Coming to college is one of the major life changes that your child will go through. Joining Greek Life can help make the transition easier. Developing life-long friendships with the members in their chapter helps make the campus seem smaller. For many members, these chapters become a home away from home. In addition to sisterhood or brotherhood, every chapter promotes the values of enhancing leadership, scholarship, philanthropy/service, and financial responsibility in their members.
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 child's future. Wherever a member ends up after college, chances are they will be able to find an alumni chapter or other members of Greek Life in the area. In addition, Greeks have national networks for its members that could be helpful in finding jobs or internships.
Academics are a priority in the Greek community. When students join, they become part of a larger group of students who value their academic goals. The group understands what the new member is facing and can provide support in many areas. Each chapter on campus has a scholarship officer who initiates programs within the chapter to encourage high academic achievement. There are also various resources for members on campus, such as, The Career Center, Academic Counselors, The Write Site, etc.
Greek members take it as part of their mission to support their national philanthropies (non-profit causes) financially and physically. Throughout the year, each of the chapters spend time fundraising and volunteering to help their particular philanthropy. Some of the national philanthropies that can be found on MSUM campus are: Galludet University, The House Ear Institute and CampFire USA. Along with service done for the National Philanthropies, each year numerous projects are done throughout the community. The time spent together on these events is one of the many times that sorority sisters can bond, while making a difference in someone's life.
The time commitment varies from chapter to chapter but the first semester is most intensive as the new member goes through the chapter's education program. The time spent in this program will give your daughter the opportunity to develop their leadership and time management skills, learn about the history of the organization, develop friendships, and allow them to become involved with other organizations. After initiation into the chapter, expectations will vary. Each chapter has weekly chapter meetings and other mandatory events (philanthropies, service, initiation) throughout the year, but they are planned well in advance. In addition to the weekly meeting, the more your child puts into the chapter, the more they will get out of being a member.
The Greek Experience is an investment in your daughter's future. The leadership skills, academic assistance, and friendships will benefit your child beyond his or her college days. The perception that Greek Life is the only option for "rich" students is widespread and false. Greek organizations are quite affordable and fees go to services that will positively impact you child. To assist members, chapters may offer scholarships and grants. We encourage all interested individuals to ask for financial information prior to joining.
There is a social aspect to the Greek community and these "social" events include educational programs/workshops, community service events, intramural sports, Parents' Day, Homecoming Parade and dinner exchanges in addition to socials. Today's Greek communities across the nation have adopted a stringent approach to socializing thereby creating a safer, more beneficial environment for members. Each governing council has a risk management and alcohol policy. In addition, each organization may have national rules to follow regarding the hosting of social events. All organizations sponsor education on alcohol misuse and abuse. Sororities do not permit alcohol in their housing or facilities.
A holistic definition of hazing is in the University's Code of Policies and Regulations Applying to All Students. National organizations also have policies and are taken very seriously. All chapters are reminded of policies each semester and required to sign documentation that they have reviewed with their members.
Take time to find out more about the Greek community at MSUM. Ask questions about what the organizations will offer your student and allow them to make the best decision for themselves. Once your student joins a chapter, there will be opportunities for involvement such as Moms and Dads weekend activities and of course you're always welcome to come for a visit!