Frequently Asked Questions for Parents and Families
- My student is considering joining a fraternity or a sorority. How should I advise him/her?
- What questions should my student ask during the recruitment/intake process before joining?
- What is rush/recruitment/intake? What does my student need to do to prepare for the process?
- My student is a legacy of a chapter at SLU. What does that mean at SLU?
- Does my student need a recommendation from a chapter alumni/ae for a fraternity or sorority?
- I was not in a fraternity/sorority. What should I know? How can I learn more?
- What does it mean to be part of a national fraternity or sorority?
- Will joining a fraternity or sorority impact my student's grades?
- How much time will it take to be involved in a fraternity/sorority?
- What does it cost to join a chapter?
- How will joining a chapter benefit my student after college?
- What is a philanthropy or service project?
- How is alcohol use managed in the Greek community?
- Is hazing involved in Greek membership?
- What is Greek Week?
- Who is in charge of the fraternity/sorority? How are the fraternities and sororities supported?
- What are the Greek governing councils?
- Who can I contact for more information?
Joining a fraternity or sorority is a lifelong commitment and an important decision for your student. Encourage your student to ask questions and research what they will gain from the experience. Chapter web sites, as well as those of the national fraternities and sororities can provide helpful information and answer many questions. Current students who are involved are important resources. Your student is encouraged to contact officers from the governing councils or the Coordinator of Fraternity and Sorority Life. While you may feel inclined to make the first phone calls, this is a great opportunity for your student to develop a rapport with fellow students and to begin utilizing the resources available to him or her at SLU.
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What questions should my student ask during the recruitment/intake process before joining?
There are many questions for a student to consider asking when looking into membership. Here are some suggested questions:
What is expected of fraternity and sorority members?
What does the new member process entail?
What is the time commitment?
What leadership opportunities are available to me as a new member? Active member?
Is there a minimum GPA required to receive a bid?
How will membership affect my academics? What resources are available to support me in my classes?
What is the chapter's involvement in intramurals and other campus activities?
Do chapter members typically live together? If so, where?
What are the costs of membership? What expenses occur throughout the year (t-shirts, events, etc.)?
What type of member is the chapter looking for?
What values does the organization promote?
Rush, recruitment, and intake are terms used by fraternities and sororities for their membership drives and selection processes. Each council takes a different approach:
Sororities participate in formal recruitment each September, hosted by Panhellenic Council. This formal process allows women to meet all six chapters, and then narrow down which is the best fit for them night by night through a mutual selection process. Some chapters may have the opportunity to extend bids informally throughout the year, however most prospective members choose to participate in and join through formal recruitment. Women interested in participating in sorority formal recruitment can register online between June 1-August 29th, 2013 at 11pm. Participation in Formal Recruitment costs $40, which can be paid utilizing the online registration process via Mastercard or Visa.
Fraternities host rush/recruitment events during both the fall and spring semesters, although the fall semester tends to be more popular among interested students. Interfraternity Council hosts a few kickoff activities, and then each chapter hosts a number of events designed to show the prospective members more about the chapter and for the current members and prospective members to get to know each other and determine fit. The week of activities concludes with a more formal recruitment night, and then bids may be extended.
Historically black fraternities and sororities (NPHC) participate in a membership selection process called intake. Intake occurs at various points throughout the academic year, at the discretion of the chapter. Interested students are strongly encouraged to do extensive research into the chapter they are interested in joining prior to contacting the organization.
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My student is a legacy of a chapter at SLU. What does that mean at SLU?
A legacy is a student who has a connection to a specific chapter through an alumni/ae who is a parent, sibling, or grandparent. (Some chapters also consider other relatives such as aunts/uncles, cousins, etc. for legacy status - check with national organization for more information). SLU chapters may take a student's legacy status into consideration during the membership recruitment process, however it is not a guarantee for membership, nor would a student be excluded from membership in a chapter solely because they are not a legacy. Interested students are encouraged to explore fit with a variety of chapters to maximize their options.
