Parents and Families
Welcome to Fraternity and Sorority Life at SSU!
By joining one of our Greek organizations, your son or daughter is now connected with a network of hundreds of other students who have found a sense of community within their fraternity or sorority. Our Greek students are committed to their academics, stay very involved in the campus and outside communities, develop leadership skills to serve them in their future careers, and much more. Making up 17% of the undergraduate student body, our fraternity men and sorority women are an asset to SSU and contribute immensely to our campus community.
We understand that as a parent, you may have many questions concerning your son or daughters involvement in a fraternity or sorority at SSU. In order to help answer some of those questions, we have compiled a list of FAQs below. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Center for Student Leadership, Involvement, and Service (CSLIS) at (707) 664-4323.
Sorority and fraternity life adds a dimension to a college experience that cannot be found in other organizations. Joining a Greek-lettered organization offers each individual the opportunity to derive something unique from the sorority and fraternity community. For some, it serves as a support network and a place to develop friendships. For others, it is a chance to become involved in community service, philanthropy projects, leadership opportunities, and academic pursuits. For most, it is all of these things and the lifelong bond of sisterhood or brotherhood that makes the experience last a lifetime.
The Greek experience is an investment in your student’s future. The leadership skills, academic assistance, and friendships will benefit your student beyond their college days. Joining a chapter does carry a financial commitment, although Greek organizations are affordable, and fees go to services that will positively impact your student. Each chapter has different financial expectations and is self-supporting through the dues paid by members. Some chapters have scholarships available, as well as flexible payment plans. Make sure your student asks about the financial obligations of membership. Per semester approximate costs vary from $400-$700 (first semester is more costly).
Students often find managing their time difficult when moving from the highly structured high school environment to the freedom of challenge. Greek membership assists in that transition by offering scholarship programs that may include study partners, mandatory study hours, and time management and study skill workshops. Your student can also access the network of chapter members who already know how to use campus resources like the library, study skills center, computer labs, and academic advisors. Nothing, however, can take the place of a disciplined and academically focused student to ensure success in college.
The time commitment of joining a chapter varies, but the first semester is spent going through the chapter education program. This program will give your student the opportunity to develop their leadership and time management skills, learn about the history of the organization, develop friendships, and allow them to become involved with other organizations. Each chapter has weekly chapter meetings and other mandatory events (philanthropies, service, and initiation) throughout the year, but they are planned well in advance. In addition to the weekly meeting, the more your student puts into the chapter, the more they will get out of being a member.
Sonoma State University has a zero-tolerance policy regarding hazing that is consistent with California state law. Chapters are expected to uphold state, county and city laws, and the University policies. If you sense your student may be participating in inappropriate activities as a result of membership in a fraternity or sorority, please contact the Campus Life Advisor at (707) 664-2898 or the Sonoma State University police at (707) 664-4444.
The Four Pillars of Fraternity and Sorority Life are symbols by which our Greeks can hold themselves up to and measure their success at Sonoma State University. Each of the Four Pillars represents a category of excellence for which our Greeks strive; Leadership, Academics and Scholarship, Service and Philanthropy, Brotherhood and Sisterhood.
Sorority and fraternity members are offered a variety of leadership opportunities and programs in which they can develop skills like time management, leadership, event creation and implementation, and communication. The
manage many programs to further develop these skills. Sorority and fraternity members hold many leadership positions within their chapters or in major student organizations on campus.
Greek-lettered organizations were founded on principles of scholastic achievement and the enhancement of opportunities for their members. Individual chapters also encourage scholastic excellence by planning their own incentive programs and placing grade requirements on both initiated and new members. Chapters ease this transition by offering academic programs that may include study groups, tutoring, and time management workshops. The resources available to sorority and fraternity members provide students with the opportunity to balance high academic achievement and co-curricular activities..
Community Service & Philanthropy
Each sorority and fraternity provides members with ample opportunities to give back to the surrounding community through philanthropy that helps promote education through service. Every chapter at Sonoma State has a nationally recognized philanthropy that is the primary organization for the year's fundraising and volunteering events. On campus, Greek organizations participate in more community service and fundraising activities than other student club/organizations.
Brotherhood & Sisterhood
The memories, activities and experience of joining a Greek-lettered organization are key components in the meaning of brotherhood/sisterhood. Through a variety of events, there are opportunities to meet and interact with members of fraternities, sororities and other campus organizations. Most chapters have formals, alumni get-togethers, Intramurals, and social events that all contribute to the experience of being a part of a larger organization. The values that are learned in this brotherhood/sisterhood will stay with you long after graduation and serve you throughout your lifetime.
Active: a formally initiated member of a fraternity or sorority
Alumnae: a sorority member who has graduated from college
Alumnus: a fraternity member who has graduated from college
Badge (pin): the insignia that designates your Greek organization
Bid: a formal invitation to join a Greek-lettered organization
Chapter: name for the local organization of a national fraternity or sorority
Deferred Recruitment (formerly known as Rush): formal recruitment activities for new students that take place during the spring semester
Fraternity: a Greek-lettered organization of men committed to similar ideas that develop the human spirit: leadership, scholarship, service, athletics and brotherhood
Interfraternity Council (IFC): the representative body governing fraternities
Initiation: the traditional ritual, as established by the national organization, that brings the new member into full membership
Legacy: a prospective member who has a parent, grandparent, or sibling that is a member of a specific fraternity or sorority
Local: a fraternity or sorority whose only chapter is at SSU
Multicultural Greek Council (MGC): governing body for our Multicultural and local fraternities and sororities
Neophyte: a new member of a cultural Greek-lettered organization
New Member: a member who has not been initiated (often referred to as a pledge)
Potential New Member (PNM): a term for men or women being recruited by a Greek-lettered organization
Panhellenic: the governing body of National Panhellenic Conference sororities
Panhellenic Recruitment Counselor (Rho Gam): a neutral sorority member who assists potential new members through the Panhellenic sorority recruitment process
Ritual: the traditional ceremonies of a chapter of a national organization that are known by initiated members
Sorority: a Greek-lettered organization of women that emphasizes leadership and personal development, banded together for educational, philanthropic, civic and social purposes.