STILLWATER, Okla. - An Oklahoma State University fraternity won’t be participating in the yearly homecoming house decoration competition.
“We actually expected a lot of backlash from the community,” said Chandler Holliman, Kappa Sigma president.
On the night before homecoming each year, thousands of fans and alumni walk the streets around the Greek houses to look at house decorations — something fraternity and sorority pairings spend months building.
But, this fall, Kappa Sigma fraternity decided to call it quits for homecoming house decorations, citing the financial burden is just too heavy.
“My freshman year, I’d say we spent somewhere around $15,000 on homecoming. I think last year our budget was around 20,” Holliman said.
The OSU Alumni Association, who helps put on homecoming each year, said each pairing is only supposed to spend $13,000 on house decorations. Houses are docked points if they spend more.
“Although we were disappointed in their withdrawal this year, we have some fraternities that come in and out, and we understand that. We respect that. We want to work with them to continue their involvement in homecoming,” said Blaire Atkinson, president of the OSU Alumni Association.
Holliman said it’s not just about the money. It’s about the time, too.
“Especially on freshman. That was a big issue last semester. Our freshman are trying to get adjusted to college and taking classes, and some of them even have jobs,” he said.
The Alumni Association created an endowment program to help offset some of the costs for the houses, but Holliman said it isn’t enough.
“What I’d like to see is tighter control, either on the budgets for homecoming or the Alumni Association starting some sort of fund to pay for it. Because, they give us a little bit of money to pay for it, but it’s a fraction of what we spend,” he said.
Instead, the fraternity will donate $8,000 to The Military Heroes Campaign and Wings of Hope Family Crisis Services. They will also use some of the money saved to look into building a new chapter house.