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FAQs

What is a fraternity or sorority?
Why do students join a fraternity or sorority?
What are the benefits of joining a fraternity or sorority?
What is recruitment?
Will being in a fraternity or sorority interfere with academics?
Do all fraternities and sororities have chapter houses?
Do all members have to live in the chapter house?
Do fraternities and sororities take up a lot of time?
How much does it cost to be a member?

What is a fraternity or a sorority?

Fraternity and sorority organizations at West Virginia University are considered private, independent, and self-governing entities that freely associate and determine their own membership. It is a group of men or women bound together by brotherhood or sisterhood, common goals, and aspirations. The members that form a fraternity or sorority share their efforts, friendship, and knowledge. Together these members learn, grow and make the fraternity and sorority stronger. Their common experience builds ties that last a lifetime.

Why do students join a fraternity or sorority?

The reasons that a student may choose to explore fraternities and sororities are as varied as the students themselves who join. Many students find that membership in a chapter gives them opportunities to develop valuable skills they have not been able to find elsewhere. Sometimes, joining a fraternity or sorority is an excellent way for students to meet people, get more acclimated to campus life, gain important leadership skills, have fun, contribute to the community, and establish life-long friendships. Greek life is not for every student – but it is a great opportunity for many!

What are the benefits of joining a fraternity or sorority?

Fraternities and sororities have a rich history at West Virginia University, dating back to the 1890s. These organizations were founded on the ideals of leadership, scholarship, brotherhood/sisterhood, and service.
A student experiences numerous benefits from joining a fraternity or a sorority such as developing supportive friends, engaging in a wide variety of leadership opportunities, participating in organized philanthropic and community service projects, networking for enhanced career opportunities, and becoming part of a national network. This only begins the description of how being a member of a fraternity or a sorority will positively affect your student's life.

What is recruitment?

This is the time when fraternities and sororities seek and recruit their new members and when new members learn what membership is all about. Recruitment events are usually at the beginning of both the fall and spring semesters.

Will being in a fraternity or sorority interfere with academics?

The act of joining should not have any effect on a student’s GPA. Making good grades in college is responsibility of the student. While joining a fraternity or sorority is a time commitment, members often find that having a little extra commitment in their schedule helps them learn to manage their time and more from their college experience overall.

Chapters and governing councils, in cooperation with the university offer educational sessions on time management, resume writing, study skills, and more.

Do all fraternities and sororities have chapter houses?

No, fourteen (14) of the seventeen (17) fraternities have chapter houses and eight (8) of the nine (9) Panhellenic Association sororities have chapter houses. An alumni corporation or an independent landlord owns some of the chapter houses.

Do all members have to live in the chapter house?

Living in the chapter house is determined by the individual chapter, but most chapters with housing do require members to live in the house for at least one year, as space allows. Each group has their own requirements and your son or daughter should ask about this during the recruitment process. Fraternity and sorority chapter house living is comparable to living in the residence halls. Most chapters’ fees include room and meals; however, some chapters do not offer meal plans. Information about costs can be obtained from the individual fraternities and sororities.

Do fraternities and sororities take up a lot of time?

Participating in any worthwhile activity always requires an investment of one's time. Research has shown that involved college students are more likely to graduate, and they report greater satisfaction with their college experience. Through the fraternity and sorority experience, your student will learn how to balance academics, work, campus involvement, and social commitments.

While each fraternity and sorority membership requirements differ, a general range for commitment is anywhere from 2 to 8 hours a week. Whether it be a community service project, planning an event, or regular weekly meetings, members have learned to manage their time wisely with other commitments such as schoolwork, a job, friends outside of their chapter, as well as other organizations that they are involved.

How much does it cost to be a member?

It is important to understand that membership in a fraternity or sorority involves semester dues. Annual membership dues vary per semester. An estimated range is anywhere from $200 to $800 each semester. These fees are used to pay chapter insurance fees, national or international dues and fees, community service events, scholarships, intramural participation, and many of the social events offered. Some chapters include t-shirts, meals at the house, and other extras in their fees, and members find that the benefits of membership far outweigh the costs.

Every fraternity and sorority is self-supportive. Each chapter and its national headquarters determine the monthly/semester dues and membership fees, some chapters also include a one-time association and initiation fee, and many chapters offer payment plan options for members. Costs vary by chapter, so your son/daughter should ask about financial information during the recruitment process.


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