Just the Facts
CMU student supporters are undoubtedly invested in their student's college experience and the choices they make. Making the transition to Central Michigan University may seem like a challenge for them. Fraternities and sororities are a proven support network and community. Over 750,000 students across North America are currently members of the fraternity and sorority community. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Student Activities and Involvement at 989-774-3016 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Academics should be a student's number one focus while in college. That's why most Greek organizations require a minimum GPA in order to remain a member. Usually, each individual chapter has an elected official responsible for keeping track of members and their academic performance. Furthermore, many fraternities and sororities have educational programs, such as tutoring and study sessions, that can assist the entire chapter in excelling academically. Since obtaining a degree is the main reason for attending college, it is important that all students maintain their academics while participating in a Greek organization. The Office of Student Activities and Involvement requires a 2.50-grade point average to participate in fraternity and sorority life.
There are financial responsibilities related to joining a fraternity or sorority. Each organization and chapter have differing amounts of dues. If your student is interested in becoming a member of a Greek life organization, you should sit down with them to make a college budget and to determine whether or not joining a fraternity or sorority is affordable.
In the past, fraternities and sororities received a bad reputation for participating in hazing, which is any action taken that produces bodily harm or danger, mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, fright, or ridicule.
Today, all fraternity and sorority policies strictly prohibit any type of hazing activity. In fact, the organizations adopted a zero-tolerance stance on this issue. Some states also have legislation that makes hazing a third-degree felony.
If you feel your student may be participating in inappropriate activities associated with hazing, please contact the Greek Advisor at 989-774-3016 or contact the Anti-Hazing hotline at 1-888-NOT-HAZE (1-888-668-4293) IMMEDIATELY.
On average, a student should expect to contribute two to four hours per week for meetings and mandatory activities. If your student has the time, they can also choose to participate in optional activities, such as holding an office, attending social events, helping out with various service projects, etc.
Some organizations require more time than others. Advise your student to ask questions regarding time commitments during recruitment. Discuss with your student what they would like to do. If your student decides that joining an organization is the right decision, make sure they thoroughly research the different councils and chapters located on Central Michigan University’s campus.
Frequently asked questions
Aren't fraternities and sororities just like the ones shown in the media (e.g. "Animal House", "Old School" and "Greek")?
Nobody likes stereotypes. Unfortunately, fraternity and sorority members have often been categorized as elitist, spoiled, irresponsible and abusive partiers in television shows and movies. In reality, fraternities and sororities are values-based organizations dedicated to the development of character and lifelong friendships.
Should alcohol be a concern if my student joins a Greek organization? In other words, what is it really like in a chapter?
All fraternities and sororities have strict policies regulating the consumption of alcohol at social functions. All chapters are expected to uphold state, county and city laws, as well as Central Michigan University's policies regarding the consumption of alcohol.
Alcohol abuse is unhealthy and inconsistent with fraternity and sorority ideals. In response, the University's fraternities and sororities sponsor (and participate) in many alcohol-free social activities throughout the year. Examples include recruitment events, barbecues, and lip-sync contests.
Risk management guidelines are set by each chapter's local and/or national board and must adhere to Central Michigan University's alcohol policy. We highly encourage your student to ask about the risk management guidelines of each sorority or fraternity.
What will it cost for my student to participate in Greek life?
The financial obligations that accompany membership differ from chapter to chapter. Each organization is self-supporting, functioning from dues paid by its members. The first year of membership is generally higher due to one-time membership fees. Dues and other fees cover items such as room, board, operating expenses (e.g., gas, electricity, water, cable, cleaning supplies, etc.), socials, insurance, composites, leadership programs, alumni functions and new member recruitment.
Fraternity and sorority houses offer a "home away from home." Living within a chapter house furthers student growth and development and provides much of the comfort and support of a family environment. The costs of room and board in fraternity and sorority houses are competitive with - if not below - university rates. Each chapter will be able to provide your student with specific financial information during recruitment or whenever they happen to visit.
What about the "pledging" process and hazing?
When your student joins a chapter, they will participate in a period of orientation to learn about the history and values of the organization and the University, as well as attend weekly business meetings (also referred to as "chapter meetings"). Hazing is opposed by all fraternities and sororities on the university campus and is not tolerated! Your student should never be asked to do anything they do not want to do. If you believe your student is being hazed, please contact the Greek Advisor at 989-774-3016 or the Anti-Hazing Hotline at 1-888-NOT-Haze (1-888-668-4293). For more information on hazing, please visit StopHazing.org