Joining a Sorority or Fraternity
What are the benefits to joining a sorority or a fraternity?
Sororities and fraternities have been serving the University of Florida campus since 1884. These organizations are rooted in founding principles that foster academic achievement, leadership, community service, and life-long friendships. Greek organizations are groups of men and women who come together to form a personal network of individuals with similar ideals, interests, and a mutual pursuit of a well-rounded college education. Advantages include:
- A support group to help make the adjustment to college easier.
- Scholastic resources to help students achieve their academic goals.
- Leadership skills acquired through hands-on experience.
- Encouragement to get involved and maximize potential on campus.
- Opportunities for active participation in community service projects.
- National research has shown that involvement in sororities and fraternities increases students' chances of graduating from college.
- Membership in a sorority or fraternity is for a lifetime. Many alumni return to campus for football and other special events. Most chapters at UF have newsletters and special weekends for alumni. These activities promote lifetime friendships that extend beyond individual chapters and include members of the national Greek community.
What is the financial obligation?
While the costs involved in being a member of a Greek chapter vary, it is important to know that each organization does collect dues and some have initiation costs as well. The dues go toward (Inter)National fees, chapter operating expenses and social functions. Financial obligations differ for fraternities and sororities and among individual chapters. New members can expect to pay higher dues their first semester due to initiation fees.
Additional costs throughout the semester may go to meal plans, pictures, gifts, social events, T-shirts, etc. Several chapters at UF offer payment plans and scholarships for members who need financial assistance. While your son or daughter is participating in the membership intake/recruitment process, make sure that he or she asks about the financial obligations of membership.
How much time is involved with being a member of a Sorority or Fraternity?
The time commitment varies from chapter to chapter but the first semester is the most time intensive as the new member goes through the chapter's new member education/membership intake program.
The time spent in this program will give your student the opportunity to develop their leadership and time management skills, learn about the history of the organization, develop friendships with their new member class, as well as the rest of the chapter, and allow them to become involved with other organizations.
After initiation, expectations will vary. Each chapter has weekly chapter meetings and other mandatory events (philanthropic, service, initiation) throughout the year. These events should be planned in advance.
Philanthropies and Service Projects
Throughout the year, each chapter and council spends time fundraising and volunteering to help a particular service project or philanthropy (not-for-profit causes). The time spent together on philanthropic events is one of the many times that sorority and fraternity members will have to bond while making a difference.
The social activities within the Florida Greek community include intramurals, philanthropy/service events, Homecoming, and exchange dinners in addition to parties and socials. The Florida Greek community has adopted a more proactive approach to managing social events.
Sororities and fraternities serve as a great resource for students academically. Every chapter at UF is encouraged to have a faculty advisor and scholarship chair that assists members with study hours and academic incentives. Your student can also access the network of chapter members, many of whom, already know how to utilize campus resources.
Most chapters require a high GPA for continued active membership in the organization. The average new member and active members GPA for the Florida Greek community maintains well above a 3.0.