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Parent FAQ

A Parents’ Role

  • Students need support throughout the process of recruitment/intake and new member period. Be supportive and involved by learning as much as you can about Greek life by asking questions of your student as they meet members in fraternities and sororities.
  • Keep an open mind . . . Fraternity and sorority life is not for everyone. Just because you may have been a fraternity or sorority member doesn’t mean that it is the right choice for your student.
  • Encourage your student to keep an open mind about each organization that they come into contact with. Fraternities and sororities are different on every campus. Let your student choose the group that they feel the most comfortable joining.
  • Talk to your student beforehand about the financial obligation. Determine who will pay for what and where the limits are.
  • Understand that the fraternity/sorority recruitment at Mizzou is competitive, and not everyone who wants to be Greek will find a chapter that fits them.
  • Do not become overly involved in the sorority and fraternity recruitment/intake process; this is your student’s decision. There will be plenty of activities and events for you to attend or even help plan once your student joins one of our organizations.
  • Too often, parents do not allow their students to “fight their own battles.” It helps the student mature and gain assertiveness when allowed to call various offices if they have questions or concerns about their decision to join a fraternity or sorority.
  • Keep the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life’s contact information on hand. If you have any questions or concerns about fraternity and sorority life at Mizzou, please contact our office.
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:

  • A support group to help ease the adjustment to college
  • Scholastic resources to help students 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 MU students. Greek-letter organizations continue to strive for academic excellence and promote scholarship by providing academic resources for their members. These include tutoring, academic advisors, study groups, scholarships, and awards. Chapter members know the importance of helping new students to adjust to University academics. Many chapters have a reward system based on GPA. Prospective members must meet a minimum GPA in order to be initiated, and they must also maintain a minimum GPA to remain an active member. In fact, Greek members GPA(s) are traditionally higher than their non-Greek colleagues. For chapter academic records, please visit the Greek Statistics page.

What are the social aspects of fraternity and sorority membership?
The University, Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life, council executives and national organizations have worked toward the creation of a responsible and safe environment for its members, because the Greek community at Mizzou contributes to the social activity on campus. 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 University of Missouri M-Book Alcohol Policy and Missouri state laws.

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, as well as living in or out of a chapter house. New members can expect to pay higher dues their first semester than in subsequent ones. While your son or daughter is participating in the recruitment process, make sure that he or she asks about the financial obligations of membership.
Is hazing a part of the Greek culture at Mizzou?
The University of Missouri has a zero-tolerance policy regarding hazing that is consistent with Missouri antihazing 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 Office of Student Accountability & Support. Calls will be handled in an immediate and discreet manner.
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. 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.
What is Rush/Recruitment/Intake?
Chapters on Mizzou’s campus practice either recruitment or Intake. There are two forms of recruitment, formal/primary and informal. Formal and primary recruitment is often held prior to the beginning of the fall semester each year for the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association. These formal processes allow your student to explore the full range of student organizations and activities. However, throughout the remainder of the calendar year, all students will have the opportunity to meet and interact with fraternity and sorority members. The Membership Intake process to join a National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) and Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) organization occurs at various times throughout the year at the discretion of each organization. It is heavily encouraged that students do extensive research into the NPHC and MGC organizations by visiting their web sites and reading historical documents about each group, prior to contacting the respected organization.

Recruitment Links:

What is pledging?
All fraternity and sorority members experience a period of new member 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.
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 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 fraternity brothers and sorority sisters can bond, while making a difference in someone’s life.
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.
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 yourself 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 the Mom’s and Dad’s weekend activities and during the fall participate in Mizzou’s Family Weekend. 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 Fraternity & Sorority Life? How do I contact the Fraternity & Sorority Life office?
You can go to our homepage at fsl.missouri.edu for various resources and information. Also, you can contact our office at 573-882-8291, and someone can assist you with any questions you may have about Fraternity & Sorority Life.