So you want to Go Greek, eh? That’s great! If you are reading this, it may be safe to assume you are doing your research which is also great. Whether you have already signed up for rush or just considering joining, there is one very important step before you get started; convincing your parents.
There are common concerns most parent express surrounding Greek life. Here are 7 Things Your Parents Want to Know Before you Go Greek that are awesome and true.
Concern: It is very expensive.
Fact: Well, there may be some truth to this one. But just like college, things worthwhile cost money. A lot of inter/national fraternity and sorority organizations have scholarships available to members that can help with the cost of college and membership fees associated with membership.
The first year as a new member of a fraternity or sorority is usually the most costly due to initiation fees, new member paperwork, your badge and other credentials to officially welcome you into the organization.
Many chapters (along with the billing service they may utilize) offer payment plans for your membership dues as well as discounts for paying for a full semester or year in advance. The per semester/year costs varies between college campuses nationwide. Depending on the expense, you can also use a portion of your student loan funds to help compensate.
Another thing to mention to the ‘rents is that it may end up being cheaper if you have the option of living in a fraternity or sorority house. Typically, Greek housing is cheaper than living in the dorms and offers an in-home meal plan.
Concern: Being a member of a fraternity/sorority will be a distraction.
Fact: Greek organizations actually have a GPA requirement to even join a chapter, and becoming a member of a Greek organization has been proven to actually improve the average college students GPA. Many chapter members study together creating a learning environment that not only assists one another but encourages each other to achieve higher grades.
Greek organizations reward chapters and members for high GPA’s both monetarily and with national accolades. Failing to maintain a certain GPA can result in suspension from the organization and social events. Needless to say, staying on top of your studies is highly encouraged as a member of a Greek organization.
Concern: My child will become a follower and “pay for friends”.
Fact: Greek life promotes members to lead instead of follow. You will be encouraged, and most likely at one point during your active membership, hold an office on the chapter’s executive board. Holding an office or committee chair comes with a lot of responsibility. You can be responsible for organizing chapter events, chapter operations, rituals or even the chapter’s finances.
You will learn to work cohesively with your brothers/sisters, but also other students and faculty members on campus. You will be forging relationships and tackling new responsibilities to complete high-level tasks.
Adding executive board experience to a resume can provide students much needed leadership and management experience when they enter the work force.
Concern: Going Greek means partying all the time.
Fact: Every inter/national Greek organization assigns its members to a specific philanthropy. As a member, you are required to participate in several philanthropic events every year. Fraternity and sorority members raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities every year.
While chapter members do participate in campus and Greek life social events, they spend most of their time as a group helping and bettering the community. After all, there is power in numbers.
Concern: My child will have no adult guidance or mentoring.
Fact: Movies and other forms of media make it easy for parents to think that joining a fraternity/sorority chapter is one big party with no real guidance from an experienced adult. Those movies provide entertainment but a distorted vision of what actual day to day life is like for members.
Each chapter has an on-campus faculty advisor that is involved in chapter operations, finances, social events and overall chapter operations. The advisor is a volunteer (sometimes an alumni/ae member of the organization they are managing), and responsible for making sure that behavioral issues are avoided and if/when they occur are taken care of. The advisors role isn’t to hover, but to guide and ensure the chapter is running within accordance to the bylaws of the national organization.
If you live in a chapter house, you’ll sometimes have a live in “House Mother”. This loving lady is responsible for all home operations and overall happiness. The house mother will hire vendors to make sue the home is clean, you’re fed and the home is up to code and safe. While you are enjoying your new-found freedom of college and Greek life, there are people helping to make sure your experience is safe and successful.
Concern: My son/daughter will be stuck in a bubble.
Fact: A common misconception is that once you go Greek those are the only people you socialize and spend time with. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Members of the Greek life community are opened to a much larger network of individuals than any other social organization. Members attend on and off campus events exposing them to a large number of fellow students, faculty members and a wide network of other members of their organization spanning the nation and in some cases the world!
Each member is encouraged to attend national events such as the organizations inter/national conventions, leadership schools, training seminars etc. Here they are encouraged to network and engage in professional development.
After graduation, college graduates who are members of a Greek organization have report being engaged in their workplace in greater numbers than other graduates, at a rate of 43% compared to only 38%.
Another fun Greek life fact in the work place: 85% of Fortune 500 executives were part of Greek life.
The Greek network is vast and plentiful!
Concern: Greek life is all fun and games.
Fact: Well they aren’t all wrong. Going Greek is awesome and SO much fun! Mainly for all the reasons above, but mostly because you are welcomed into a historic tradition and part of a new family. Your brothers and sisters don’t just become your friends, they become your family. You create bonds, overcome obstacles, grow as students and people, and you get to do it together.
College can be a scary time for some. You move to a new place, with new people and are now responsible for everything on your own. It can be overwhelming. That’s where Greek life comes in. You have a constant support group, study partner, friend, keeper etc.
Becoming a member of a Greek organization is not just for a semester, year or college career, it’s for life, and the members wouldn’t have it any other way.
Check out this article for more information on how going Greek can benefit you and your college career.