Expectations of Membership
In general, fraternities are Greek letter organizations for men. Some women's organizations are referred to as women's fraternities. On the other hand, all sororities are Greek letter organizations for women. Both place emphasis on scholarship, community service, leadership and social activities. Men and women are eligible for membership any time.
One of the most important components of Greek life is friendship. There's always a brother or sister around to play a pickup game of basketball, go on 2 a.m. pizza runs or help with a tough school project. Greek members never feel alone at college when they have their fraternity brothers or sorority sisters around.
It's the sense of family that Greek organization membership provides. These friendships are forever. Even after graduation, the bond of brotherhood and sisterhood keeps friendships alive.
Greek members feel good about themselves when they help others. Whether raising funds for a particular charitable organization or volunteering their time to help others in the community, Greek members find that the human experience is an important part of the Greek experience. No matter what the activity, service can be both rewarding and fun.
Greek members learn to better manage their time by balancing their academic work with fraternity or sorority commitments. What members get out of the organization is a reflection of the amount of time they choose to put into it.
Getting good grades in college can be tough. It takes hard work, commitment, dedication and knowing the right resources. In a fraternity or sorority, members can use the network of other members who have already taken advantage of campus resources, such as the library, Math Assistance Complex (MAC), Writing Studio and University Career Services and can recommend them. While members are ultimately responsible for their own success, opportunities such as study halls, study hours and study buddies as well as award and incentive programs are available to help them achieve.
Everyone in Greek organizations can be a leader, whether they're an officer, a committee chair or a committee member. Whether it is playing intramural games, planning a dance or organizing a holiday party for community children, everyone works together. Members learn by doing. Members learn how to manage a budget, run effective meetings, speak in public and motivate others. These are skills that will help them in college and throughout life. Remember, it takes more than just a degree to get a job!
New members will make a lot of new friends they will call brothers or sisters. It's an exciting time of electing officers, planning socials, going places, learning fraternity or sorority history and getting to know more about themselves and their new brothers and sisters.
Membership fees vary from organization to organization. There are national fees; some are one time fees, while others are annual or semi-annual fees. Each chapter is self supported by local dues paid by members. Financial obligations are a major consideration when joining a fraternity or sorority. It is essential that each member take responsibility for his or her commitment to a particular organization. The first year of membership in a Greek organization is the most expensive due to the one time fees every new initiate must pay. The following are the expected fees:
- New Member Fee: Covers costs for manuals, notebooks, materials and new member pins.
- Initiation Fee: Covers costs for national dues, subscription to the national magazine, lifetime membership dues and the initiation ceremony.
- Social Dues: Covers costs for events such as recruitment, officer budgets, social service projects, social functions and special events.
Fraternities and sororities organize a process called recruitment. Recruitment offers prospective members the chance to meet other people and learn about what each organization has to offer. How to join provides more information on this process. Each organization has its own unique programs and strengths. All are primarily concerned with scholarship, service to others, leadership and friendship. Just like researching, visiting and choosing a college, prospective members should seek out the fraternity or sorority that best suits their personality, needs and goals. There is a fraternity or sorority for everyone.
Hazing is absolutely forbidden. New members do not have to prove themselves. However, each organization does have expectations of its members. During rush or recruitment, ask each organization specific questions about what is expected of new members. The Hazing Policy provides more information about hazing.