Chapters at SLU welcome recommendations for membership from Greek alumni/ae who are family members, friends, neighbors, and other acquaintances. Please note that recommendation letters are not a required part of the recruitment process, and each chapter may give them different consideration. If you would like to send a recommendation, you may contact the chapter directly, or send them to the Student Involvement Center:
Greek Recruitment (specify chapter)
c/o Program Coordinators of Fraternity and Sorority Life
Busch Student Center, Suite 319
20 N. Grand Blvd.
Saint Louis, MO 63103
For consideration for sorority formal recruitment, all recommendations must be received prior to the first day of recruitment, Friday, September 6th.
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I was not in a fraternity/sorority. What should I know? How can I learn more?
The national umbrella organizations for fraternities and sororities provide great information about the fraternity/sorority experience. We recommend visiting:
At SLU, all of our 13 recognized fraternities and sororities are part of a larger national or international fraternal organization. This is highly beneficial for your student, as it expands the resources and network available to your student exponentially. Your son or daughter can visit chapters and meet alumni/ae from across the country that are brothers and sisters. It also means that the chapter is overseen by two different sources of support who will hold the chapter to the standards and expectations of the both the university and the national fraternity or sorority. The national organizations provide assistance to the chapters through both professional staff and national, regional and local volunteers, leadership development opportunities, scholarships and fellowships, organizational structure, to name just a few of the resources.
The transition from a more structured high school environment to college requires most students to develop new time management skills to balance their school and other commitments. Many fraternity and sorority chapters offer tools to help support your student in finding a balance through scholarship programs that include structured study hours, mentoring and support, time management and study skills workshops. While the first year of college can be a challenge to navigate, participation in a fraternity or sorority has been shown to increase student retention at the university level.
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How much time will it take to be involved in a fraternity/sorority?
The time commitment can vary from chapter to chapter. Typically the first semester is the most time intensive due to the chapter's member education programs. Following initiation, the time commitment will depend on how active your student chooses to become in the chapter. Members are expected to attend weekly chapter meetings and other mandatory events throughout the year. Other events, such as brotherhood/sisterhood events, service projects, leadership development programs, and social events are also a part of membership, but may be optional. Students that take on leadership roles within the chapter may commit a significant amount of time, however they are still able to balance school, work, and other commitments. Current members will be the first to tell you that the more they put into their chapter involvement, the more they get out of their membership.
Fraternities and sororities collect membership dues which provide for a variety of services and events for members. The first semester/year tends to be the most expensive, as the chapters collect one-time fees that go towards the national organization. Subsequent semesters tend to go down in cost. Chapters vary both in their costs and what is included in dues. Most fraternities and sororities offer to arrange payment plans for members to ease the cost over the course of the semester. There also may be scholarships available to active members. As your student explores membership, encourage them to have a conversation about the costs associated with membership and what is included.
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How will joining a chapter benefit my student after college?
Greek Life extends far beyond college. Fraternities and sororities provide lifelong membership, with experiences for alumni/ae that are just as enriching as those during college. With Greek alumni/ae involved in a variety of careers and industries, your student can find mentors and connections as they search for internships and job opportunities. When your student moves to a new city, he or she is likely to find a network of alumni/ae support in their new environment. Their involvement can continue on a variety of levels as chapter advisors, volunteers, and alumni/ae group members. While the college experience is four years, the friendships are long-lasting.
SLU fraternities and sororities give back to the community through several different ways. Most national fraternities and sororities support a non-profit organization (philanthropy) which the undergraduate chapters assist through fundraising, raising awareness and educating others about the cause, and volunteering hours to direct service for the organization. Some of the organizations that our chapters support include Children's Miracle Network, Ronald McDonald House, Girl Scouts of America, Girls Incorporated, Habitat for Humanity, ALS Foundation, Alzheimer's Research, Breast Cancer Awareness, American Red Cross, and Service for Sight. In addition to their designated philanthropy, many chapters will also get involved with local St. Louis organizations and causes and participate in SLU community service including Make a Difference Day, Relay for Life, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Jumpstart, and many others.
