As a parent you are undoubtedly concerned about your son’s or daughter’s experience at collage and the choices he/she will make. For your son or daughter, making the transition from a high school or a community college to a university may seem like an imposing challenge. Learning about what fraternity and sorority life is about will help ease that concern. Fraternities and sororities exist as a proven support network for your son or daughter as he or she embarks on this new period of life. Close to a million students across the country currently are fraternity and sorority members. The Greek community makes up 11% of the University of West Georgia student body. The fraternity or sorority can help personalize your son’s or daughter’s experience at college by offering a scholastic support system, by providing hands-on experience in leading committees, managing budgets, and interacting with faculty and administrators, by exposing the student to potential careers thought educational programs and discussions with alumni; by offering the change to give back to the community through service projects; and by creating close friendships with men and women who will cheer him or her on when times are tough. With all these opportunities available, it is no wonder that fraternity and sorority members tend to graduate from college at significantly higher rates than those not involved in fraternities and sororities.
The Parents Role?
Be supportive and learn as much as you can by asking your son or daughter questions before they join. Allow your son or daughter to make his/her own decision (especially if you yourself are a Greek). Support your son or daughter by attending university and chapter family events and parent weekends.
New members of fraternities and sororities experience a period of educational orientation into their organization known as the new member period. During this time, your son or daughter and other new members will participate in weekly meetings to learn about the university and the fraternity/sorority history. They will also participate in leadership retreats, community service project and activities designed to enrich their experience and build friendships among new and initiated members. The University of West Georgia has a zero-tolerance to hazing policy and all fraternity and sorority headquarters forbid hazing and are committed to membership education period that instills a sense of responsibility and concern for all members.
Alcohol abuse is unhealthy and inconsistent with fraternal values and ideals. All fraternities and sororities are expected to uphold state and city laws, and university, fraternity/sorority, and IFC/NPHC/Panhellenic (governing councils) policies regarding consumption of alcohol. In addition, fraternities and sororities are not allowed to purchase alcohol for members or guests at any social function. The day of open keg parties at Greek Social functions are long gone. Today’s fraternities and sororities strive to promote responsibility concerning alcohol.
Each fraternity or sorority is self-supporting through chapter dues charged to new members and initiated members. In the first year, a few one-time expenses are assessed. After those initial payments are made, your son’s or daughter’s expense will be the regular dues which average between $55 – $70 per month. NPHC organization dues vary with most onetime lifetime membership dues ranging from $750 - $1,200.
Students often find it difficult to manage their time when moving from the highly structured high school environment to the freedoms of college life. However, the GPA among Greek students has been consistently higher than the All University Student’s GPA. Fraternities and sororities assist in the transition by offering scholarship programs that may include student partners, test-taking strategies, and incentives, along with time management workshops. Your son or daughter can network with members who already know how to use campus resources such as the library, tutors, computer labs, study lounges, and academic advising. While Greek organizations are concerned about members’ academic achievement, your son or daughter is still ultimately responsible for utilizing the resources made available to students at UWG.
Participating in any worthwhile activity or organization 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 his or her Greek involvement, your son or daughter will learn how to balance academics, work, campus involvement, and social commitments.
In order to participate in Recruitment, or Intake, a first-time university student must have a 2.0 UWG adjusted GPA from high school, and West Georgia (or transfer) students must have a 2.0 University GPA based on a minimum of 12 hours of non-developmental University work. However, both the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils suggest that a student have a minimum of 2.20 GPA because some fraternities and sororities cannot extend bids to students who have below a 2.20 UWG adjusted GPA. Each chapter has their own guidelines however, and some have requirements as high as a 2.7 GPA. The average GPA required by NPHC chapters is a 2.5; however, some also require a higher GPA. No one placed in Learning Support Classes is eligible to pledge until they successfully complete all Learning Support Classes and earn a 2.00 based on 12 hours or more in non-learning support classes. A student must maintain full-time student status (minimum of 12 credit hours, 9 for summer) during his/her new member period.
The Center for Student Involvement administers these policies. If you have questions about them or would like to receive a copy of the complete policy governing Greek Organizations, contact the Center for Student Involvement in the Campus Center.
Fraternities and sororities along with the leadership of their respective governing councils organize a process of meeting people and making friends. This is called “Recruitment” or “Intake.” This process introduces prospective members to current members of the Greek community and gives unaffiliated students the chance to learn what makes fraternity and sorority life unique.
Panhellenic Council Recruitment including the following sorority chapters (Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Xi Delta, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Kappa Delta and Phi Mu) hosts recruitment on labor day weekend. Panhellenic Recruitment is scheduled for September 3 – 6, 2010.
Interfraternity Council Recruitment including the following fraternity chapters (Alpha Tau Omega, Chi Phi, Delta Chi, Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Sigma, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Nu, Tau Kappa Epsilon) occurs during the first couple of weeks of school each fall. However, fraternities recruit new members on a year – round basis.
National Pan-Hellenic Council chapters including the following fraternities and sororities (Alpha Phi Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Iota Phi Theta, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, Sigma Gamma Rho, and Zeta Phi Beta) host membership intake sessions during the fall and spring semester. Check campus announcements for specific dates for each organization.
Summer opportunities for new students to find out about Greek Life and meet fraternity and sorority leaders include the “Greek Sneak Peek” hosted by IFC, NPHC, and the Panhellenic Council prior to Orientation check-in at the Greek Village on UWG’s campus and the “Finish Line: Greek Information Session” hosted at the conclusion of Orientation. When your student arrives to campus in the fall semester Greek Life hosts a program called the “Greek BBQ.” This event is open to all students and allows prospective members the opportunity to meet Greek students and find out more about what fraternity and sorority life offers at UWG!