FAQ for Parents
1. 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:
- Encouragement to get involved, stay involved and maximize their potential on campus.
- Scholastic resources to help student achieve their academic goals.
- Leadership skills acquired through hands-on experience.
- Opportunities for active participation in community service projects.
Furthermore, 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 give both more money and more frequently 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.
2. 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 BU students. Sororities and fraternities serve as a great resource for students academically, through study hours, tutoring programs and scholarships. Historically there has been a Greek Only study section reserved during finals study period to give Greeks a quiet place to study. The minimum GPA required to participate in Greek life varies by chapter but in order to go through Panhellenic Formal Recruitment, girls must have at least a 2.3. In fact, Greek members GPA(s) are traditionally higher than their non-Greek colleagues.
3. What are the social aspects of fraternity and sorority membership?
Because the Greek community at Boston University contributes to the social activity on campus, the University, Student Activities Office, council executives and national organization have worked toward the creation of a responsible and safe environment for its members. All fraternities and sororities have strict policies regarding the consumption of alcohol by underage members and guests. All Greek organizations are held accountable to the Boston University Lifebook and Massachusetts state laws.
4. What is the financial obligation?
Like some opportunities for involvement in college there is a financial commitment associated with a joining a fraternity or sorority. The costs go toward the Inter/National fees, chapter operating expenses, and programming. Financial obligations differ among individual chapters. New members can expect to pay higher dues their first semester than in subsequent ones.
- For Panhellenic sororities, initiated sister dues range from $300-$400. New member fees range from $300-$700. Exact dues will be give to girls going through formal recruitment for all sororities.
- For IFC fraternities, initiated brothers range from $300-$400. New member fees range from $400-$500. Your son can ask for exact costs during the recruitment process.
- For multicultural fraternities and sororities, there are no dues.
5. Is hazing a part of the Greek culture at Boston University?
Absolutely not. The Boston University has a zero-tolerance policy regarding hazing that is consistent with Massachusetts antihazing legislation. Hazing is not tolerated. See Safety for more information.
6. 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 to report with their Inter/national organization, which offers support, advice, and direction through paid professional staff and regional volunteers. Panhellenic, IFC and MGC oversee the individual chapter and plan recrutiment activities and events such as Greek Week. At BU, the Student Activities Office assists with programming and concerns that the chapters and councils may have.
7. What is Recruitment?
Recruitment is the period of time when chapters accept new members into their organizations.
- The fraternities hold individual recruitment events in both the fall and the spring. For more information, see here.
- For Panhellenic sororities, there are two forms of recruitment, formal and informal. Formal recruitment is often held at the Marriott Copley prior to the beginning of the spring semester each year. (Your daughter will have to return to campus early, before the start of spring semester, in order to participate in Formal Recruitment. The formal process allows your daughter to explore the full range of chapters on campus. Some chapters choose to participate in informal recruitment in both the fall and spring. For more information, see here.
- For multicultural fraternites and sororities, each chapter handles recruitment on their own. For more information, contact the individual chapters.
8. How do I get more information about Greek Life?
You can reach IFC, the governing council of fraternities at email@example.com.
You can reach Panhel, the governing council of sororities at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can reach MGC, the governing council of multicultural fraternities and sororities at email@example.com.
9. 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, leadership retreats, community service projects, and activities designed to build friendships among new members 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.
10. What is a philanthropy or service project?
Greek members take it as part of their mission to support their 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 BU campus are: Breast Cancer Research, Make-A-Wish, Boys and Girls Club, and the Alzheimer’s Association. Service events have benefited the campus and the Boston community. Some of the service opportunities are: Ronald McDonald House, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and Girl Scouts of America. 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.
11. 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/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 for its members that could be helpful in finding jobs or internships.
12. Are there chapter houses?
There are no official chapter houses on or off campus. Members of certain chapters will sometimes live together in both on and off campus residences, but there is no official housing.