At its core, a fraternity or sorority is just a group of friends who share common values and ideals. Collegiate fraternal organizations have been around since 1776, and over time have evolved into the (inter)national organizations that exist today. All of the fraternities and sororities at Emporia State are national or international organizations, which means they have chapters at colleges and universities all over the country, and some have chapters in other countries as well.
There are so many benefits to joining a fraternity/sorority that it would take way too much space to explain them all here, so we'll just give you a few. One of the greatest benefits is friendship. The friendships fostered in a fraternity/sorority are unlike any other you have probably ever experienced. Because of the unique values, creeds, and rituals of Greek organizations, and the focus on building strong brotherhood/sisterhood, fraternity and sorority members here form friendships that last a lifetime. Many Greek alumni will tell you that their best friends, to this day, are people they met through fraternity/sorority membership.
Greek membership also provides immense opportunities to develop leadership skills and life skills that will help you to be successful in college and in your life beyond graduation. As a fraternity/sorority member, you gain valuable experience through involvement in committees, leadership positions in the chapter, and leadership positions in Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Association, Order of Omega, or GAMMA. In general, Greek students have a better overall college experience and a higher graduation rate. Many go on to be successful leaders in business, education, government, and in the community.
Fraternities and sororities are committed to academic excellence. Success in the classroom is your number one priority. Many students worry that their grades will suffer by joining a fraternity/sorority, but they soon find that is not true. Greeks tend to out-perform their non-Greek peers in the classroom and have a higher graduation rate. Greek organizations have scholarship programs to encourage academic success that include things like minimum GPA requirements for membership, study groups, incentives for good grades, and in some cases, scholarship money for members who achieve academically.
Emporia State University takes a strong stance against hazing. Hazing is both illegal and unethical, and our Greek organizations at ESU strive to build relationships based on mutual trust and respect, not humiliation and degradation.
Generally speaking, you will get out of fraternity/sorority membership what you put into it. Students who have the best Greek experience are those who take advantage of all that Greek Life has to offer. All members are, at a minimum, required to attend their chapter's weekly meeting on Tuesday evenings, and are expected to participate in certain events throughout the year such as service projects, chapter retreats, etc.
If you are worried that you won't have time to be in a fraternity/sorority, consider this. Many Greeks are also involved in other student organizations on campus, work a part-time or full-time job, are full-time students, and make good grades...and still have time to be actively involved in their chapter!
The cost is different for each chapter, but for most groups, living in the chapter house is comparable to living in the Residence Halls. To learn more about the costs for each chapter, you can contact the fraternity or sorority chapter president or recruitment chairperson.
One stereotype is that Greeks "pay for their friends." Just like any other organization, it costs money to run a fraternity/sorority. The money you pay to be a member goes toward keeping the organization running and providing events, programs, and services for the members of the chapter. Greek membership is an investment in your future. The friendships, leadership skills and career networking membership offers is invaluable - most Greeks will tell you that the benefits they receive vastly outweigh the cost of membership.
All freshman students are required to live in the Residence Halls their first year. After that, they can live in the fraternity/sorority house. Sororities require their members to live in the house for a certain period of time. The requirements vary for fraternities. Some require members to live in for a certain period of time, while other leave it up to the members. Several chapters do not have houses.
The media does not always portry an accurate picture of fraternity and sorority life. Shows like "Greek" illustrate many of the positive aspects of Greek life, but also play on stereotypes that are not common in ESU fraternity and sorority chapters. Our Greeks are strong leaders on this campus who have earned the respect of the campus community through the many contributions they make through service and fundraising efforts and the leadership opportunities they provide. Being Greek is not about partying. It's about becoming a better person. It's about making life-long friends. It's about developing the skills necessary to be successful in life.
Fraternities participate in year-round recruitment. This means that they can sign new members at any point during the year. Most chapters hold their big recruitment events at the beginning of the fall semester, but there are no restricted signing deadlines. You can check out our fraternities at your own pace and sign whenever you want. If you are interested in joining a fraternity, you can contact the chapter(s) directly, or you can fill out the interest form on the homepage, and your information will be sent to the fraternities so they can contact you.
With sororities, you have two options. The first option is to participate in formal recruitment if you are interested in one of our four National Panhellenic sororities. Formal recruitment takes place at the beginning of the fall semester. During formal recruitment, prospective members spend time with each chapter over a period of about five days. At the end of those five or so days, a bid-matching process is used to place members in chapters based on the prospective member's interest and the chapter's interest in her. The second option works much like fraternity recruitment. After formal recruitment is over, sororities participate in informal recruitment, where prospective members can check out as many chapters as they wish at their own leisure.
ESU also has one historically black sorority: Sigma Gamma Rho. The process for joining Sigma Gamma Rho is separate from the National Panhellenic recruitment process. If you are interested in learning more about Sigma Gamma Rho, contact one of the officers here.
If you still have any questions about Greek Life that were not answered on this page or on any of the Greek Life web pages, you are welcome to call the Center for Student Involvement at (620) 341-5481.