Syracuse University recently reported spending $70,000 on good old Washington D.C. lobbying expenditures for the second quarter of 2013, which seems to be relatively standard for the university (they spent $90,000 in the first quarter), but it was what they were spending it on that caught my eye, and admiration.
[Syracuse] Asked [Senator Charles] Schumer and [Senator Kirsten] Gillibrand to sponsor the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act of 2013.
For those unaware, the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act would change the tax code to allow not-for-profit student housing, such as (and most importantly) fraternities and sororities, to use charitable donations for renovations and maintenance. As of now, you can’t write off any donations you make to your fraternity for those sorts of things, and this bill would change that. The bill passing would also mean that fraternity and sorority houses everywhere would start becoming infinitely more badass, because alumni will be much more inclined to donate (or donate larger sums).
While I’m a firm believer that fraternity houses should have a certain level of dilapidation to them to accommodate their inhabitants’ lifestyles, in other words they should be shitty enough that you feel comfortable doing terrible things inside of them, there is always a need to upgrade. Universities are trying to keep kids on campus by building bigger and better dorms, while off campus housing has become a certified industry, with apartment complexes and student communities creating relatively affordable and upscale residences that offer ridiculous amenities. Fraternity and sorority houses have to keep up. If the bill passes, I, for one, am excited to see the veritable arms race between fraternity houses upgrading on different campuses.
“You added a rooftop patio? Big fuckin’ deal! Check our new courtyard with a built in bar, gazebo, and giant stone BBQ pit, you bottom tier bitches. I heard your house was only appraised at 4 million. Fucking poors.”
Things are going to get out of hand, and that, of course, is a TFM. If you’re on ANY sort of student government, IFC, whatever, I highly recommend making yourself somewhat useful by appealing to your university that they spend their own lobbying cash to have local Senators and Representatives support the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act. Hell, just call your local Representative or Senator. The bill has bipartisan support and is in both the House of Representatives and Senate.
Good on you Syracuse for getting behind the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act.
[via The Daily Orange]