Organizations (GLOs). There has certainly been a decline in 2020-21 for obvious reasons (socially distant Greek life is just not the same). However, a study just before the pandemic found that 44% of college students (8.8 million) are interested in joining a GLO, compared to just 1.4 million current members.
The âabolitionistsâ argue that Greek life is for straight, white and Christian students, but that doesn’t match the facts. Did you know that the most recently established fraternity in the United States is a Muslim fraternity, founded at UCSD less than ten years ago? There are now 43 LGBTIQ GLOs and 17 for non-binary students. There are 12 who are African American, 18 for Asian Americans, 28 for Hispanic Americans, and 18 who are explicitly multicultural. With 234 sororities and fraternities spread across American campuses, the majority are no longer white Christians.
The Abolish Moment also maintains that Greek Life is exclusive for financial reasons. Dues must be prepaid and can cost students between $ 1,500 and over $ 10,000 per year. These days, college debt is a problem even for the upper middle class, and FAFSA loans cannot fund dues in both policy and practice. In many ways, while there is debate about the extent to which Greek life is exclusive on socio-racial grounds, its exclusivity on socio-economic grounds is pretty much absolute. However, there are solutions to this problem.
Crowded.me is a start-up fintech company that seeks to make Greek life accessible to students from all socio-economic backgrounds. Crowded CEO Daniel Grunstein suggested in an interview that “if a student depends on funding tuition and housing, it is virtually impossible for him or her to find the $ 2,000-10,000 a year in dues.” âUnfortunately, this is not unique to Greek Life, it exists with all extracurricular members, whether they are rappelling clubs, scouts and even summer camps,â he explains. The consequence of lower middle class pricing is significant given the âsignificant networking and leadership benefits associated with membership,â according to Grunstein.
When asked if he was concerned that Crowded would become a target of the Abolish Greek Life movement, Grunstein was not worried. âThere are obviously points of disagreement, but the demonstrators have a point on economic exclusion. If you can buy groceries in monthly installments, why not dues? This need is not intentionally unmet, nonprofits run by volunteers do not exactly specialize in innovative financing. The needs of the lower middle class are often those that âfall through the cracksâ.
Crowded is currently exploring banking partnerships and plans to offer contribution funding starting in fall 2022.
Company Name: Crowded Technologies Inc.
Contact: Breton Pizzuta
E-mail: Send an email
Country: United States