Chapters in good standing with the university receive the opportunity to host social functions on behalf of the chapter. Events must follow the guidelines of the university, Student Involvement Center, governing councils, and international/national organizations and chapters will be held accountable to all policies. Each chapter is expected to practice appropriate risk management and create a responsible and safe social environment for its members and guests. All fraternities and sororities have strict policies regarding underage consumption at their events. In addition, alcohol is strictly forbidden as part of the membership recruitment process.
Saint Louis University has a strict anti-hazing policy, as do each of the fraternities and sororities affiliated with the university. For more information about the SLU anti-hazing policy, see the Code of Conduct.
Each chapter provides a period of orientation and education to the new members of the fraternity or sorority. This process typically includes a weekly meeting, education on the history of the fraternity/sorority, retreats, community service projects, and activities to acquaint the new members with each other and the initiated members.
If you suspect that your student is participating in activities that could be considered hazing, please contact the Saint Louis University Department of Public Safety and Security Services at 314-977-3000.
You can also call the toll-free national hazing hotline, 1-888-NOT-HAZE (1-888-668-4293), to anonymously report a hazing incident.
Greek Week is a week of events designed to celebrate fraternity and sorority life on campus and highlight the strengths of our community. Chapters are asked to put individual events on hold for a week, and focus on being Greek together. Events often include a community service project, spirit and competition events, and attendance at a Saint Louis athletic event, etc. The week concludes with the Order of Omega Awards, designed to celebrate excellence among the chapters and leaders over the past year. Greek Week is typically held in March or April.
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Who is in charge of the fraternity/sorority? How are the fraternities and sororities supported?
Fraternities and sororities are self-governing organizations. The students are elected or appointed to officer positions that manage the day-to-day operations of the chapter. Chapter leadership roles range from executive board positions to chair and committee involvement, allowing many members to develop their leadership skills and take part in the success of the organization. Officers are supported and mentored by alumni/ae that serve as advisory for the chapter. Many chapters also utilize faculty and staff advisors to assist in on-campus support.
In addition, each of our chapters is part of a national fraternity or sorority, which provides governance and an additional layer of support to the chapter through professional staff at the headquarters, as well as volunteers on the local, regional, and national levels.
At SLU, chapters are supported through the Student Involvement Center. The Program Coordinators of Fraternity and Sorority Life are full-time staff members who oversees the community, advise chapter and council leaders, and provide support to members, leaders, and advisors.
The Greek Community at Saint Louis University is self-governing, which chapter members taking responsibility for the leadership among the fraternities and sororities. Fraternities and sororities participate in one of three governing councils, Panhellenic Council (sororities), Interfraternity Council (fraternities), and the Multicultural Greek Council (traditionally African-American fraternities and sororities). The councils are responsible for the development and oversight of the council bylaws/constitution and other policies, planning and implementation of community programming and activities, maintenance of a community budget, and connection to the greater SLU community. The councils also serve as a general resource for the chapters and their members.
The Program Coordinators of Fraternity and Sorority Life are available to answer your questions about the fraternity and sorority community. You can contact the Program Coordinators of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Colleen Drazen at 314-977-2805 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or Aleidra Allen at 314-977-2805 or at email@example.com.
For chapter specific questions, consider working with your student to contact the following individuals:
Chapter Billing Information: Chapter Treasurer/Finance Officer, Chapter Financial Advisor, Chapter Advisor
Recruitment: Council Recruitment Officer, Chapter Recruitment Chair, Chapter President, Chapter Recruitment Advisor, Chapter Advisor
New Member Program/Chapter Education: New Member/Associate/Pledge Educator, Chapter President, Membership Education Advisor, Chapter Advisor
Initiation: New Member/Associate/Pledge Educator, Chaplain/Ritual Chair, Chapter President, Chapter Advisor