In spring 2019, the University of Wisconsin partnered with an external review team to conduct a program review of Fraternity & Sorority Life. The goal of this review was to observe current practices, identify areas for improvement, and provide recommendations for future action to elevate the fraternal experience on campus. Across all constituency groups, including students, the overall impression was that FSL was understaffed and underfunded, which lead to the conclusion that the existing model was preventing system-wide failure rather than proactively building the membership experience, fostering community among councils, sharing information with various constituency groups, and providing positive programming.
In order to expand the Fraternity & Sorority Life staff, campus shifted the existing funding model which included collecting money through IFC and PHA council dues. This process began in 2016. The new FSL Community Contribution Fee was announced in May 2020 to all FSL stakeholders. The new process collects a fee from all FSL students and allows for greater equity with a robust waiver process. IFC and PHA dues no longer collect money via their council dues. A waiver process is in place to assist those students who may have financial insecurity or be on campus as part of certain scholarship programs. This process is intended to be more equitable by spreading the cost across all four councils, and provide increased staff support to each council.
Waivers are available to all FSL members. Waiver applications reviewed twice a year. Waiver applications must be received by July 1 for the fall term and November 1 for the spring term. Late waiver applications may not be reviewed until the following term. Note: Fall 2021 waiver application deadline was extended to July 12.
There are two application options based on the student’s circumstance:
- This waiver is a one time application and approval process; students do not need to apply each year
- This waiver is a one-year waiver and students must reapply annually to maintain a waiver as needed.
- There is no limit to the number of waivers a student may receive.
Waiver applications are available on our website (fsl.wisc.edu) and can be found under Resources>Members section.
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What is the money collected used for?
The funding collected from this fee supplements the funding provided by campus to employ the FSL Staff, cover operational expenses, and provide programming and education opportunities for fraternity and sorority members. This new model significantly increases the existing staffing levels and elevates Fraternity & Sorority Life to be a campus department, falling within the Leadership & Engagement area of Student Affairs.
Who decides who receives a waiver?
There is a dedicated committee of student affairs staff who reviews waiver applications each semester. Should your waiver application be denied, you will receive a message with the reasoning or asking for additional information to be reviewed. If your application is denied, you are welcome to apply again for additional review.
I was approved for a waiver, why do I still see a charge on my bill?
If you are involved in a fraternity or sorority, you should still see it on your bill. The FSL fee is applied to your account on one line and removed on another. An example is available below.
I am no longer involved in fraternity/sorority life, why am I receiving this charge?
If you received the fee, you are currently listed as an active member on a chapter roster. If you are no longer affiliated with a fraternity or sorority, please reach out to your former chapter – they need to inform our office of your departure. We cannot remove the charge until we get confirmation from the chapter president (or VP admin/record keeper) that you have left the organization. To speed up the reversal of the charge, instruct them to provide your name, the chapter name, date, and reason for no longer being a member.
I decided to terminate my chapter affiliation after the semester began, do I still need to pay this fee?
The FSL fee is applied to your bill before the semester begins. If you terminate your affiliation with your chapter before the term deadline to drop a course and receive a 100% reimbursement (this specific date is available on the academic calendar available via the Office of the Registrar – Enrollment>Dates & Deadlines) AND contact our office within that same timeframe, we can reverse the charge.