Written By Nik Koulogeorge
The North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) recently updated the pricing on its "Campus Support Model" for IFC's as well as IFC dues. They didn't make a fuss about it, but I did reach out to their staff via email for some clarity. Here are the details:
Previously: $30 per NIC fraternity chapter and $330 per non-NIC fraternity chapter (At least 4 non-member groups - Tau Kappa Epsilon, Kappa Sigma, Phi Delta Theta, and Lambda Chi Alpha - instructed their 950 chapters not to pay the additional $300 )
Now: Flat fees based on the number of chapters on campus starting at $250 for a school with 1-3 chapters up to $3,000 to schools with 26+ chapters
The NIC's Campus Support Model is detailed on their website. It essentially amounts to a bulk purchase of certain services and registrations for NIC educational programs. The only change is that the lowest tier is now also a flat fee instead of per-chapter. "Bronze" starts at $2,500. The highest level - Diamond - costs $25,000.
Each tier includes an "estimated value," which compares the bulk price with the à la carte costs of the services provided in each tier. None of this is to endorse or suggest that the NIC's services are particularly useful - after all, is an "operational audit" by the NIC something anyone was interested in purchasing à la carte?
Due to COVID, there is a 25% discount for all 20-21 dues, plus a 15% discount on anything paid prior to 9/30/2020. These also apply to NIC's insurance offerings for IFC's.
Will Foran, the NIC's Senior VP of Campus Operations, said that most IFC's would save money with this model. He also shared that the NIC is "honoring previously announced rates that were already reduced from the previous academic year" for those who do not experience a cost reduction. Let us hope that's the case because it is still money students weren't required to pay 3-4 years ago.
In my original article on the subject of IFC dues, I highlighted that students are being asked to pay more money to an organization that is not directly accountable to them. That is still the case. So IFC officers should still "challenge the process" (as the NIC teaches at its UIFI programs) and refuse to pay until they get a vote on NIC matters (in my personal opinion).
There is another issue worth consideration. Since I first wrote that aforementioned article (originally a year prior to this article - it has been updated and republished), 10 fraternities are no longer members or affiliates of the NIC. They represent more than 1,000 fraternity chapters and include:
Sigma Phi Epsilon
Kappa Alpha Order
Alpha Epsilon Pi
Omega Delta Phi
Phi Beta Sigma
Sigma Phi Society
Alpha Sigma Phi
Among those are several organizations that served on the NIC's "Governing Council." The departure of several large, high-dues paying fraternities begs the question: Why should IFC's (whose members are less represented by the NIC today than at any point in recent history) feel compelled to pay dues to the NIC? Is there a reason an IFC comprised of 3 non-member fraternities should fork out $250 to an unrelated association?
That mission, to win back former members, was discussed when the NIC launched its "NIC 2.0" initiative and again when it began billing IFC's. Part of the reason non-member fraternities were originally required to pay $300 more per chapter was to pressure them to see joining the NIC as a way to save their students' money. that effort backfired.
If the NIC forces non-member fraternities' hand ("Either your chapters pay or you can't take part in IFC."), then they are more likely to upset those fraternities than to win them back. If the NIC plays too nice; however, then its remaining members may see less of a reason to pay their annual dues. Time will tell if the push for IFC dues will be the end of the NIC as we know it today. From what I know, there is already an alternative to NIC-sponsored IFCs in the works.
What are your thoughts on the NIC's changes to its dues and Campus Support Model? Sound off in the comments or tweet me @FraternityNik.
Update - 8/2020 - The title of this post incorrectly stated that 11 fraternities had left the NIC. The actual number was 10 (one group - Phi Beta Sigma - was also listed twice).