Spring 2019 Newsletter

Fraternity & Sorority Political Action Committee newsletter

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/1086002

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I t is my distinct honor and privilege to write to you as the 2019 FSPAC President. I have been part of this esteemed board community for some time, and it is truly humbling to serve in this leadership capacity. What drives me to serve is the passion in my heart to protect and preserve the Greek experience. Some of you know that I participated in the earliest lobbying efforts on the Hill almost 20 years ago. There is nothing more exhilarating to me than meeting with lawmakers and sharing our story of how the fraternity and sorority experience transforms lives and adds value to the college years. We are all in this together—and I know that we can make a difference this year by ratcheting up our efforts a notch or two. I am an optimist. The start of the new year brings new hope to a new Congress, with the House side in Democratic control and the Senate side in Republican hands. Time will tell if both sides can work across the aisle for the betterment of people in the United States. I believe that we will make significant headway in 2019, and that something good will come from FSPAC's hard work over the last 15+ years. CHIA PASSES HOUSE Our collective efforts to build relationships and gain visibility on the Hill resulted in some substantial movement last year on two big issues: freedom of association for our members and tax parity for our chapters. The House Education and Workforce Committee passed a higher education bill that included strong language that would have protected the freedom of association rights of students at all but a small handful of campuses where Greeks exist. We were also confident that when the bill went to the House floor the language would be fixed in a way to apply to every campus, including protecting our students under attack at Harvard. Unfortunately, for reasons outside our control, the House ultimately did not vote on the higher education bill. Similarly, on tax parity for our chapters, we had breakthrough success when the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act (CHIA) was attached to a major tax bill. The bill passed the House of Representatives on December 20, but, unfortunately, the Senate failed to take it up prior to its final adjournment for the holidays. Nevertheless, this was a historical moment for our cause, and shows we CAN get Greek-friendly legislation passed in Congress. We will regroup and start again on these important pieces of legislation that we have worked so long and hard to get passed. We owe our hearty thanks to so many in the House who worked on our issues in the last two years, but I want to single out the Honorable Pete Sessions, ΠKA, and the Honorable Kevin Yoder, ΛΧΑ, for their strategic assistance with CHIA in the waning days of 2018, even after they had lost their reelection bids. Both leaders showed commitment to the fraternity and sorority movement that we hope others in Congress will show in 2019 and beyond. Let's stay in the game in 2019! DONATIONS CRITICAL TO GREEK RIGHTS DEFENSE In light of significant milestones, I would be remiss if I did not recognize our donors for a record year of giving to the FSPAC. We raised over $888,000 for our most successful cycle ever. Eighty-seven percent of the candidates FSPAC supported won, and at least 14 new Greeks will be in this Congress to replace those who lost or retired last year. FSPAC funds are critical to our defense of our freedom of association rights and the preservation of our single-sex status. Thank you for spreading the word and sending out the call to action to your brothers and sisters. Now, more than ever, we need to continue this fundraising momentum to carry out our mission. Communication remains a top priority this year. We have recently relaunched a new and improved website (www.fspac.org) to give you more information on our issues and how your help makes a difference. In addition, we will be sending out a one-page email update on a regular basis to keep everyone informed of what is happening in D.C. ATTEND A REGIONAL EVENT In addition to electronic means of communica- tion, we will continue to take our message on the road as a grassroots approach to advocacy. The FSPAC hosted a successful regional event in last October in Atlanta. There was such a strong response and turnout that we are planning more regional events this year in Boston (March 7), Orlando (March 17), New York City (TBD), and more. We invite you to attend these events and join us in fighting for our rights. You can RSVP for these events at www.fspac.org. Our advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., will continue this year on April 10 when over 200 students and alumni spend the day talking with lawmakers and their staff members about issues that matter the most to us: freedom of association, our single-sex status, the fight against hazing on campus, and the Collegiate the Fraternity and Sorority P O L I T I C A L A C T I O N C O M M I T T E E ΑΒΓ Δ Ε Ζ Η Θ Ι Κ Λ Μ Ν Ξ Ο Π Ρ Σ Τ Υ Φ Χ Ψ Ω Spring 2019 Preserving the Greek experience for future generations of student leaders FSPAC Achieves Significant Milestones Howard Pickett, ΣN, 2019 FSPAC President (Continued on page 3) FSPAC BY THE NUMBERS Fundraising Goal: $1.4 million Contributions to Date: $351, 369 2019-2020 Election Cycle As of February 20, 2019 (Pledges and cash gifts).

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