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FAQ

What are the advantages of membership?

Fraternities and sororities are rooted in founding principles that foster academic achievement, student involvement, community service and life-long friendships. Advantages include:

  • A support group to help ease the adjustment to college
  • Scholastic resources to help you achieve your academic goals
  • Leadership skills acquired through hands-on experience
  • Encouragement to get involved, stay involved and maximize your 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 my grades be impacted by fraternity/sorority membership?

Academic success is a key component to fraternity and sorority life. All fraternities and sororities at MU place a value on the academic success of their members. A few of the ways that Greek organizations support the academics of their members is through minimum grade requirements for holding an office and being initiated into the chapter, study halls, along with workshops on study skills, test taking and time management. In support of these academic efforts, the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life compiles academic information for organizations each semester if the proper materials have been submitted. Chapters use academic information to assist students and to set minimum qualifications for initiation, room assignments, and/or eligibility for officer elections. It is important to note that the average GPA collectively for fraternity/sorority members traditionally exceeds 3.0, so students are encouraged to achieve the highest GPA possible for the best opportunity of membership.

How much does it cost to join a fraternity or sorority?

Costs for joining a fraternity or sorority vary by chapter. If the chapter possesses a chapter house, costs are fairly comparable to living in a residence hall at MU. Contracts of chapters with housing typically include room and board, as well as social fees, local and national dues, and some incidentals. Costs are paid directly to the fraternity/sorority. Most chapters offer payment plans for students, and scholarships may be available within the individual chapters as well. The University does not have a role in this process; the student deals directly with the chapter. It is important that the student asks questions so that they are able to understand where the money is going.

What is the time commitment for being involved with a fraternity or sorority?

Being a Greek member can be a substantial time commitment. Some students put all of their time into their fraternity/sorority, while others divide their time between their chapter and experiencing other things on campus. There are some required events, but you can always choose which events you want to be a part of. And remember, scholarship is one of the shared values of all fraternities and sororities, so activities will not take away from the student’s academic career, as long as the student plans ahead. Greek students learn quickly how to manage their busy schedules, which will help them scholastically, as well as after graduation as they move into the workforce. The more time members spend with their fraternity brothers or sorority sisters at chapter activities, the more they will get out of their Greek experience.

Does financial aid cover any of the fees associated with being in a fraternity or sorority?

Financial aid awards are handled directly through the University. Tuition, residence hall contracts (not fraternity and sorority fees), and other University fees are deducted from the amount you are awarded each semester. The remaining amount is then issued to you in the form of a check. If you live in a Greek chapter house, room and board is not automatically deducted, rather included, in your check refund from the University. You are then responsible for all payments to your fraternity or sorority.

What is rush, recruitment or intake?
Chapters on Mizzou’s campus practice either recruitment or intake. There are two forms of recruitment: formal/primary and informal.

Interfraternity Council (IFC) and Panhellenic Association (PHA) usually hold formal or primary recruitment prior to the beginning of the fall semester each year.

These formal processes allow you to explore the full range of student organizations and activities. However, throughout the remainder of the calendar year, all students have the opportunity to meet and interact with fraternity and sorority members.

The membership intake process for National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) and Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) organizations occurs throughout the year at the discretion of each organization.

If you’re interested in joining a NPHC or MGC organizations, visit their web sites and read historical documents about each group prior to contacting the respected organization.

What is pledging?
New fraternity and sorority members undergo new member orientation. This period will assist you in overcoming some of the concerns about success in college.

All fraternity and sorority policies forbid hazing. We are committed to a membership education period that instills a sense of responsibility and commitment in new members.

Is hazing a part of the Greek culture at Mizzou?
Mizzou has a zero-tolerance policy regarding hazing that is consistent with Missouri anti-hazing legislation.

According to State Statutes (573.360-578.365), hazing is defined as “a willful act, occurring on or off the campus of an educational institution, directed against a student or a prospective member of an organization operating under the sanction of an educational institution, that recklessly endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student or prospective member for the purpose of initiation or admission into or continued membership in any such organization to the extent that such person is knowingly placed at probable risk of the loss of life or probable bodily or psychological harm.”

Hazing is not tolerated. If you sense your student may be participating in inappropriate activities as a result of membership in a fraternity or sorority, you should contact the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life or the Office of Student Accountability & Support. Calls will be handled in an immediate and discreet manner.

What is XYZ fraternity/sorority like? What is the “best” chapter on campus?

All fraternities and sororities share the values of scholarship, leadership, service, and brotherhood/sisterhood. The University of Missouri Greek community is very strong, and all of the chapters fulfill their duties to achieve excellence in these areas. Each chapter has its own personality, and the student will sense in what chapter he or she would feel the most comfortable during the recruitment/intake process.

The chapter I want to join is suspended. Can I still join it?

If you see the chapter you want to join among suspended organizations on the community history page, that means the fraternity or sorority will not be accepting new members until they regain good standing.

Do I need a recommendation letter to join a PHA sorority?

Some chapters require recommendation letters from alumni of their organizations, but it is the chapter’s responsibility to gather this information. You do not have to have a letter of recommendation in order to participate in recruitment at MU. While you are not required to collect recommendations, you can request one from an alumna from any of the sororities you will be visiting during formal recruitment. The alumna does not have to be a member of the MU chapter of their sorority. If you do acquire these recommendation letters, they should be sent directly to the chapter. Find their local addresses.

Can I join a Freshman Interest Group (FIG) and a fraternity or sorority?

Because freshmen women live in university residence halls, joining a sorority and a FIG is both manageable and a great way to get involved at MU. Many freshmen women are involved with both sorority and a FIG. As a freshman it is a little more challenging for men to be involved with both a FIG and a fraternity. Many of the fraternities expect new members to live in the chapter house during their first year and FIGs are a part of the residential life programs at MU. If you are interested in being in both a fraternity and a FIG, it is a good idea to discuss this with the fraternity that you are interested in joining as well as the MU Residential Life office located in Defoe-Graham Hall.

Can I still participate in PHA recruitment if I am in band, FIG, athletics, or other activities?

Yes. You may participate in both events, even if they overlap. When you register for recruitment, indicate on the form that you will be participating in both. We will work with you during the week to ensure that you may attend as many recruitment events as possible.

What is the difference between the Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council and the Panhellenic Association?
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 chapter spends time fundraising and volunteering to help their particular philanthropy. Some of the philanthropies that can be found on Mizzou’s campus are: Breast Cancer Research, Make-A-Wish, Boys and Girls Club, and Prevent Child Abuse Awareness.

Service events have benefited the campus and the Columbia community. Some of the service opportunities are: Ronald McDonald House, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Girl Scouts of America, Big Brothers and Big Sisters and Habitat for Humanity.

The time spent together on these events is one of the many times that you can bond with your fellow students, while making a difference in someone’s life.

How do I bring a new Greek letter organization to campus?

There are several steps required when bringing a new Greek organization to campus. The first and most important step is for that perspective organization to be officially recognized by ORG, the administrative organization responsible for registration, training and funding for all of the University of Missouri student organizations. Once an organization becomes recognized by ORG, the organization may petition the respective Greek governing council for more information. Each council (IFC, PHA, MGC and NPHC) has its own requirements for membership.

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 advisers.

Each chapter is also responsible for reporting with their inter/national organization, which offers support, advice and direction through paid professional staff and regional volunteers.

At MU, the Assistant Director of Fraternity & Sorority Life and Coordinators of Fraternity & Sorority Life are on staff and serve as the primary contacts for the Greek community.

Explore additional issues related to PHA recruitment.