As a parent, you undoubtedly are concerned about your students experience at college and the choices they may make. Hopefully this page can answer some of your questions. For your student, making the transition from a high school or a community college to a university may seem like an imposing challenge.
Perhaps these questions have arisen:
Will I fit in and make new friends?
Will I succeed academically?
Will I be able to get involved in campus clubs and improve my leadership skills?
Will I find other people who are interested in the same things as I am?
How can I best prepare for my career and my profession?
Will I feel like a part of the campus community or will I be just another number?
About fraternities and sororities..
Fraternities and sororities exist as a proven support network for your student as he or she embarks on this new period in life. Close to a million students across the country currently are fraternity or sorority members. A fraternity or sorority can help personalize your student's experience at college by offering a scholastic support system; by providing hands-on leadership experience in leading work groups, managing budgets, and interacting with other students, faculty, and university administrators; by exposing students to potential career tracks through educational programming and alumni discussions; by offering the chance to give back to the community through philanthropy and community service projects; and by creating close friendships with men and women who will cheer them on when the times are tough. With all these opportunities available, it is no wonder that fraternity and sorority members tend to graduate from college at a higher rate than those not involved in Greek Life.
What Are Fraternities and Sororities Really Like?
Nobody likes stereotypes. The best way to know a fraternity or sorority is to know its members. Greek organizations are made up of a wide variety of undergraduate students, along with thousands of alumni brothers and sisters, each one a unique individual.
A Statement of Fraternal Values and Ethics
I will know and understand the ideals expressed in my fraternity Ritual and will strive to incorporate them in my daily life.
I will strive for academic achievement and practice academic integrity.
I will respect the dignity of all persons; therefore, I will not physically, mentally, psychologically, or sexually abuse or haze any human being.
I will protect the health and safety of all human beings.
I will respect my property and the property of others; therefore, I will neither abuse nor tolerate the abuse of property.
I will meet my financial obligations in a timely manner.
I will neither use nor support the use of illegal drugs or alcohol.
I acknowledge that a clean and attractive environment is essential to both physical and mental health; therefore, I will do all in my power to see that the chapter property is properly cleaned and maintained.
I will challenge all my fraternity members to abide by these fraternal expectations and will confront those who violate them.
What about alcohol and Greek organizations?
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 IFC / PHC (the governing boards for fraternities and sororities) policies regarding consumption of alcohol. In addition, fraternities are not allowed to purchase or provide alcohol for members or guests at social functions, while sororities do not even allow alcohol or functions with alcohol in their chapter houses. The days of open keg parties at Greek social functions are gone. Todays fraternities and sororities strive to promote responsibility concerning alcohol.
What about pledging or hazing?
New fraternity and sorority members all experience a period of orientation. During this time, your student and other new members will participate in weekly meetings to learn about the university and the fraternity/sorority history, leadership retreats, community service projects, and activities designed to build friendships among new members (pledges/associate members/candidates) and the initiated members. ALL FRATERNITY AND SORORITY POLICIES STRICTLY FORBID HAZING and are committed to a membership education period which instills a sense of responsibility and commitment in the new members. This period will assist your student in overcoming some of his or her concerns about success in college.
Doesn't it cost a lot of money to be in a fraternity or sorority?
Each Greek organization is self-supporting through dues charged to members. In the first year of membership, a few one-time expenses may be assessed. After those initial payments are made, your student.s only expense will be the regular monthly or quarterly dues. Costs associated to membership in a Greek organization usually amount to 2% to 3% of the total cost for an undergraduate education.
Doesn't being in a Greek organization take up a lot of time?
Participating in any worthwhile activity always requires an investment of ones time. Research has shown that involved college students are more likely to graduate and they report greater satisfaction with their college experience. Through Greek involvement, your student will learn how to balance academics, work, campus involvement, and social commitments.
How does my student go about joining a Greek organization?
Greek organizations utilize a process commonly referred to as "rush" in order to meet prospective members. Rush offers non-affiliated students an opportunity to meet a number of other people on campus and to learn what each group has to offer. "Rushees" (as prospective members are called) are encouraged to ask questions and secure answers to each question from several members. Just like researching, visiting, and choosing a college, your student should seek out the Greek organization that best fits his or her personality, needs, and desires.
What is my role as a parent?
Be as supportive and learn as much as you can by asking your student questions before rush. Many groups will provide written statements concerning activities, finances, and policies; your student should be encouraged to obtain and read this information. In addition, allow students to make their own choices (especially if you were Greek yourself). Your support should not end after rush, but should continue through out your student's years in school.