Fraternity & Sorority Life Parents & Families FAQs
The questions we get the most from Parents & Families
How will my student benefit from joining a fraternity or sorority?
Fraternities and sororities are rooted in founding principles that foster academic achievement, student involvement, community service, and life-long friendships. Advantages include:
- A supportive group of peers to help ease the adjustment to college.
- Scholastic resources to help students achieve their academic goals.
- Leadership skills acquired through hands-on experience.
- Encouragement to get involved, stay involved, and maximize their potential on campus.
- Opportunities for active participation in community service projects.
National studies conducted annually consistently indicate that students who choose to join Greek-letter organizations experience many positive benefits, including the following:
- Greek students are more likely to stay in college than non-Greek students.
- College graduates who belong to a sorority or fraternity tend to be more financially successful than other college graduates.
- Greek alumni contribute more, both financially and in terms of volunteering time, to their alma maters than non-Greek alumni.
- Greek students are more active on campus and in community activities. Upon graduation, these members are also more likely to get involved in volunteer and charitable organizations.
How will joining a Greek organization affect my student's academic pursuits?
Historically, Greek-letter organizations were founded on the principles of academic success and camaraderie. Today is no different. Our members realize that academic achievement is the main priority of MSU students. Greek-letter organizations continue to strive for academic excellence and promote scholarship by providing academic resources for their members, including tutoring, academic advisors, study groups, scholarships, and awards. Chapter members know the importance of helping new students to adjust to college-level academic expectations. Many chapters have a rewards system based on GPA. Prospective members must meet a minimum GPA in order to be initiated, and then must maintain a minimum GPA to remain an active member.
What is the policy on alcohol use in the Greek Community?
Each chapter's inter/national organization has a policy or position statement regarding the use of alcohol or the presence of alcohol at chapter events. In addition to this, MSU expects all organizations to adhere to federal, state, and local laws as it pertains to alcohol. Chapters and/or members failing to do so may be subject to criminal prosecution and/or group/individual sanctions imposed by the city or state, inter/national organizations, the university, the Minnesota State Student Association (MSSA), the chapter's governing council, or the individual chapter's judicial board.
What is the financial obligation?
Like some opportunities for involvement in college, there is a financial commitment associated with joining a fraternity or sorority. The costs go toward the Inter/National fees, chapter operating expenses, and social functions. Financial obligations differ among individual chapters, as well as living in or out of a chapter house. New members can expect to pay higher dues their first semester than in subsequent ones. While your son or daughter is participating in the recruitment process, make sure that he or she asks about the financial obligations of membership.
Is hazing a part of the Greek culture at MSU?
The Minnesota State University, Mankato Greek Community, its governing councils, and its member organizations are unconditionally opposed to any situations created to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harrassment, or ridicule. Freedom from this humiliation and danger is guaranteed to every member of the MSU Greek Community. Any violation of this guarantee must be immediately reported to the Assistant Director of Student Activities for Fraternity & Sorority Life & Off-Campus Housing at 507-389-6076. All reports will be fully investigated.
Who is actually in charge of the fraternities and sororities?
Individual chapters elect officers to manage the day-to-day operations of the organization. These officers are assisted by alumni who act as advisors. Each chapter is also responsible for reporting to their inter/national organization, which offers support, advice, and direction through paid professional staff and regional volunteers. At MSU, one full-time staff person and one graduate intern serve as the primary contacts for the Greek Community.
What is Rush/Recruitment?
The terms "rush" and "recruitment" refer to the joining process and are often used interchangeably. The term "recruitment," however, is preferred.
Women considering sorority membership may participate in formal or informal recruitment processes. Formal Recruitment is the primary time during which women join sororities in the Fall. It is a structured process and is open to any undergraduate woman, regardless of class standing. Informal Recruitment, also referred to as "Continuous Open Recruitment," is not structured and may take place at any point in the academic year after Formal Recruitment has taken place. Due to membership caps, not all sororities may participate in Continuous Open Recruitment.
Fraternity recruitment at MSU is informal and takes place year-round, including during the summer months. There is no set time frame for men's recruitment.
Although most students who join fraternities and sororities do so during the fall semester of their freshman year, this is not the only time that students may join. Transfer students and students who have been at MSU for a number of semesters are certainly welcome!
If I am an alumnus of an organization, does that organization have to offer my son/daughter/other relative and invitation to join?
Every inter/national organization differs in its policy regarding this matter. Check with your organization's headquarters for information and an accurate answer to this question. You and/or your relative may discover that the organization you belong to may not be the best fit, on this campus, for your relative.
Will a letter of recommendation increase the likelihood that my son/daughter/other relative will be invited to join a particular chapter?
Again, every inter/national organization and chapter differs as to how they handle letters of recommendation. If you feel compelled to submit a letter of recommendation on another person's behalf, you may do so directly to the chapter or to the Assistant Director of Student Activities for Fraternity & Sorority Life & Off-Campus Housing, who can then forward it to the appropriate organization.
How do I contact Fraternity & Sorority Life Staff
You may contact the Assistant Director of Student Activities for Fraternity & Sorority Life by calling 507-389-6076.
What is pledging?
All fraternity and sorority members experience a period of orientation. During this time, your student and other new members will participate in weekly meetings to learn about the university and the fraternity/sorority history. They may participate in leadership retreats, community service projects, and activities designed to build friendships among new members (pledges/associates/candidates) and the initiated members. ALL FRATERNITY AND SORORITY POLICIES FORBID HAZING, and are committed to a membership education period that instills a sense of responsibility and commitment in the new members. This period will assist your student in overcoming some of the concerns about success in college.
What is a philanthropy or service project?
Greek members take it as part of their mission to support their inter/national philanthropies (non-for-profit causes) financially and physically. Throughout the year, each the chapter spends time fundraising and volunteering to help their particular philanthropy. Some of the philanthropies that can be found on the MSU campus are: Campfire USA, Children's Miracle Network, ALS Foundation, and the Robbie Paige Memorial.
Service events have benefited the campus and greater Mankato Commuinties. Some of the service opportunities are: Rake the Town, Southern Minnesota Special Olympics, and the North American Food Drive. The time spent together on these events is one of the many times that fraternity brothers and sorority sisters can bond, while making a difference in someone’s life.
How will joining a chapter now benefit my student after college?
The life long friendships your student will make through their chapter can last into post-college years. Membership in a chapter can be a life-long experience. Joining now is really an investment in your student’s future. Wherever a member ends up after college, chances are he or she will be able to find an alumni chapter or other members of their fraternity or sorority in the area. In addition, Greeks have national networks that could be helpful in finding jobs or internships.
What can I do as a parent or family member?
Be supportive, and learn as much as you can by asking your student questions before they join. Many groups will provide written statements concerning activities, finances, and policies. Your student should be encouraged to obtain and read this information. In addition, allow your student to make their own choice (especially if you, yourself, are Greek). Your support should not end after the recruitment period, but should continue throughout your student's years in school. Once your student joins a chapter, take advantage of the Mom's and Dad's weekend activities and, during the Fall, participate in MSU’s Family Weekend. These are great opportunities for you to see your student interacting with their chapter members, and one more way for you to spend time with your student.