Kurt P Haigis | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Kurt P Haigis 
Member since Mar 10, 2016



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Re: “Greek Out: UVM Frats, Sororities Protest New Property Taxes

I became a member of Sigma Phi Society in 1973 and continue to guide my life with the values and habits that I developed while an undergraduate. Please talk to others that understand the values that are generated and exercised while at school and for a lifetime. Please support H.725 – Please advocate on behalf of H.725.

The bill restores the property tax exemption that has been around for over 100 years that was based off student housing or lack thereof at UVM. This exemption is set to sunset in January.
Property tax estimates are as high as $50,000 for one house alone.

Student costs for higher education are high enough. This property tax will fall on the backs of the student members of each Greek organization that owns a home.

This is not off-campus housing – Students live in these homes nine months out of the year.

These organizations are student-based, educational-based and are accountable to the University and their neighbors and must comply with all university policies and procedures and these organizations must ultimately be recognized by the Director of Student Life.

750 chapter members raised $140,000 for local and national non-profits and volunteer 21,000 hours in 2013-2014. I fear Greek Life and membership as we know it will be forever changed. 200 students live in these house’s that would have to find housing if these were to ultimately close. The contribution that the local and state coffers will temporarily capture, pale in comparison to the recurring value of the Greek system to the University and State of Vermont.

Proximity of these House’s mean that these beautiful old homes will ultimately become another capital project for Champlain College or the University. Example: Eight of the Nine Greek Homes that have had to transition (sell/close) over the years have either been bought or rented by Champlain College or UVM. The one lone home was bought by the Chabad of Vermont.

This article dwells on negative accounts in the last 20 years when most of the positive effects of Greek life have been ignored; positive effects that date back to 1840s when Sigma Phi and other Greek houses were founded at the University of Vermont. Some of the most prestigious members of the history of the University of Vermont were members of these Greek organizations.


17 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Kurt P Haigis on 03/10/2016 at 6:29 PM

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