As a parent, it's a good idea for you to learn about fraternities and sororities so you can help your son or daughter make the best decision about whether or not he or she should be part of the Greek life. Educate yourself by checking out this parents' guide to fraternities and sororities.
Academics should be your child's number one focus while in college. That's why most Greek organizations require a minimum GPA in order to remain a member. Usually, each individual chapter has an elected official who is responsible for keeping track of members and their academic performance.
Furthermore, many fraternities and sororities have educational programs, such as tutoring and study sessions, which can assist the entire chapters in excelling academically. Since obtaining a degree is the main reason for attending college, make sure your student realizes that he must keep up his grades if he wants to participate in a Greek organization.
Your child will have financial responsibilities when it comes to joining a fraternity or sorority. Fees are typically larger for new members, as there are usually one-time new member/initiation fees as well as semester membership dues. Specific amounts for chapter member dues vary from chapter to chapter, and often from year to year. Most of the dues are spent on member benefits such as chapter events, National fees, recruitment, etc.
If your student is interested in becoming a member of the Greek Life, it is helpful to sit down with him or her and work out a college budget to come up with a payment plan that allows for fraternity/sorority membership.
In the past, fraternities and sororities have received a bad rap for participating in hazing, which is any action taken that produces bodily harm or danger, mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, fright, or ridicule.
Today, all fraternity and sorority policies strictly prohibit any type of hazing activity. In fact, the organizations have taken on a zero-tolerance stance on this issue. Most states even have legislation that makes hazing a third-degree felony.
If you feel that your student may be participating in inappropriate activities associated with hazing, you should contact the Office of Greek Life at 903.565.5788 and/or Judicial Affairs at 903.566.7008 IMMEDIATELY.
On average, your student should expect to contribute two to four hours per week for meetings and activities. If your student has the time, he/she can also choose to participate in optional activities, such as holding a leadership position, attending social events, volunteering with various projects, etc.
Some organizations require more time than others. Advise your student to ask questions regarding time commitments during recruitment.
Fraternities and sororities participate in many different activities. The kind of activities your student may participate in will vary depending on which chapter he/she joins. Possible activities may include:
- Fundraising for charities
- Tutoring elementary school students
- Conducting environmental and neighborhood cleanups
- Organizing clothing and book collections
- Volunteering at shelters
- Attending social mixers
- Leadership training
Please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Greek Life if you have any additional questions.