Fraternity and sorority members are active leaders on campus and in the community. Within each chapter, members are encouraged to step up and serve as officers or committee members. These positions strengthen leadership skills, teach organization and multitasking skills, time management and how to work as a team. Greek members are encouraged to be involved in other campus organizations. This allows an opportunity to develop relationships with a variety of students with different personalities and strengthen communication skills. These activities help build Greek relations across campus and promote unity within organizations.
Every chapter understands that its members are students first. Chapters and their members strive to obtain the highest scholastic achievement. To remain in good standing, each member must maintain a certain GPA which varies per chapter. Study hours and/or programs are often implemented to help members maintain or improve their GPA. For members struggling with classes, they are referred to tutoring programs, upper-class students in the same courses, or other resources offered on campus. Fraternities and sororities also offer the benefit of scholarships to collegiate members. Scholarships are available at the local and national levels.
Besides leadership and scholarship, active members make friends that last many years past their undergraduate career. Brothers and sisters are a constant support system during collegiate years and as alumnae. By being active in Emporia State’s Greek community, members also build friendships with members from different Greek letter organizations. These friendships allow chapter members to learn more about themselves as well as brothers/sisters. Members are also put into an immediate network of professionals across the nation. The national office has resources for tracking alumnae and is able to connect members with other fraternity brothers/sisters in the same location or occupation. Conferences and leadership training is available and offer opportunities to meet other collegiate members and alumnae.
Each chapter contributes to the community through various fundraisers and activities. Emporia State’s chapters’ philanthropic efforts raised over $24,000 for fraternities’/sororities’ national and local philanthropy projects. At the local level, our governing councils give back by donations and volunteering time throughout campus and the community. Fraternity and sorority members alone donated over 4,000 hours of community service in the past year. Greek chapters often work with other campus organizations to contribute to the campus and community as well.
Financial obligations that accompany membership vary from chapter to chapter. Each organization is self-supporting, functioning from dues paid by its members. Dues go to the national office and local dues serve as renovations to the chapter house, social fees, etc. For our chapters that do offer fraternity/sorority housing, it is comparable to living in the residence halls, often cheaper. First year membership is typically more expensive because of the one-time initiation fee and other membership dues. For those chapters who do not offer fraternity/sorority housing, students may live on or off campus in their own housing and is not included in monthly dues. For the chapters with housing, rent per month ranges between $400 to $600. This can include operating expenses (i.e. gas, electricity, water, cable, cleaning supplies, etc.) socials, insurance, etc. Payment options may be worked out with the chapter’s treasurer or financial advisor. Each chapter will be able to provide your student with specific financial information.
At Emporia State, we have a zero-tolerance policy where hazing is illegal. Reports of hazing are not handled lightly and go through the Center for Student Involvement and Student Affairs office while being reported accordingly to national organization offices. In regards to alcohol, the majority of chapters on campus are dry facilities, meaning absolutely no alcohol is allowed on the property. Every group is expected to obey all Emporia State, local, state and federal laws and abide by the national organization’s policies, guidelines and standards. Campus and national programs are available to educate members about alcohol and substance abuse. Governing councils and Greek-sponsored organizations also sponsor many alcohol-free social activities like recruitment events, dinner exchanges, lip sync competitions, and educational programs. New members go through a chapter education period where they meet weekly to learn about the chapter structure, Greek history, and founders of the fraternity/sorority.
Like any other extra-curricular activities, you get what you put into the organization and experience. On average, your student will put forth 2-3 hours a week for meetings and events. Holding offices, attending social events, playing intramural sports or being on extra committees are all options available to your student. With a balanced schedule, the Greek activities will be able to fit nicely into a weekly schedule and allow plenty of time for classes, studying, work, and being in other organizations available on campus.
Parents are encouraged to become involved in their students’ Greek experience. Special events such as Family Day, Mom’s Day, Dad’s Day, Siblings Day, etc. are sponsored by the chapters. There are even opportunities for mothers and fathers to become initiated alumnae members of the chapters.
Even after graduation, members have the opportunity to contribute and be involved with their fraternity/sorority. Many organizations have alumnae chapters or similar organizations that provide support to the collegiate chapters. For alumnae wanting to stay involved in a more active role for the chapter, they are allowed to serve as chapter advisors who provide support and guidance to the chapter and its members or are able to serve as volunteers through the national office.
Fraternity chapters host on-going membership and informational events in which potential members are able to meet current members and learn more about the fraternity. Potential members are encouraged to get to know each chapter and its members, programs, goals and select the chapter that best fits the individual.
Panhellenic Sorority Formal Recruitment is held at the beginning of the fall semester during the first week of classes. During this time, the women visit each of the chapters and learn about each chapter, meet its members and the benefits of Greek life. At the end of Formal Recruitment, there is no obligation to join a chapter. Women can also join through continuous open bidding, which begins immediately following Formal Recruitment and continues throughout the academic year.