Information for Families


Greek to Me: A Families Guide to Fraternities and Sororities

As families, it's a good idea for you to learn about fraternities and sororities so you can help your student make the best decision about whether or not they should be part of the Greek life. This information is to help give you more insight as to what fraternities and sororities stand for.

Academics
Academics should be your student's number one focus while in college. That's why most Greek organizations require a minimum GPA in order to become and remain a member. Usually, each individual chapter has an elected official who is responsible for keeping track of members and their academic performance. Furthermore, many fraternities and sororities have educational programs, such as tutoring and study sessions, which can assist the entire chapters in excelling academically. Most chapters also offer member scholarships. Since obtaining a degree is the main reason for attending college, make sure your student realizes that he must keep up his grades if he wants to participate in a Greek organization.

Financial Responsibility
Your student will have financial responsibilities when it comes to joining a fraternity or sorority. At most schools, there is a one-time new member/initiation fee as well as semester membership dues. The organization they want to join will determine the amount of dues they will have to pay each semester. If your student is really interested in becoming a member of the Greek life, you need to sit down with them and work out a college budget to determine whether or not joining a fraternity or sorority is affordable.  Most textbooks needed for courses at UW-Whitewater can be rented from the bookstore FOR FREE, if this is a cost they have already budgeted for then joining a Greek organizations on average costs less than the full price that textbooks could be each semester.

Hazing
In the past, fraternities and sororities have 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 and UW-Whitewater have taken on a zero-tolerance stance on this issue. If you feel that your student may be participating in inappropriate activities associated with hazing, you should contact the UW-Whitewater Hazing hotline at 262-472-HAZE (4293).

Time Commitment
On average, your 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 projects, etc. Some organizations require more time than others. Advise your student to ask questions regarding time commitments before joining.

Activities
Fraternities and sororities participate in many different activities. The kind of activities your student may participate in will vary depending on which organization they join. Possible activities may include:

• Fundraising for charities
• Tutoring elementary school students
• Conducting environmental and neighborhood cleanups
• Organizing clothing and book collections
• Volunteering at shelters
• Attending social events

You should discuss with your student what they would like to do and then support their decision. If your student decides that joining an organization is the right decision, make sure they thoroughly research the different sororities and fraternities on campus to find the organization that best aligns with their personal values. 

Contact the Greek Advising Team:

Sarah Suter
Leadership Advisor – Greek Community
SuterSL05@uww.edu; Office Phone: 262-472-1520

Jan Bilgen
Associate Director of Career & Leadership Development
BilgenJ@uww.edu; Office Phone: 262-472-1079

Tyler Henderson
Graduate Assistant – Greek Community
HendersoTN23@uww.edu; Office Phone: 262-472-1167