Quitting college sorority dilemma

wodkaAugust 21, 2007

Because of her family's financial situation, my niece decided to drop out of her college sorority. She notified them in June (at the time she was unsure if she would even be coming back for her junior year.) Before she dropped out, she was scheduled to live in the sorority house. Fall classes started yesterday, and my niece received an e-mail from the sorority saying they needed a written letter giving the reasons for quitting and it needed to be hand-delivered. My niece complied, and upon delivering the letter, they told her that she also owed the sorority $4,000 for cancelling out on living at the house! And also wanted the sorority pin (that she paid for) to be returned.

Sounds like a racket to me. We are trying to help our niece and her parents figure out the next step. Good luck getting the $4,000. The whole reason for getting out of the sorority was financial. Like my sister said, "stand in line."

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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I would go to the Dean and see who is in charge of the campus sororities. If they filled her room, they have no reason to demand the money from her, if they were not able to fill the room because it was reserved for her, then it can get sticky. As for the pin, they are probably within their rights to demand its return, it is for members only, but I would think they should refund the money for it. I have to say, this does not sound like a sorority I would want my daughter to be a part of, not very compassionate are they?

I hope she is able to work things out. Will she be living at home and commuting to school now?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 4:31PM
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Thank you for the information. When she notified the sorority in June of her resigning/deactivating, the person in charge said she was sorry to hear that and she would get some papers to her in August to sign. And then they hit her with all of this yesterday. She is still at school. She applied for and was approved for a private alternative loan which she will pay back after graduating. She is a junior, so if she can just get through all of this "stuff," and graduate, it will be worth it. Poor kid. She's done everything she's supposed to, made good grades, gotten a part time job and this loan. She just wants to get her degree. I'll be darned if we're going to let this latest stop her.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2007 at 4:54PM
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I'd tell her to get ahold of the Dean also and possibly the next level of the sorority. Something sounds fishy to me. Also, I would think that the school wouldn't care if she dropped so it may not mean anything in the long run. Are they going to take her to court if she does not pay up?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 11:00PM
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Thanks. I told my sister and she plans to do just that. I think it's fishy, too. I was never in a sorority, but I imagine there are a lot of juniors and seniors who tend to drop out, because there's not as much need for them at that stage in college, and this is the sorority's way of getting back.

I'll let y'all know how it turns out.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2007 at 9:17AM
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Sorority member and mother of one too here -

See if the sorority has a way of taking a "leave of absence". It means you can move out of the sorority house, not be a voting member, not pay the dues, but still be considered a member in good standing. My daughter plans to take this option second semester, when she does her student teaching. For my daughter, that's a better option than deactivating. (My mom, my aunt and myself are the same sorority as my daughter.)

You may need to call the sorority advisor, or the national office, to get information. There should be ways around the financial problem without deactivating.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 11:16PM
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If she is a full member in the sorority - then she gets to keep the pin - that is the end of it. Those are expensive $$. I have mine. I dropped out of my college after 2 years and did not return to that college and they never asked for it back.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 2:10PM
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I am also a sorority member. Alumni now (I'm 38). Bottom line there are two ways to go about this. She can state that she no longer wants to be a member of the sorority. Or, she can take a leave of absence or deactivate. That means she could always be an active alumni member later in life. It's not just a college thing - it's a lifetime thing.

If she states that she no longer wants to be a member of a sorority, the sorority can ask for the pin back. I had to sign a lease agreement for mine - it's mine so long as I am alive and a member in good standing. I don't pay dues or anything, I just am not active. When I'm gone, the pin is supposed to go back to headquarters. This keeps pins out of the hands of ebay sellers and pawn shops and stuff. Your neice should be able to leave college as a member of the sorority in good standing without a problem.

As for the $4000 for the house - that is a different entity. Did she sign a housing contract? Did they fill her spot?

The university most likely won't play any part in this as sororities and fraternities are private organizations. Tell her to call the sorority's national headquarters for help with the pin issue. Since chapters handle and own their own housing, they may not be able to help with that.

Don't worry, sororities are not evil. Probably just whatever girl she is dealing with is.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 6:13AM
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