Greek Life - FAQs

Q: Aren't Greek Organizations just like the one shown in the movie "Animal House?"

A: Nobody likes stereotypes. Unfortunately, after the showing of that movie, Fraternity members have been categorized as "partiers", irresponsible, and abusive. In reality, fraternities are value-based organizations dedicated to the development of character and lifelong friendship.

Q: The Basic Expectations talk about alcohol. What is it really like in the Fraternity?

A: Alcohol abuse is unhealthy and inconsistent with fraternity ideals. All fraternities are expected to uphold state, county, and city laws, and university policies regarding the consumption of alcohol. In addition, most are not allowed to purchase alcohol for members.

The days of large quantities of alcohol at a social function are gone. Instead, you'll find Fraternity members participating in alcohol-free social activities like moonlight bowling, dinner exchanges, and lip sync contests. Students who choose not to drink will know that it's ok and feel comfortable with their decision.

Q: I'm concerned about my son's grades--what impact would Fraternity membership have?

A: Students often find managing their time difficult when moving from the highly structured high school environment to the freedoms of college. fraternities assist in that transition by offering scholarship programs which might include study partners, mandatory study hours, and time management workshops. Your son can access the network of Fraternity members who already know how to use campus resources like the library, study skills centers, computer labs, and academic advisors.

While fraternities are concerned about the academic achievement of their members, your son is still ultimately responsible for utilizing the resources made available.

Q: What about pledging or hazing?

A: New Fraternity members all experience a period of orientation. During this time, your son and the other new members will participate in weekly meeting to learn about the university and the Fraternity, leadership retreats, community service projects, and activities designed to build friendships among the new members and the older Fraternity members.

All fraternities and fraternities oppose hazing and are committed to a membership education period which instills a sense of responsibility and commitment in the new members. This period will assist your son in overcoming some of his concerns about success in college.

Q: Who is actually in charge of the Fraternity?

A: Fraternity members elected to officer positions manage the day-to-day operations of the organization. These officers are assisted by members serving on committees and by alumni who act as advisors.

In addition, all MVC fraternities are part of a national Fraternity organization which offers support, advice, and direction through a paid professional staff and regional volunteers. Professional staff from the college and university are also employed to assist and monitor the activities of fraternities. As you can see, a variety of individuals oversee the operations of the Fraternity.

Q: Doesn't it cost a lot of money to be in a Fraternity?

A: Each Fraternity is self-supported through dues charged to all members. In the first year of membership, a few one-time expenses are assessed. After those initial payments are made, your son's only expense will be her regular dues.

Q: Being in a Fraternity sounds like it takes a lot of time.

A: Participating in any worthwhile activity always requires an investment of one's time. Research has shown that involved college students are more likely to graduate and they report greater satisfaction with their college experience. Through her Fraternity involvement, your son will learn how to balance his academic, work, campus involvement, and social commitments.

Q: How does my son go about joining a Fraternity?

A: fraternities organize a process of meeting people and making friends called recruitment. Recruitment offers your son an opportunity to meet other people on campus and learn what each Fraternity has to offer its members.

Everyone likes to belong; to feel a part of something. Each Fraternity has its own unique programs and strengths, yet all are primarily based on the development of character, social skills, friendship, service to humanity, and academic skills. Just like researching, visiting, and choosing a college, your son should seek out the Fraternity that best fits his personality, needs and desires. he will find that there is a place for everyone.

Q: What is my role as a parent?

A: Be supportive and learn as much as you can by asking questions of your son as he meets people through the recruitment process. Fraternity members will be more than happy to tell her (and you) about their group.

This page is a version of the NIC website