Fraternities and sororities are the nation's second largest provider of student housing. However, more than 370,000 of the most active college student are currently restricted from receiving full tax dedications towards building and maintaining our houses.
The Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (CHIA) would provide our houses with equal access to facility upgrades under the law. By simplifying the tax code, all non-for-profit housing (including fraternities and sororities) will gain incentives to increase funding for life-safety and capacity upgrades like fire sprinklers and alarm systems. If integrated into tax reform, CHIA will also make a difference in long-term student debt crisis, meaning our students and their families will be less burdened when it comes to campus housing.
We're now taking our efforts from the House to the Senate, and need your help once more. Tell Senate to include CHIA in the upcoming tax reform package. The more our voices are heard, the more likely students across the country will gain the benefits of safe and affordable student housing - and the wonderful college experience that comes with it! Thank you for your support.
Fraternities and sororities are the nation's second largest provider of college student housing. We provide housing—and one-of-a-kind experience—for more than 370,000 of the most active students on campuses. Yet, donations toward building and maintaining our houses are restricted from receiving full tax deductions.
The Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (CHIA) would provide our houses with equal access to facility upgrades under the law. By simplifying the tax code, all non-for-profit housing (including fraternities and sororities) will be able to gain incentives to increase funding for life-safety and capacity upgrades like fire sprinklers and alarm systems. If integrated into tax reform, CHIA—which has always enjoyed bipartisan support—will also make a meaningful difference in the student debt crisis, by expanding the offering of affordable collegiate housing options.
Now we need your help. Tell Congress to include CHIA in the upcoming tax reform package. The more voices Congress hears, the more likely students across the country will gain the benefits of safe and affordable student housing. Thank you for your support.
While meeting fellow Theta sisters was a blast, the main purpose of this trip was to gain support and co-sponsorships from senators and representatives for the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (CHIA). We were separated into teams, and I would like to say I had the best team consisting of Theta's Fraternity President Laura Doerre as well as Delta Gamma's Staci Skoog. Although we could probably be professional tour guides after all our meetings on the Hill, we were able to successfully secure some co-sponsors for CHIA.
When I heard the statement "Theta is for a lifetime," I did not fully understand the concept until this trip. Theta has no boundaries. I feel that I have truly developed some lasting relationships with my fellow Theta sisters. I was truly honored to represent Theta and the National Panhellenic Conference as a leading woman. I am excited to say I will be returning next year, and I cannot wait to reconnect with more Thetas in D.C.!
The expectations for our performance on this trip were high. Our conference directors included presidents and vice-presidents from the North-American Interfraternity Conference, National Panhellenic Conference, and Patton Boggs LLP. I was surprised to hear on our very first day of training to prepare for failure. While lobbying federal legislators is a difficult task on its own, this lesson was intended to apply to all collegians getting ready to go out into the real world. One of the most valuable lessons I gained from the Capitol Hill visits was facing the realization that we are ALL going fail at some point in our lives, but that shouldn't stop us from advocating for what we believe in, or striving to achieve our highest goal. I could tell that the collegians at this conference took in a quiet gasp when they were told their streak of high achievements would one day slump. But when we eventually reach this point, remember this: "Some of our greatest successes will come from what we once thought was our biggest failure." So take your failure in stride and know that Theta will always be there to provide a network of support and opportunity. As Theta women, we are destined to achieve personal excellence and are reminded not to be afraid of what we might accomplish because the risk of failure is only a shadow of our light.
Through the Capitol Hill visits, Theta has given me the opportunity to personally and professionally develop as a leading woman. I feel honored to be one among so many outstanding Theta women who challenge themselves to achieve personal excellence. I highly recommend the Capitol Hill visits for those interested in learning more about Theta's involvement on the national level and building relationships with some of Theta's most esteemed leading women. For anyone seeking more information about the Capitol Hill visits or my experience as a collegian, I am happy to share my story. Send me a note in the Add a Comment section below.
Working with student leaders from all across the country was an incredibly rewarding experience. Several collegians (Megan, Nicole, Anna, and I) had the opportunity to network with a fraternity and sorority representation, Hill staffers, and members of Congress. Many of these members were part of the Greek community, and welcomed our company and conversation with open arms. It was so wonderful to swap Greek life stories with these esteemed representatives. At the same time, some were not as open to our cause. When meeting with these legislators, we were forced to stand up for ourselves and the cause for which we were fighting.
The purpose of CHIA and our presence in Washington was to bring parity to the tax code. Although it sounds somewhat complicated, essentially CHIA would allow Greek alumni to give tax-deductible donations to chapter houses for infrastructure improvements such as safety and security measures. University housing is permitted to use donations for this purpose, and in the future, hopefully we will have the same opportunity!
As members of the Greek community, we are part of something huge. If we stand together, our voice is exceedingly powerful. Bills such as CHIA give us the opportunity to speak up for ourselves and to show the world how admirable fraternity and sorority life truly is. I think this especially true for the women of Kappa Alpha Theta. After our week in Washington, I couldn't have been more proud to be a Theta!