A Family’s Guide to Greek Life
As a parent, you are no doubt interested in your son or daughter getting the best education they can. Surely the education they obtain in the classroom is the primary reason for coming to the Sam Houston State University. But what goes on in a class provides only half of their college education. All of their other time goes to life outside the classroom—which is spent interacting with students from diverse backgrounds, participation in clubs and sports, and friendships. There is no better to spend that other time of a college education than in a fraternity or sorority. SHSU’s Greek community provides students with leadership opportunities, educational assistance, career networking, friends and fun. There is no faster way for your son or daughter to get connected to the campus than to go Greek.
What is Greek Life?
Greek Life is the collective term referring to the sororities and fraternities on a campus. Each fraternity and sorority is a group of students bound together by brotherhood or sisterhood, common goals, and aspirations. Together these members learn, grow, and make the Greek organization stronger.
My student is SHSU to graduate, how can Greek life help them succeed academically?
Academic achievement is a priority for most organizations. Many organizations enforce grade point average requirements and offer study sessions, tutoring, and other programs to assist members achieve their potential. Many chapters also provide incentives to their members who excel in the classroom; recognition at meetings, reduced fees, national awards, and much more. Students who take advantage of the academic support available and properly balance their time between academic and extracurricular pursuits will find that Greek membership will enhance their academic performance.
What are the real benefits of membership?
Many immediate benefits are received through membership, including numerous leadership possibilities, academic encouragement, several philanthropic opportunities and lifelong friendships. When someone joins a fraternity or sorority, they not only become friends with the families, friends, and girlfriends or boyfriends of those members as well. Members are also introduced to alumni of their chapters all over the country. By joining a Greek letter organization, a person can create an entire network of people, from which could possibly become an employer, a spouse, or a lifelong friend.
Tell me about Hazing?
Obviously, you’ve heard about hazing in the media. Hazing is a violation of the University policy and state law. University judicial charges can be brought forth for individual students and/or organizations alleged of hazing. The Greek Life Office works closely with the governing councils to educate Greek Life members on these policies. All New Greek members/students are also required to sign an agreement against hazing activities. For a full list of anti-hazing policies, please look in the SHSU Students Guidelines 2010-2012 Handbook. If you ever feel your student may have been hazed or harassed by a Greek fraternity or sorority at SHSU, contact the Dean of Students office at 936-294-1758 immediately.
How much money will is cost?
Like any national organization, there are bills to pay and cost to membership. When your student becomes a new member, there is usually a fee paid to national headquarters. There are also monthly or semester dues, depending on the chapter. When it is time to become a full member, there is usually a one time fee to be paid to the national headquarters that covers the cost of their badge, certificate and certain other items. These fees go to keep the local and national organization running. Without them, the chapters could not function.
What can I do as a parent?
As a parent, you can be supportive of your son or daughter's efforts to join a chapter. Learn as much as you can about the fraternities or sororities they are interested in. Many groups provide handouts concerning activities, finances and policies. Be sure that your student looks over this information when deciding to join an organization. Also, if your child decides to go Greek, you should stress how important it is to balance social activities and academics. If they’re grades start to slip, they may want to cut back on the activities in which they are engaged in. Keep in mind that while Greek life is great for some students, it's not for everyone. You should discuss with your son or daughter what he/she would like to do and then support his/her decision. If your student decides that joining an organization is the right decision, make sure they do their research.
How much time does Greek membership require?
Like most other extra-curricular activities, how much you get out of your Greek membership is related to how much you put in. On average, expect to contribute four hours per week for meetings and mandatory activities. Optional activities such as holding an office, attending social events, playing on intramural sports team, or helping out with various projects will of course take additional time. With good time management, your Greek activities will easily fit into your weekly schedule and allow plenty of time for classes, studying, work, and participation in other campus activities.