A Parents' Guide to Sororities and Fraternities
As a parent/guardian, it's a good idea for you to learn about fraternities and sororities so you can help your student make the best decision about whether or not they should be part of 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 sorority/fraternity 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 chapter in excelling academically. Most chapters also offer member scholarships. Since obtaining a degree is the main reason for attending college, make sure your student realizes that they must keep up their grades if they want to participate in a sorority/fraternity.
Your student will have financial responsibilities when it comes to joining a fraternity or sorority. At Loyola, there is a one-time new member/initiation fee as well as semester membership dues. The organization your student wants to join will determine the amount of dues to pay each semester. If your student is really interested in becoming a member of the sorority/fraternity life, you need to sit down with him or her and work out a college budget to determine whether or not joining a fraternity or sorority is affordable. Advise your student to ask questions regarding financial responsibility during recruitment.
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. If you believe your student may be participating in inappropriate activities associated with hazing, you should contact the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution immediately.
On average, your student should expect to contribute two to four hours per week for meetings and required programs. If your student has the time, they can also choose to participate in optional activities, such as holding an office, attending social events, helping out 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 they join. Possible activities may include:
- Fundraising for charities
- Tutoring elementary school students
- Conducting environmental and neighborhood cleanups
- Organizing clothing and book collections
- Volunteering at shelters or soup kitchens
- Participating in intramural athletics
- Attending social mixers
If your student decides to go Greek, you should stress how important it is to balance social activities and academics. If their grades start to slip, they may want to cut back on the additional activities.
Keep in mind that while sorority& fraternity life is great for some students, it's not for everyone. You should discuss with your student what they would like to do and then support their decision. If your student decides that joining an organization is the right decision, make sure they do their research.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact Adrienne Jaroch, Coordinator for Sorority & Fraternity Life at email@example.com or 773.508.8850.
Additional Parent Resources about Sorority Life can be found here.