Fraternities and sororities exist as a proven support network for your student as he or she embarks on this new period in life. A fraternity or sorority can help personalize your son or daughter’s college experience by offering a scholastic support system; hands-on experience in leading committees, managing budgets, and interacting with faculty and administrators; exposure to potential careers through educational programs and discussions with alumni; offering the chance to give back to the community through service projects; and creating close friendships. With all these opportunities available, it is no wonder that fraternity and sorority members tend to graduate from college at a significantly higher rates than those not involved in Greek Life.
Aren't fraternities and sororities just like the one shown in the movie "Animal House?"
Nobody likes stereotypes. The best way to get to know a fraternity or sorority is to get to know its members. Fraternities and sororities are made up of a wide variety of undergraduate students, along with thousands of alumni, each one a unique individual. At the heart of every fraternity or sorority is a set of value-based principles related to the development of character, leadership, scholarship, service, and lifelong friendship.
What is alcohol use really like in fraternities and sororities?
Alcohol abuse is unhealthy and inconsistent with fraternity and sorority ideals. All fraternities and sororities are expected to uphold state and city laws, university, fraternity/sorority, and governing council policies regarding consumption of alcohol. In addition, fraternities and sororities are not allowed to purchase alcohol for members or guests. The days of open keg parties at Greek social functions are gone. Instead, you'll find fraternity and sorority members participating in alcohol-free social activities like brotherhood and sisterhood events, dinner exchanges, and community service events. Students who choose not to drink will know that it's ok and feel comfortable with their decision.
What impact will fraternity or sorority membership have on my son or daughter’s grades?
Students often find it difficult to manage their time when moving from the highly structured high school environment to the freedoms of college. Fraternities and sororities assist in that transition by offering scholarship programs which may include study partners, mandatory study hours, and time management workshops. Your student can access and network with members who already know how to use campus resources like the library, tutors, computer labs, study lounges, and academic advisors.
What about pledging or hazing?
New fraternity and sorority members all experience a period of orientation to the organization that they choose to join. During this time, they will participate in leadership retreats, community service projects, weekly meetings to learn about the university and the fraternity/sorority history, and activities designed to build friendships among members of the organization. ALL FRATERNITY AND SORORITY POLICIES FORBID HAZING and all chapters are committed to a membership education period which instills a sense of responsibility and commitment in the new members.
Who is actually "in charge" of the fraternity or sorority?
Fraternity and sorority members are elected to officer positions and manage the day-to-day operations of the organization. These officers are assisted by members serving on committees and by alumni serving as advisors. All of our fraternities and sororities are also part of an (inter)national organization that offers support, advice, and direction through paid professional staff members and regional volunteers. Professional university staff are also employed to assist, educate, and monitor the activities of fraternities.
Doesn't it cost a lot of money to be in a fraternity or sorority?
Each fraternity and sorority is self-supported through dues charged to all members. In the first year of membership, a few one-time expenses are assessed. After those initial payments are made, your student’s only expense will be semester dues. If your student decides to live in the chapter house, the housing fees are the same as if he or she were living somewhere else on campus.
Does being a member of a fraternity or sorority take up a lot of time?
Participating in any worthwhile activity always requires an investment of one's time. Research has shown that involved college students are more likely to graduate, and they report greater satisfaction with their college experience. Through his fraternity and sorority involvement, your student will learn how to balance academics, work, campus involvement, and social commitments.
How does my student go about joining a fraternity or sorority?
Fraternities and sororities utilize a process commonly referred to as "recruitment" in order to meet prospective members. Recruitment offers non-affiliated students an opportunity to meet a number of other people on campus and learn what each group has to offer. For more information on recruitment, please visit our page on How to Join.