Greek Village comes with a hefty price tag ringing up at $13.8 million for the first phase alone, but Ronnie Williams, vice president of student services and institutional diversity, said the project won’t affect tuition because it pays for itself.
The Student Government Association and UCA’s student-produced news source, the Echo, have both endorsed Greek Village, Williams said.
“One of the reasons students are endorsing Greek Village is because the general student populace is not having to pay for this project,” Williams said.
The students who are living in Greek Village will pay for the project through room and board and an additional chapter room fee also known as a parlor fee at other institutions.
A $13.8 million 30-year bond issue is funding phase one. Diane Newton, vice president for finance and budget, said the university would make its first payment this year.
UCA will not break even until year six, she said, or until the 2019-2020 taxable year.
Roberts said room and board would be similar to what students pay in Bear Village Apartments. A single apartment room rate in Bear Village costs $2,795 per semester or $5,590 per academic year.
The chapter room fee will be $450 per student per academic year, Roberts said.
That amount will be included on the tuition fee bill, so financial aid and scholarship funds can be used to help cover it.
Another way the university plans to help pay for the cost of Greek Village is through monetary donations, Williams said.
“The Greek system has a real connect with its alums,” said UCA President Tom Courtway, and he believes Greek Village will give the University a way to connect with alumni in a way they have not yet been able to.
Some alum may not have been on campus in the past fifteen to twenty years, Courtway said, so the first priority is getting them to visit campus to help them get reconnected.
“What I’ve been told from friends of mine whose wives have toured other institutions that have built sorority houses, is once they came back they also brought their checkbook with them,” Courtway said.
Courtway said alumni money is not the reason to build Greek Village, but initiatives like this “pull at people’s heart” to make sure the next generation has access to university amenities that they didn’t.
“We all have different talents some people have money others don’t, some are called to service others are called to tutor,” Courtway said. “I don’t know, but what I do know is that alums really feel apart of it once they come back.”
Alumni will be able to see the thrill on a sophomore’s face as they move into the sorority house for the first time, Courtway said.
“It makes you feel good about the institution and the direction it’s headed,” Courtway said. “Whatever it is, whether it’s their time commitment, whether it’s their presence once a semester or whether it’s all of that plus some sort of philanthropic gift, we just want them back involved with the school.”