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 lifelong friendships. Advantages include:
- A support group to help ease the adjustment to college.
- Scholastic resources to help student 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.
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.
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 CCU students. Greek-letter organizations continue to strive for academic excellence and promote scholarship by providing academic resources for their members including tutoring, academic advisers, study groups, scholarships, and awards. Chapter members know the importance of helping new students to adjust to University academics. 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. In fact, Greek members GPA(s) are traditionally higher than their non-Greek colleagues.
What about Alcohol and Partying?
Because the fraternity and sorority community at CCU contributes to the social activity on campus, the University, Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, 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 Coastal Carolina University Student Organization Policies and South Carolina State Laws.
Additionally, all Fraternity/Sorority sponsored events with alcohol present must be registered with our office. Through this registration process, we work with chapters to ensure that they are following the guidelines and policies of their Inter/National Policies, as well as ensure they implement best practices to minimalize risk at their events. These practices include:
- Only having events with alcohol at commercial venues with up-to-date alcohol licensing, insurance, and fire occupancy certificates.
- Securing transportation to and from the venue for attendees.
- Providing security for the events to check ID's, monitor the event, and ensure safety of events.
- Creating a guest list of all attendees to ensure no unwanted visitors enter their event.
- Having 1 sober monitor from the organization for every 10 attendees to assist in enforcing regulations and crisis management.
- Ensuring all bartenders/servers from the venue they are having their event at are certified through an alcohol serving training program (TIPS, SafeServ, etc.)
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 social functions. Financial obligations differ among individual chapters. New members can expect to pay higher dues their first semester than in subsequent ones. While your student is participating in the recruitment/intake process, make sure that they ask about the financial obligations of membership.
The range for dues for each organization is as follows:
- Interfraternity Council (IFC) Fraternities pay between $400-$700 each Semester.
- Panhellenic Sororities pay between $400-$700 each Semester.
- National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Fraternities and Sororities require a one-time payment before aspiring members can start the intake process. Aspiring members should have at least $2000 available when seeking membership.
What is the Policy on Hazing?
In order to maintain a safe and positive environment for all students, Coastal Carolina University has follows a strict Hazing policy applicable to all students and organizations, including Fraternities and Sororities. The Coastal Carolina University Hazing Policy defines hazing as:
Hazing is any reckless or intentional act, occurring on or off campus, that produces physical, mental or emotional pain, discomfort, humiliation, embarrassment, or ridicule directed toward other students or groups (regardless of their willingness to participate), that is required or expected of new or current members and which is not related to the mission of the team, group or organization. This includes any activity, whether it is presented as optional or required, that places a new or current member in a position of servitude as a condition of membership. A link to the full Coastal Carolina University Hazing Policy can be found HERE.
If you believe your student is being hazed, there are multiple ways to report:
- If a person is in immediate danger, contact 843-349-2911 if they are on-campus or 911 if they are off-campus
- Coastal Carolina University Department of Public Safety: 843-347-2711
- Dean of Student Office: 843-349-4161 or report online HERE.
- National Hazing Prevention Anonymous Hotline Toll Free: 1-888-NOT-HAZE (1-888-668-4293).
Additionally, in accordance with the Tucker Hipps Transparency Act, Coastal Carolina University publishes this report on actual findings of Coastal Carolina University student organization conduct violations by fraternity and sorority organizations formally affiliated with the institution. The Tucker Hipps Transparency Act Reports can be found HERE.
What is Rush/Recruitment/Intake?
Chapters on CCU's campus practice either recruitment or Intake. There are two forms of recruitment, formal and informal. Formal recruitment is often held in the beginning of the fall semester each year for IFC and CPC groups. The formal process allows your student to explore the full range of student organizations and activities. However, throughout the remainder of the calendar year, students will have the opportunity to meet and interact with fraternity and sorority members. The Membership Intake process to join an NPHC organization or Alpha Psi Lambda occurs at various times throughout the year at the discretion of each organization. It is heavily encouraged that students do extensive research into these organizations by visiting their web sites and reading historical documents about each group, prior to contacting the respected organization.
What is Pledging? What is the Time Commitment when my Student Joins an Organization?
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 (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.
With this in mind, there is a significant time commitment when joining a fraternity or sorority. A general "rule of thumb" is that going through a new member process is equivalent to taking an additional 3-credit hour academic class. There are many commitments that both new members and initiated members make to their organizations, so it is important that your student talk to members of an organization about the time commitment required in being part of a fraternity or sorority before joining.
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 lifelong experience. Joining now is really an investment in your student’s future. Wherever a member ends up after college, chances are they 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.
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 were Greek). Your support should not end after the recruitment period but continue throughout your student's years in school. Once your student joins a chapter, take advantage of Family Weekend during the fall. 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.
How Do I Get More Information about Greek Life? How Do I Contact the Greek Life Office?
Visit the Fraternity and Sorority Life homepage at www.coastal.edu/osl/greek for additional resources and information or contact the Greek Life office at 843-349-2336 and someone can assist you with any questions you may have.