Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
Topic Author
thrifty_one
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:32 pm
Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by thrifty_one »

Hello,
I have a daughter attending a state university in Kansas while living in a sorority. Due to likely the sorority's poor money management, she's being forced to sign a live-in agreement for all of the 2021-2022 school year (her senior year) and being given only a week to sign the agreement (only way out of this is with likely a medical excuse). Is this common with sororities? What complicates all this is she can't even ask the 'executives (i use that term loosely) for an extension. Thanks.
Last edited by thrifty_one on Sun Nov 01, 2020 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
LBYM
exigent
Posts: 1088
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 8:49 am

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by exigent »

thrifty_one wrote: Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:40 pm Hello,
I have a daughter attending a state university in Kansas while living in a sorority. Due to likely the sorority's poor money management, she's being forced to sign a live-in agreement for all of the 2020-2021 school year (her senior year) and being given only a week to sign the agreement (only way out of this is with likely a medical excuse). Is this common with sororities? What complicates all this is she can't even ask the 'executives (i use that term loosely) for an extension. Thanks.
We’re already into November 2020, and they’re asking her to sign an agreement covering the 20/21 academic year? That’s kind of strange since the academic year started several months ago.

I have no idea if this is typical with sororities, but it seems likely that they are trying to lock people in given the possibility of COVID-related closures. I’d be shocked if she doesn’t have wiggle room on the timing. It’s not like they can easily replace her rent payment at this point with how the Greek rush process works.

We’re going to need more context here, but I would push for more info from the organization on your end, too.

From your perspective, what’s the cost, what are her alternatives, etc.?
000
Posts: 4033
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:04 am
Location: Ursa Minor

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by 000 »

Is there already an agreement in force regarding tenancy for this school year?

Contracts must be entered into freely and require both parties to receive consideration. That is a legal term you can lookup.

Anyway, it's not clear what consideration she would be receiving for signing a new agreement if one is already in force... but it all depends on what's in the first agreement.
Dottie57
Posts: 9536
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm
Location: Earth Northern Hemisphere

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by Dottie57 »

thrifty_one wrote: Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:40 pm Hello,
I have a daughter attending a state university in Kansas while living in a sorority. Due to likely the sorority's poor money management, she's being forced to sign a live-in agreement for all of the 2020-2021 school year (her senior year) and being given only a week to sign the agreement (only way out of this is with likely a medical excuse). Is this common with sororities? What complicates all this is she can't even ask the 'executives (i use that term loosely) for an extension. Thanks.
Yes this is typical. The sorority has to pay for the sorority house expenses. There may be a mortgage. Property taxes, utilities.
Topic Author
thrifty_one
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:32 pm
Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by thrifty_one »

Thanks for your reply - i meant to say they're forcing signatures to live-in for the 2021-2022 academic year (currently paying roughly $3400/semester for room/board). The notice was provided today by the sorority and they want signed agreements by 11/8. That leaves very little time to negotiate an extension possibly to the end of the year and i agree they likely want to lock them all in to long term agreements due to COVID. Seems our only 'out' is to get a valid excuse (medical or other hardship) and doing that within a week's period of time will be definitely unreasonable. My daughter's extremely frustrated over this with only her ~20 year old peer 'executives' to discuss it with - whom have no say in the matter.
LBYM
WS1
Posts: 332
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:45 pm

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by WS1 »

During college I was a member of a fraternity, resident of their house, and member of their executive board. I find tone of the original post insulting. These are 21 year old students making highly consequential decisions with financial and legal ramifications, all while trying not to destroy relationships with the people that might disagree with them...anyway. The house is an enormous fixed cost for the organization. When our house had too many empty beds, all non-resident members had to pay a fee to cover the shortfall. Covid and our current situation certainly meets the “act of god” threshold.

Sometimes being part of something has costs.
000
Posts: 4033
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:04 am
Location: Ursa Minor

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by 000 »

thrifty_one wrote: Sun Nov 01, 2020 10:11 pm Thanks for your reply - i meant to say they're forcing signatures to live-in for the 2021-2022 academic year (currently paying roughly $3400/semester for room/board). The notice was provided today by the sorority and they want signed agreements by 11/8. That leaves very little time to negotiate an extension possibly to the end of the year and i agree they likely want to lock them all in to long term agreements due to COVID. Seems our only 'out' is to get a valid excuse (medical or other hardship) and doing that within a week's period of time will be definitely unreasonable. My daughter's extremely frustrated over this with only her ~20 year old peer 'executives' to discuss it with - whom have no say in the matter.
I think you should correct your original post regarding the year (use the pencil icon).

Anyway, I don't think I would sign a 1 year lease that doesn't even start for a year right now. Maybe that's just me.
DoubleComma
Posts: 159
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2020 2:23 pm

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by DoubleComma »

Both my wife and I were members of the Greek System; I was even the president of my fraternity.

