Since the dawn of absurd government, the people of the United States of America have been oppressed victims of meaningless regulations. As of now, there is a tax code established by our “over-generous” government that prevents nonprofit organizations from being able to use tax-deductible charitable contributions to build, maintain, and improve student housing unless it is academic-related.
What are the results of this?
Say an alumnus or alumna wanted to donate a large sum of money to his or her respective fraternity or sorority. The money can only go to programming or one of their beneficiaries to whom they donate money. While this is absolutely beneficial in one aspect, it is hard to look past the reality of how this hurts Fraternity/Sorority houses. It is much more imminent for these houses to improve their living conditions than to provide funding for more programs. If someone were to tour an average “fraternity/sorority row” where most Greek Houses are located, one would not be enticed to walk inside. In addition to fraternity houses and some sorority houses not being in good condition, most are not even up to safety codes.
This problem becomes overbearing when a house needs to install simple safety measures such as water sprinklers in case of a house fire. A prime and unfortunate example of this occurred in 2011 when a fire spread through an entire fraternity house in the middle of the night, burning the whole place to ashes. The entire situation may have been avoided if the fraternity had sprinklers set up in the house, but they couldn’t spend their money on these safety precautions because of this tax code. These are human lives at stake being tampered with by governmental regulations.
But there is a solution to this madness. The Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (S.736, H.R 1718) proposes to cut this regulation and allow tax-exempt charitable organizations to make housing and infrastructure grants to organizations like fraternities and sororities.
The NIC (North-American Interfraternity Conference) claims that there are multiple benefits for each involved party if the bill passes. Most importantly, this bill would provide freedom to students, alumni, and the non profit organizations themselves, as the government would no longer be able to restrict how an individual’s or organization’s money is spent regarding collegiate housing. The bill would erase the discriminatory monetary restrictions that our nonsensical and inefficient government has put in place.
Every election cycle, the discussion of this bill goes back to the ground zero, and the lobbyists must explain to the government that it is unethical for the government to limit how someone’s money can be used. This bill may not be passed for years because of how much funding goes into lobbying, but it is picking up momentum. While the majority of this audience is not affiliated with Greek life in anyway, it should be noted that this bill stands for the economic freedom of the American people, which I assume we all hold dear to our values.
“You can have economic freedom without political freedom, but you cannot have political freedom without economic freedom” – Friedrich August von Hayek