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Fraternities and sororities could be getting specially designed license plates

A proposed state Senate bill would create specialty license plates for different Greek Life organizations

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Cars cruise down University Drive on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Tempe, Arizona.

Sororities and fraternities could be getting special state license plates based on a bill that was passed by the state Senate.

Senate Bill 1594 would add a section to Arizona's special license plates laws and if passed, each fraternity and sorority would have custom-made license plates. According to the bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Catherine Miranda, D-Phoenix, each purchase of a $25 license plate would donate $17 back to the sorority and fraternity special fund. The bill creates that fund, which would allow the state to support "the well-being of its affiliate sororities and fraternities." 

Tiffany Lavoie, a freshman studying business entrepreneurship and a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority said Greek Life is a unifying force.

"A sorority has provided a sense of unity through the community of sisterhood and various community service activities we partake in," Lavoie said. 

Other states, like Florida, that have created special plates for fraternities or sororities typically use the special plates to honor and support historically Black organizations at colleges and universities. The bill suggests it would include all Greek Life organizations to "provide leadership training for its constituents."

"Greek Life provides leadership skills, a network of community that can be reached out to no matter what stage of life one is in and a fantastic alumni network," Lavoie said. "(They are) partaking in majors all over the world to create that sense of home within your organization."

The legislature also claims that the specialty plates would help inform the public about educational opportunities and the preservation of "human and natural environment in and around the state." 

Kavish Siddhartha, a freshman studying sports journalism and an associated member of Phi Kappa Theta, said he wishes fraternities like his would be known more publicly for the volunteer and service work they do.

"The (idea) of frats is definitely not the highest, especially at a school like ASU where there is a large party atmosphere," Siddhartha said. "We do a lot for the community, we are very into philanthropy, so just getting our name out there for things other than parties would be a great step for us."

The special plates would have a different designed logo for each individual sorority or fraternity in existence should the bill get signed. The current Arizona plate catalog has 93 different options – including sports, research organizations and an ASU specialty plate. Siddhartha said these specialty plates can be a way for people to show off something they truly believe in or support. 

"License plates in general are a great way to express yourself and having license plates for your fraternity or sorority is a great way to show your sense of pride," Siddhartha said. "That can only be a positive thing."

For the bill to be implemented, it requires any person to pay $32,000 by Dec. 31, 2023 in order to begin the creation of the special plates. 

Eric Micheau, a sophomore studying aeronautical management technology and involved in Greek Life, said if the special plates were to be implemented it would allow more people to show their dedication to Greek Life.

"Everyone who goes through the work of joining a fraternity wants to see it continue to succeed and get better," Micheau said. "This shared goal gives everyone something to work towards, which helps grow comradery within the fraternity."

Edited by Shane Brennan, Reagan Priest and Grace Copperthite.

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