The Crimson White

Greek dues support Machine

Tray Smith

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Editor’s Note: Three sources with direct knowledge of the Machine’s finances and activities spoke to The Crimson White for this story.

 

Greek chapters at The University of Alabama are using a portion of member’s dues to financially support the Machine, a secret political coalition of traditionally white fraternities and sororities, according to records obtained by The Crimson White. The records reveal that multiple houses make payments each semester to the organization, known officially as Theta Nu Epsilon.

A sorority ledger detailing annual expenses for 2011 shows two $1000 payments for “Greek Honor Society” and two $1000 payments for “Society of 1870.” On the side of the ledger, the payments are described as “Old Row/Theta Nu Epsilon” in handwritten pen.

Additionally, a stub summarizing a check from a fraternity that was written in early September shows $850 paid to support “???”, the greek letters for Theta Nu Epsilon.

Although the records reveal a difference in sorority and fraternity payments, sources familiar with the Machine’s financing confirmed that dues are $850 a semester for each house affiliated with the group. Sources also said that the financial discrepancy between the records may exist because some Machine representatives charge their chapters more than they are obligated to pay in dues.

The records were obtained after two emails were sent to select greek students and The Crimson White last week from the email address capstoneunity@yahoo.com. The email said the Machine uses its money to fund bar tabs and beach trips for its members, which sources confirmed.

“The Machine pays for a beach trip for the 56 machine reps (As you know, every house has two representatives),” the email states. “The Machine pays for bar tabs at parties that only Machine reps can use.”

The emails were sent to every national sorority president and all National Panhellenic officers, and some national organizations are looking into the allegations.

Ashlyn Stallings, marketing and communications coordinator for Alpha Delta Pi, confirmed that the national sorority had received the email.

“We got the Capstone email Wednesday November 9,” she said. “Copied on the email were other NPC (National Panhellenic Conference) groups. I’m pretty sure every group got it… Our international organization has been talking to others after we realized they got the email.”

Whitney Heckathorne of Chi Omega said their office also received the email and was unaware of some of the information included in the message. “We have to follow up with our chapter on a local level and ensure we are in communication with them,” she said.

Holly Thompson, director of marketing and project management at the Delta Delta Delta sorority’s national office, said their office had also received the email.

However, she said she wasn’t sure if the allegations in the email were accurate and that Delta Delta Delta national officials are not reviewing the information “at this moment.”

The national offices of Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Gamma Delta, Delta Zeta, Kappa Delta, Pi Beta Phi, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Phi Mu and Zeta Tau Alpha did not respond to requests for comment.

Mckenzie Jones, a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and the chair of the SGA block seating committee, is the treasurer of the Machine and in line to become the next Machine president, according to sources familiar with the organizational structure of the Machine. When asked to comment on the finances of the Machine, Jones referred to a copy machine.

“Again, I’ve never been given the name treasurer of the copy machine,” Jones said in an emailed statement. “I know they usually cost about 5 cents per copy. I don’t know how much maintenance (costs) but you might want to ask the head librarian at the Gorgas (Library) or maybe even the University of Alabama Vice President of Financial Affairs will know. I doubt Dr. Witt would even know the details of that financial question.”

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Greek dues support Machine