Parents and Families
Parent/Family Frequently Asked Questions
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 and philanthropic fundraising 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 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 including 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 rewards system based on GPA. Prospective members must meet a minimum GPA in order to be initiated and then must 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 click HERE.
What are the social aspects of fraternity and sorority membership?
Because the Greek community at Central contributes to the social activity on campus, the University, Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, council executives and national organizations have worked toward the creation of a responsible and safe environment for its members. 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 Student Code of Conduct and Oklahoma 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 culture at Central?
Hazing is not tolerated and expressly prohibited in the University Of Central Oklahoma Code of Student Conduct (III. Student Expectations and Responsibilities, H. Prohibited Conduct, #7). 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 and Sorority Life. Calls will be handled in an immediate and discreet manner.
The University of Central Oklahoma has a zero-tolerance policy regarding hazing that is consistent with Oklahoma’s antihazing legislation. According to Oklahoma Statutes (§21-1190), hazing is defined as: “…an activity which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental health or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with any organization operating subject to the sanction of the public or private school or of any institution of higher education in this state;”
“Endanger the physical health" shall include but not be limited to any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, alcoholic beverage as defined in Section 506 of Title 37 of the Oklahoma Statutes, low-point beer as defined in Section 163.2 of Title 37 of the Oklahoma Statutes, drug, controlled dangerous substance, or other substance, or any other forced physical activity which could adversely affect the physical health or safety of the individual.
"Endanger the mental health" shall include any activity, except those activities authorized by law, which would subject the individual to extreme mental stress, such as prolonged sleep deprivation, forced prolonged exclusion from social contact, forced conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment, or any other forced activity which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual.
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 also reports to their Inter/national organization, which offers support, advice, and direction through paid professional staff and regional volunteers. At Central, two full-time staff members serve as the primary contacts for the Greek community.
What is Rush/Recruitment/Intake?
Chapters on Central’s campus practice either recruitment or Intake. There are two forms of recruitment, formal and informal. Formal recruitment is often held early in the fall semester each year for IFC and Panhellenic groups. The formal process allows your son or daughter to explore the full range of student organizations and activities. However, throughout the remainder of the calendar year, both men and women will have the opportunity to meet and interact with fraternity and sorority members. The Membership Intake process to join an NPHC or 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 organizations by visiting their web sites and reading historical documents about each group, prior to contacting the respected organization.
What is pledging?
All fraternity and sorority members experience a period of 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-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 the Centrals campus are: Breast Cancer Research, March of Dimes, Boys and Girls Club, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and many more. Service events have benefited the campus and the Edmond/Oklahoma City community. Some of the service opportunities are: Ronald McDonald House, 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 lifelong 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 Central’s Parent and 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 Greek Life? How do I contact the staff?
There are many sources of information available — especially if you have access to the world wide web. You can go to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life homepage at www.uco.edu/greek for various resources and information. Also, you may contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (405) 974-2580 and someone can assist you with any questions you may have about Greek Life. If you have questions for a specific staff member, visit our "Contact Us" page.