Dear Bearkat Parents,
As a parent, it's a good idea for you to learn about Greek Life so you can help your son or daughter make the best decision about whether or not he or she should be part of a Greek organization. We would like to take this opportunity to share the following information with the goal of providing you with more insight as to what fraternities and sororities stand for at SHSU.
Of Course academics should be your child's number one focus while in college. That's why most Greek organizations require a minimum GPA in order to remain a member. Usually, each individual chapter has an elected official who is responsible for keeping track of members and their academic performance. Furthermore, many fraternities and sororities have educational programs, such as tutoring and study sessions, which can assist the entire chapters in excelling academically. Most chapters also offer their members scholarships. Since obtaining a degree is the main reason for attending college, we would appreciate you reinforcing to your student that he/she must keep his/her grades up if they want to continue to participate in a Greek organization.
Your child will have financial responsibilities when it comes to joining a fraternity or sorority. At most schools, there is a one-time new member/initiation fee as well as semester membership dues. Depending on where your child goes to school and to which organization he wants to join will determine the amount of dues he/she will have to pay each semester. If your child is really interested in becoming a member of the Greek life, you need to sit down with him or her and work out a college budget to determine whether or not joining a frat or sorority is affordable.
In the past, fraternities and sororities have received a bad rap for participating in hazing, which is any action taken that produces bodily harm or danger, mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, fright, or ridicule. Today, at SHSU, Greek Life and University policies strictly prohibit any type of hazing activity. If you feel that your student may be participating in inappropriate activities associated with hazing, you should contact the Hazing hotline at 936-294-1785 IMMEDIATLY.
On average, your student should expect to contribute two to four hours per week for meetings and mandatory activities. If your student has the time, he/she can also choose to participate in optional activities, such as holding an office, attending social events, helping out with various projects, etc. Some organizations require more time than others. Advise your child to ask questions regarding time commitments during recruitment.
Fraternities and sororities participate in many different activities. The kind of activities your student may participate in will vary depending on which chapter he/she joins. Possible activities may include:
- Fundraising for charities
- Tutoring elementary school students
- Conducting environmental and neighborhood cleanups
- Organizing clothing and book collections
- Volunteering at shelters
- Attending social mixers
The Greek experience at Sam Houston State University offers a safe and fun way to maximize the college experience. Your son or daughter will also have opportunities to develop personal growth skills that will extend far beyond his or her years on campus.
We look forward to beginning the journey with you and working with both you and your student(s) in the future. Please let us know how we can help you.
Jerrell Sherman -- Associate Dean of Students/Director of Greek Life/Director of Judicial Affairs
Lowman Student Center, Suite 216, Greek Life Office
Huntsville, TX 77341