We had to have the house full or the economics didn’t work. We didn’t work on filling the rooms for the next school year until March of the previous school year. So it is not unusual your daughter is being asked to commit to living the house, although it is quite early compared to my experience.

Every school, chapter and house is different; but for my school it was generally pledge classes that would live in the house together, typically in their third year.

If we had a shortage of people wanting to move in, there was a blind draw of all the members names who had never previously lived in the house.

I can think of 2 instances where someone didn’t move in who was supposed to, one of the instances I recall the student left school and the other was selected for an international exchange. Our leases had language to handle both situations.

Unless there is a high propensity your daughter won’t being returning or she herself absolutely has some specific concern about living in the house, this is all part of being a member of the Sorority in my experience.

Also in my experience, the cost was always comparable to other arrangements and typically less expensive than living in on campus housing.
Katietsu
Posts: 4304
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:48 am

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by Katietsu »

I can not address your specific question. But I live in a college town. The lease renewal/signing season has started for the 2021-22 school year for off campus housing so I would not be surprised if Greek housing was not on the same schedule. Most landlords around here will require a signed lease for renewal within the next couple weeks or your place will be advertised as available. This is much earlier than back when I was a student in the dark ages (80’s & 90’s). I was surprised that the timeline and student willingness to sign a lease, from an outsider perspective, does not seem to be any different this year. I would guess that the sorority might require this commitment the same time frame every year and they just assume everyone knows this is coming.
User avatar
Stinky
Posts: 6376
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:38 am
Location: Sweet Home Alabama

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by Stinky »

thrifty_one wrote: Sun Nov 01, 2020 10:11 pm Thanks for your reply - i meant to say they're forcing signatures to live-in for the 2021-2022 academic year (currently paying roughly $3400/semester for room/board). The notice was provided today by the sorority and they want signed agreements by 11/8. That leaves very little time to negotiate an extension possibly to the end of the year and i agree they likely want to lock them all in to long term agreements due to COVID. Seems our only 'out' is to get a valid excuse (medical or other hardship) and doing that within a week's period of time will be definitely unreasonable. My daughter's extremely frustrated over this with only her ~20 year old peer 'executives' to discuss it with - whom have no say in the matter.
One thing I don't think you've said so far - Does your daughter WANT to live in the house in the 21-22 school year?

When I was in fraternity eons ago, many of the upperclassmen moved out of the house. But I don't know if that same practice exists for sororities, in 2021.

If she wants to live there in 2021-22, I think that she should sign now. That allows the sorority corporation to lock in its revenue stream, like any landlord wants to.

If she doesn't want to live there, then (of course) don't sign.
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt
User avatar
galawdawg
Posts: 1736
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by galawdawg »

IANYL, but I disagree that your daughter is being "forced" to do anything. The sorority is asking her to make a decision now about committing to live in the sorority house for the 2021-2022 school year. She can commit now and sign the agreement if she wishes or choose not to commit now and elect not to sign. The sorority has established a deadline for making such a commitment. You can disagree with their request but there is no "force" or "coercion" here.

What will happen if she signs? Assuming it is a valid contract, she will be bound by the terms. If she decides not to sign? Who knows. She may lose out on the opportunity to live there next school year. The sorority may decide that there isn't enough market demand and close the house.

If they do allow her to decide later, she may have to pay higher rent than is currently being offered or accept other less favorable terms.

Your daughter is an adult. Perhaps encourage her to ask questions about her options and then decide. She can sign or not, her choice.
Inframan4712
Posts: 230
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:10 pm

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by Inframan4712 »

My children are in college and all just signed apartment leases for 2021-2022. Not in the Greek system.

I’ve been through this the last 2 years.

In college towns, real estate is scarce and the available pool of renters are limited to mostly students.

It’s not surprising that this is being decided now.
Kagord
Posts: 505
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:28 pm

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by Kagord »

Gads, years ago, fraternity-wise, there was a requirement to live one year in the house. Ours was large and popular, so it wasn't an issue to get out, and only one year was required after pledging. Some actually enjoyed living in a place where you could hardly sleep. But I could see a smaller greek group having issues here and requiring this to pay the bills, especially during Covid. I guess it depends how many members the sorority has and how many rooms in the house that forces this. Actually, thinking about this, it sounds like they have a future accountant managing this and dealing with potential future problems early, lol.

