Q1: What will a student get out of joining a Greek organization that they won't get from other groups?
A1: Greek organizations are a great way for students to make an easier transition into college from home, parents and high school friends. For most students, Greek life becomes a home away from home. It becomes a place where close, lifelong friendships are created. Most of these groups emphasize leadership, scholarship, service, and fellowship among other important values.
Q2: What are the long-term benefits of Greek life?
A2: Each Greek organization has its own national membership network that can help with job hunting after graduation. Career advice and job information are available from other members in these Greek networks. A member of a Greek organization will be welcomed by that group on any university campus, and can typically join an alumni group for their organization in any city that they move to. Greek life is not just during college, but for life!
Q3: Is Greek life just like they show in the movies and on TV?
A3: That depends! While Greek life does offer enjoyment of life on campus; representation of Greek life in movies and TV is often exaggerated (Think Animal House or House Bunny). Greek life is about academic and social balance along with service and professional networking. Greek students work hard and enjoy their time together, and they know when the right time to do either is. See below for more information about Greek life and hazing tolerance.
Q4: How will Greek life affect a student's grades?
A4: Greek life emphasizes academics, and an organization’s members will support each other in their academic work. Chapters will often have study sessions, or offer incentives for reaching a certain GPA or doing well on an exam. The best part of being in any diverse organization is that there will likely be someone to help with any academic subject. It's often possible in an organization to find other members who have taken the same course from the same professor. Academic success reflects well on a Greek organization, so its members feel responsible for their own academics.
Q5: How much time will a student have to put into a Greek chapter?
A5: Like most things in life, one will get out whatever they put into their Greek organization. The first year in a Greek chapter will take a little more time to learn about its history, organization and membership. Participating in activities to get to know the other members is a good way to enjoy the benefits of Greek life as well as meet new people. After the first year, students have usually figured out how much time they can put into the group without sacrificing their other commitments. During the remaining years on campus, a student can choose to participate more in their organization. This often means taking on leadership roles in their chapter.
Q6: How expensive is it to join a Greek chapter?
A6: The expenses of a Greek organization will vary from group to group. Overall, the chapter dues will be set by the national organizations and paid by each member. When considering expenses of a Greek organization, it’s important to look at the expenses of housing and meal plans on a college campus, and compare to what is being offered by the chapter. Often the housing and meal plans in a Greek organization are less expensive than the on-campus options at a university. Membership dues can cover expenses like participating in chapter activities, apparel, or initiation of new members. It’s always okay to ask the group about financial payment plans, as these are often utilized by members.
Q7: Do Greek groups still practice hazing?
A7: Even though it is often depicted in movies or TV; no organized fraternity, sorority, or university will condone hazing. Most groups and universities have a zero tolerance policy on hazing, and will quickly investigate any claim of hazing on campus. Greek groups know how dangerous hazing is, and have rejected that in any part of their pledging or initiation process. Each organization and university will have online resources regarding their individual policies on dealing with hazing in Greek life.
Q8: Can a student join any Greek group they want?
A8: Most Greek organizations hold a formal recruitment week, which is a time for students to visit different groups on campus to see what each has to offer. This recruitment process is managed for sororities by the National Panhellenic Council, and the Interfraternity Council for fraternities. Each university that offers Greek life will have a dedicated group on campus representing these national organizations. During a formal recruitment week, students are invited to join chapters through narrowing rounds of social events. Not all who are invited to chapters during recruitment will become members, though. Each Greek organization wants to make sure that a student is a good fit for their group as much as the student wants to find the right group to join. Membership begins during college but can last a lifetime. Greek life is about creating relationships and memories that last beyond college.
Q9: Can one participate in other activities on campus when they join a Greek group?
A9: Yes! Chapters encourage their members to participate in other campus programs, sports, and clubs. Students often find out about other activities on campus through their Greek peers. It’s also a good way to reach other potential members and show involvement and pride in the college. The great part about being Greek is often having people to join new clubs or intramural sports with.
Q10: What are the differences between the various Greek groups on campus?
A10: Each college campus has its own Greek life which can be sampled during formal recruitment or even during a semester on campus. Talking with other members in each Greek chapter can offer insights into their group and its unique culture. Some chapters may have evolved over time to represent a particular student interest, culture or academic focus. Some groups may have been created around a particular purpose or study. Greek organizations will hold their own set of values and beliefs at the center of their membership, which can be further learned about during formal recruitment. A group’s values can often be a decision point for students looking to join a Greek organization. It’s also important to note that there are other non-social Greek groups that focus on academic honors, areas of study, or philanthropy for students to join.