Parents, understandably, have many questions about Greek Life. Here are some commonly asked questions that will help you support your child:
What is my role?
You have the right and responsibility to investigate the college's Greek Life offerings, to learn more about the chapters available on campus, and about the college expectations and standards. Once your student has joined a fraternity or sorority, you will have opportunities to support their involvement by attending events sponsored by the chapter.
How much does joining a chapter cost?
Joining a fraternity or sorority is a financial commitment. Typically, students and alumni determine the dues for each chapter, in an effort to be self-sustaining. National and international chapters will need to incorporate national fees and liability insurance costs into their annual dues. Most chapters offer payment plans, scholarships or grants to support members.
How are the dues allocated?
Although each campus and chapter is different, typically chapter dues help pay for operational expenses, social activities, service projects, insurance, academic resources, and parent and alumni functions. In addition, similar to other student organizations, each chapter will allocate money for leadership training, retreat costs, and national leadership conferences.
How will Greek membership impact academic priorities?
Academics are the number one priority of any college student, and fraternities and sororities know and support that. When your student first explores the chapters available on campus, you should encourage your student to research each chapter's group GPA and GPA requirements. The majority of chapters have a minimum GPA requirement to remain in good standing with the chapter. Furman requires students to have successfully completed one semester of college with at least a 2.0 GPA to even participate in rush.
Will my child have to participate in activities surrounding alcohol and hazing to become a member?
Alcohol, substance abuse, and hazing are not tolerated by the sponsoring national associations, or the colleges hosting the chapters. In recent years, chapters have been requiring mandatory education sessions on the dangers of substance abuse and hazing. Such educational efforts have increased awareness and promoted strategies to ensure safe environment at sponsored events.
What are the benefits of Greek membership?
There are five pillars of Greek Life that are often referred to as the benefits of membership:
- Scholarship: Resources and support to help each member achieve their academic goals.
- Service: Involvement to help others through participation in community service activities
- Sisterhood/Brotherhood: Lifelong friendships and national networks than can be beneficial while at college and following, when members pursue careers or further education.
- Social: More than just dances and socials, the social aspect can include everything from education programs, community service events, intramural sports, homecoming, dinner exchanges, and more.
- Leadership: Skills and experiences that will be a future investment as a professional, community member and individual.