So yeah, I'm not surprised, and would consider this to be normal, especially during these times. What's the issue, this is greek life. Did she live in the house already, and is it in the bylaws as a requirement?
sd323232
Posts: 797
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:45 pm

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by sd323232 »

thrifty_one wrote: Sun Nov 01, 2020 10:11 pm Thanks for your reply - i meant to say they're forcing signatures to live-in for the 2021-2022 academic year (currently paying roughly $3400/semester for room/board). The notice was provided today by the sorority and they want signed agreements by 11/8. That leaves very little time to negotiate an extension possibly to the end of the year and i agree they likely want to lock them all in to long term agreements due to COVID. Seems our only 'out' is to get a valid excuse (medical or other hardship) and doing that within a week's period of time will be definitely unreasonable. My daughter's extremely frustrated over this with only her ~20 year old peer 'executives' to discuss it with - whom have no say in the matter.
Ur only way out is to provide valid excuse? How about telling them u aren't gonna pay. Are u seriously scared of a sorority? What they gonna do, sue u?
Broken Man 1999
Posts: 5592
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:31 am
Location: West coast of Florida, inland on high ground!

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

Maybe your daughter could get a RA gig. That usually comes with free rent.

A DD did so for her college dorm, and for her sorority house. Two free years of dorm living. Sweet!

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go. " -Mark Twain
MDfan
Posts: 489
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:32 am

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by MDfan »

Had similar issue with my daughter's sorority in Tennessee, but we had already signed a lease for an off-campus apartment so she was able to get out of it. They told a bunch of the girls back in the summer that they had to live in the house. We just said no and showed them the lease.
stan1
Posts: 9530
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by stan1 »

Inframan4712 wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 6:12 am My children are in college and all just signed apartment leases for 2021-2022. Not in the Greek system.
Thanks for posting. I was expecting that landlords with scarce, well located, or otherwise desirable properties would be doing the same to lock in leases before schools go virtual again. It is a bit of a game to see who blinks first, for sure.
Big Dog
Posts: 2224
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:12 pm

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by Big Dog »

Inframan4712 wrote: Mon Nov 02, 2020 6:12 am My children are in college and all just signed apartment leases for 2021-2022. Not in the Greek system.

I’ve been through this the last 2 years.

In college towns, real estate is scarce and the available pool of renters are limited to mostly students.

It’s not surprising that this is being decided now.
Similar to my D's school. Due to housing constraints, most students lived off campus at least one year. Leases for the next academic year were usually signed before Thanksgiving. (Personally, iMO, that timing was over-kill, but the local RE agents were really good about pressing the FOMO if you don't sign now.)
Big Dog
Posts: 2224
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:12 pm

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by Big Dog »

thrifty_one wrote: Sun Nov 01, 2020 10:11 pm Thanks for your reply - i meant to say they're forcing signatures to live-in for the 2021-2022 academic year (currently paying roughly $3400/semester for room/board). The notice was provided today by the sorority and they want signed agreements by 11/8. That leaves very little time to negotiate an extension possibly to the end of the year and i agree they likely want to lock them all in to long term agreements due to COVID. Seems our only 'out' is to get a valid excuse (medical or other hardship) and doing that within a week's period of time will be definitely unreasonable. My daughter's extremely frustrated over this with only her ~20 year old peer 'executives' to discuss it with - whom have no say in the matter.
I concur that one week turn-around is unrealistic, but my guess is that some announcements were made earlier and your D just missed them. Why not call an officer (Prez, VP, Treasuruer) of the sorority and ask why the short notice? How long have those officers known that this was coming, or did it just come down from the Alumni Board or from the Uni Panhellenic? Why was there no earlier heads-up that this was coming?

The answers may not make change the timing, but hopefully reduce the "extreme frustration'.
J295
Posts: 2789
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:40 pm

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by J295 »

Why not just choose live in or not live in so sorority can long term plan accordingly? I don’t understand the “being forced” concept.
User avatar
BolderBoy
Posts: 5175
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:16 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by BolderBoy »

thrifty_one wrote: Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:40 pmI have a daughter attending a state university in Kansas while living in a sorority. Due to likely the sorority's poor money management, she's being forced to sign a live-in agreement for all of the 2021-2022 school year (her senior year) and being given only a week to sign the agreement (only way out of this is with likely a medical excuse). Is this common with sororities? What complicates all this is she can't even ask the 'executives (i use that term loosely) for an extension. Thanks.
Pretty harsh assessment there. To me it sounds like the sorority is trying to get its budget in line for the 2021-2022 school year. If your daughter doesn't want to commit by the deadline, the sorority will be free to fill her occupancy with someone else.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect
HIMcDunnough
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:55 am

Re: Sorority forcing signing updated live-in agreement

Post by HIMcDunnough »

Something that those with Greek experience are probably assuming but those that don't may not know...the sorority chapter's bylaws likely state that there's a requirement to live in the house unless excused by leadership. Those excuses may be granted routinely for large chapters that have no problem filling the house, but it doesn't sound like this is one of those cases. The consequence of refusing to sign the lease without an approved excuse may well be expulsion from the sorority, which may be palatable to some but won't be for others.
Post Reply