When a person mentions Greek Life many people often have thoughts of the movie Animal House and many other stereotypical movies of what the Greek Life community is all about. These depictions could not be further from the truth. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions that hopefully shed some light on the Greek Life community here at Thiel College.
What are the benefits for my son or daughter in joining a fraternity or sorority at Thiel College?
Joining a fraternity or sorority at Thiel College allows your son or daughter to become part of a close, tight-knit support group within the campus community. Being a part of the Greek community allows students to have a chance to create bonds with people who have similar values and goals, while developing key leadership skills enabling them to achieve much more in their future.
My son or daughter is thinking of joining a fraternity/sorority. What is the process?
Joining a fraternity or sorority is a mutual selection process. For fraternities, it is best for your son to visit all the chapter recruitment parties in the beginning of each semester to find the organization with the best fit for him. With the sororities, women have the opportunity to visit every chapter during formal recruitment. Your daughter will have the opportunity to select her top three choices, and she will be matched up through the mutual selection process.
Can my son or daughter be a part of Greek Life if they live at home?
YES!!! Greek membership can be an extremely valuable experience, regardless of whether the student is living at home, in a residence hall, or in a fraternity or sorority house. As a commuter, a Greek organization can provide them with a place to hang out between classes, a place to study, and a support group of friends just like they were a resident student on campus! In fact many commuters at Thiel have gone Greek and have had great experiences with it.
What is involved with the New Member Education process?
All new members go through a process called New Member Education. Throughout this experience, new members will participate in weekly meetings learning more about Greek Life and the specific fraternity or sorority they are joining, leadership activities, community service and philanthropic projects, and events designed to build friendships between the new members and active members. A pledge class may be expected to plan a social or philanthropic event. Many organizations' pledge classes will complete a project either raising money or building something for the chapter's house.
What are the financial responsibilities in joining a Greek organization?
A common misconception is that joining a Greek organization is financially burdensome and unaffordable. At Thiel College there is a one-time new member/initiation fee as well as semester membership dues. The one-time fees are in the first semester so the first year's dues are typically more expensive than the following years. The amount of dues he or she will have to pay each semester will depend on which organization the student wants to join. Many national organizations, councils and individual chapters offer scholarships and also offer payment plans in the payment of dues.
Is hazing a concern within the Greek community at Thiel College?
NO! Thiel College, Panhellenic Council and Interfraternity Council have a zero-tolerance policy towards hazing and strictly follows the state law that governs this issue. No member is allowed to partake in any form of hazing as a new or current member of his or her chapter. All members of Greek organizations are required to read the Pennsylvania Hazing Law and sign an anti-hazing form so they understand the policies and repercussions of the law.
How much of a concern is alcohol at fraternities and sororities at Thiel College?
Although the common stereotype is that fraternities and sororities enable binge drinking and reckless behavior, Thiel College chapters work hard to dispel such stereotypes. Greek organizations are required to follow very strict and detailed risk management policies, which are established by their national organizations as well as follow all the rules and regulations in the Thiel College Student Code of Conduct. The Greek community facilitates programs on educating men and women on the dangers of binge drinking and of drug and alcohol abuse, emphasizing responsible drinking behaviors.
How much of a time commitment is there in joining a Greek organization?
On average, a student should expect to contribute anywhere from two to eight hours per week for meetings and mandatory activities. Some organizations require more time than others. Your son or daughter should ask questions regarding time commitments during the recruitment process.
How will joining a Greek organization affect my student's grades?
Some parents worry that the social events and responsibilites of being in a fraternity or sorority might take away from their student's time for academics. Being Greek is a time commitment, but one of the pillars that Greek Life is rooted in at Thiel College is Scholarship. Each chapter sets standards for academic expectations. If members do not meet their requirements, there are several resources available for students to get help to improve their grades. Some chapters offer awards for the highest GPAs.
Are there specific honor societies for Greek students?
Yes! Thiel College has a chapter of Order of Omega. Order of Omega is a leadership honor society for members of Greek organizations. This organization recognizes juniors and seniors who have exemplified high standards in the areas of scholarship, leadership, involvement within their respective chapter and within the Greek, campus, and local community.
Who is actually in charge of the fraternities and sororities?
Individual chapters elect officers who run the day-to-day operations of the organization. These officers are assisted by their faculty or staff adviser as well as alumni organizations who act as advisers. The professional staff in the Greek Life Office at Thiel College act as advisers to the two fraternity and sorority governing bodies and serve as the primary contact for the organizations in the Greek community.
Why are there some things that fraternity and sorority members cannot talk about?
It is very understandable that you as parents may show concern if you hear that some of the things that happen at your son or daughter's initiation are to be kept secret. Initiation into a fraternity or sorority is a moving, yet serious, ceremony that conveys the purposes and special values of the respective fraternity or sorority. Greeks pride themselves on the rituals that their chapters were founded upon. These rituals should not be confused with hazing and other inappropriate activities.
Do you have any helpful hints for me as a parent?