Fraternities and sororities across the country often tout philanthropy as one of their essential values and it's no different here at Elon.
Alaina Schukraft is one of the thousands of active students in fraternity and sorority life at Elon who takes pride in her sorority's work with its philanthropy.
"I think it's the passion that each and everyone of my sisters has for St. Jude and our philanthropy and that passion translates to not only members of this community but everyone that we know and I firmly believe that this passion insights other people to be just as excited and just as passionate and just as supportive of us and our philanthropy and our efforts to raise money for St. Jude," she said.
The passion Schukraft is talking about is not unique, but the amount of money she said that passion helped raise is. Last year, when she was philanthropy chair for Delta Delta Delta, the sorority raised $71,246.52 for its philanthropy, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, nonprofit research and treatment facility for children with severe cases and diseases. What makes this number unique however, is how much it stands out from the other numbers Elon fraternities and sororities reportedly raised last year.
According to the Fraternity and Sorority Life Chapter Report from Fall 2014 and Spring 2015, the money Delta Delta Delta raised accounts for 31 percent of the $229,042.86 fraternities and sororities donated to charities last year. Among the remaining Panhellenic sororities, the numbers range from $23,672.19 from Alpha Xi Delta to $472.81 from Alpha Chi Omega. In the Interfraternity Council, the amounts donated range from $17,340.00 from Kappa Sigma to $1000.00 from Delta Upsilon.
Looking at the numbers, the differences in money raised are clear, but Michael Goldstein, president of the Interfraternity Council said that's not the most accurate way to look at how much these organizations give to their communities.
"I don't think you measure giving back or philanthropy by the actual dollar amount," he said. "Cause you have so many people within sororities and fraternities that are involved in academic organizations that do service events and those sorts of things don't even get reported."
There are other pieces missing from the report as well.
According to director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Dan Faill, reporting to the university how much money each organization donated is optional, so there are a number of blank spaces on the report. Kappa Delta, Zeta Tau Alpha and Alpha Kappa Alpha from the sororities and Sigma Phi Epsilon, Kappa Alpha Psi Inc. and Kappa Alpha Order from the fraternities did not report any money donated to charities last year.
Faill said that while it is optional, his department encourages reporting because putting together this report accurately helps "paint a larger picture of how the community is performing."
"The reports are done for a multitude of reasons," Faill said. "Most notably to show what we say we do. Chapters often tout their accomplishments, this shows the actual numbers and performance."
Though reporting the donations is optional, Faill said those numbers that are in the report have been verified with the organizations where the money was donated and the service hours reported have been verified with the Kernodle Center.
The full chapter report is published on Elon's website here.