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Thinking about joining a fraternity or sorority? Are you a parent of a student who is interested?

Below are some popular questions we often receive about "going greek" - we encourage you to see if the answer you're looking for is below. If you don't find it, be sure to contact us! They are organized by topic area and then specific question!


 

WHY JOIN?

  • What does it mean to join a fraternity/sorority at Western Kentucky University?
    • To make the decision to join a fraternity/sorority at Western Kentucky University is to make a lifelong commitment to better yourself and your community.
    • Being involved as a fraternity/sorority member has the benefits of making a campus with thousands of students seem smaller, and the connections shared by our members offer a home away from home. Joining an organization can also open many doors to other opportunities, such as positional leadership, connection to values, mentorship, and more!
  • What makes one fraternity/sorority different from another, and how does someone choose?
    • Our fraternities and sororities are multifaceted in membership, and structurally each one looks for members that are committed to the values and ideals of the organizations.
    • Some organizations offer specific experiential connections—areas of study, religious beliefs, and cultural affinity to name a few—and it is important to consider each organization and the way they recruit new members as you explore our community.

HOW TO JOIN?

  • How do I join an organization?
    • Each governing council has a different way of recruiting or bringing new members into the organization.
      • The Interfraternity Council (IFC) can recruit members at any point during the year, but focuses on hosting recruitment events and offering invitations to membership in the first few weeks of each semester. In the fall, recruitment starts Sunday before classes. Spring semester recruitment usually takes place during week two or three of the spring semester.
      • The Panhellenic Association (PAN) has a formal recruitment process held in conjunction with MASTER Plan the week before classes begin in the fall semester. No need to worry if MASTER Plan and Recruitment will interrupt one another. We work closely with other offices on campus to make sure there are not conflicts! You can do MASTER Plan and participate in recruitment. Chapters that may have open space in the spring semester may engage in an informal recruitment process.
      • The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), does not have a formal recruitment process. You can reach out to each organization to identify what informational opportunities are available. We also suggest signing up for Greek 101, which is a requirement of students interested in joining an NPHC organization. This is a workshop where you will learn more about NPHC history and the history of the African American community in higher education.
  • What are the requirements to join?
    • Western Kentucky University policy requires that any student interested in joining a fraternity or sorority have a 2.25 college GPA (with at least 12 credit hours completed) or a 2.5 unweighted high school GPA.
    • Students interested in joining an NPHC organization are required to complete Greek 101. This is a workshop where you will learn more about NPHC history and the history of the African American community in higher education.
    • Each organization has different criteria for membership that always includes a GPA or academic expectation. Some organizations require students to be beyond their first semester as a student.
    • We encourage students interested in joining to ask questions about membership eligibility as well as expectations for membership once they have joined an organization.

MEMBERSHIP EXPECTATIONS

  • What can I expect as far as becoming a member of a chapter?
    • Each organization has a period of new member orientation as part of its expectations for new members, ranging in time based on individual and (inter)national timelines.
    • During this time, you 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.
  • How long does joining a chapter take?
    • The new member education or intake process differs between organizations but typically ranges from 4-12 weeks. Ask members of the organization you are hoping to join for more specific information about the length of the program.
  • What are the financial commitments to the organization and what does the payment structure look like?
    • The cost of joining each organization varies, though amounts can range across chapters. Dues may cover things like national insurance, leadership development opportunities, programming offerings, and initiation/national fees.
    • The first year of membership may cost more in comparison to following years due to fees related to initiation, education materials, paraphernalia, and then some.
    • Some organizations offer payment plans for members and we encourage student to ask questions about membership costs before joining an organization in order to fully understand the financial expectations of membership.

COMMON CONCERNS/PERCEPTIONS

  • What about hazing?
    • All fraternities and sororities forbid hazing, and are committed to a membership education period that instills a sense of responsibility and commitment in the new members.
    • Hazing is against the law in Kentucky and is taken seriously by Western Kentucky University, the Office of Judicial Affairs, the department of Student Activities, Greek Affairs, and the governing councils.
    • All student organizations are expected to follow these policies, and training and resources are provided to groups to help them create a positive new member experience.
    • We actively encourage all members to report behaviors perceived as hazing to our Greek Affairs Coordinator, Alex Kennedy at alexandria.kennedy@wku.edu or to the Office of Judicial Affairs. You can find OJA here. Information shared will be treated with discretion and a reasonable expectation of confidentiality, but may be shared with individuals who need the information to protect the health and safety of those involved in any incident of hazing or unhealthy group behavior.
  • I am unsure if I will be accepted in the chapter I am looking at joining, so what should I consider?
    • The best way to figure out if you will be accepted into the chapter you are looking to join is to be your authentic self. Joining a fraternity or a sorority is a lifelong commitment, and you want to be able to be yourself throughout the entire time. Being yourself and asking questions about what others in the chapter have similar interests or identity can illuminate more about the chapter’s culture.
  • What impact will joining have on my academic success?
    • The intention of fraternities and sororities is to provide support and assistance in a student’s academic career. It is our belief that these organizations should help improve a student’s academic performance by providing resources, academic support programs, and incentives for success.
    • To better understand the academic success and performance of the fraternity and sorority community and individual chapters, please view our community grade reports. You can find them here.

MISCELLANEOUS QUESTIONS

  • I am NOT participating in MasterPlan, but I am going through SORORITY RECRUITMENT and will live on campus.  When do I move in?
    • Move-in for all residential students NOT participating in MasterPlan, but are participating in SORORITY RECRUITMENT is Sunday, August 13, 2017, from Noon - 4 pm.
  • I attend a SKYCTC school - am I eligible to join a fraternity or sorority at Western?
    • Yes! WKU has a Joint Admissions program with several of the KCTCS schools and Greek Life is one of the many benefits! If you are enrolled at one of our partner schools (such as SKYCTC) and are also admitted to WKU as a Joint Admit student (see how to apply here), then you are eligible to participate in campus organizations and activities -- including membership recruitment/intake.  For further information contact our office.
  • Do I have to join as a first year student?
    • Students at WKU may join fraternities and sororities in any year of their academic career. Some NPHC organizations only consider members that have been in school for at least one semester or a year.
    • The best way to learn this information to to contact the chapter if you are unsure.
  • I am a legacy. What does that mean?
    • A legacy is a student who has a family member already a member of a particular fraternity or sorority.
    • Students are free to seek membership in any organization, and someone that is a legacy is not required to join a particular organization.
    • Additionally, it is up to the organization to select their members regardless of legacy status.
  • Do all fraternities and sororities have houses?
    • Some fraternities and sororities have houses, and we encourage you to ask questions about housing in a recruitment process or as you are researching various organizations.
    • All chapters with houses have different live-in policies, and chapters are expected to provide education up front about these expectations before members join. Our office is not responsible for rent or housing for Greek members.
  • What are the benefits of joining?
    • There are many benefits to fraternity and sorority membership including opportunities to engage in leadership development, academic personal development, career networking and alumni involvement, opportunities to engage in meaningful community service, and the development of lifelong friendships.
    • Check out what some of our students say are the benefits!

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 Last Modified 7/12/17