Panhell increases dues scholarships by $1,200
This spring, the Panhellenic Council will bolster its scholarship program, increasing available funding from $800 to $2,000. The scholarship aims to ease the financial burden that Panhell sorority dues impose and assist women who feel inhibited from joining a sorority for financial reasons.

Panhell president Eliana Piper ’14 and treasurer Lela McCrea ’14 pioneered the program with the assistance of Susan Funk ’81, beginning their collaboration last spring. “When you’re admitted to a school that’s need-blind, there’s the understanding that you have the same accessibility to the Dartmouth experience as anyone else,” Piper said. “And if it is not, we should work to change that.” Piper met with Tracy Walsh, assistant dean of development and administration, to formulate the project’s logistics. After term-long discussions with administrators and Panhellenic Council sorority presidents, the scholarship program is ready to be piloted this spring. In the past, $800 in financial aid was distributed among sororities, amounting to two $50 stipends per house, Piper said. The new scholarship, with $2,000 of financial aid, will be distributed among eight women who receive financial aid from the College. Scholarship applicants must write a reflective essay, most likely relating to what the Greek system means to them, Piper said. Panhell members and Greek Letter Organizations and Societies director Wes Schaub will read the essays anonymously and select the eight recipients. The program aims to help new sorority members cover fall and winter new member fees next year, Piper said, as the first term in a sorority is the most expensive. As of winter 2013, the most recent data available online, total first term dues for new members range from $335 to $647. Piper said she hopes to eventually expand the scholarship enough to provide full financial assistance to all eligible students. “It should never have to be a choice between our community and your financial aid,” she said. Panhell vice president of public relations Jennifer Gargano ’14 agreed that socioeconomic status is a significant factor in the Greek system, noting that many women may feel financially strained. Emily Leach ’16, who is affiliated, said that because of the Greek system’s large role in many students’ Dartmouth experience, the decision not to join should be voluntary rather than mandated by personal finances. “I think a lot of students struggle with sorority dues,” said Rebecca Schantz ’16, “more than is openly recognized by the administration.” Estefani Marin ’17 said the economic burden of joining a Greek organization creates an unnoticed barrier between students, and that a scholarship may motivate more students to participate in recruitment. McCrea said it is up to Greek leaders to initiate the scholarship program, as the issue’s lack of public visibility should not preclude sorority presidents from taking action. “Financial circumstances should not be a limiting factor,” she said. “As student leaders, the responsibility is ours to take on.” Epsilon Kappa Theta sorority president Shari Liu ’14 said she is proud of Panhell for its efforts in pursuing this program. “I hope that the next council will continue to fight for actionable change,” Liu said. Representatives of Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Delta Delta, Kappa Delta, Kappa Delta Epsilon and Kappa Kappa Gamma sororities did not respond to requests for comment by press time. Sera Kwon contributed reporting. The article has been revised to reflect the following correction: Correction appended: March 7, 2014  The original version of this article incorrectly identified Rebecca Schantz '16 as an affiliated student. The reference has been removed. Representatives from Alpha Phi sorority were not contacted for this story, and the story has been revised to correct this error.
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