As a parent, you obviously want your son or daughter to get the best education they can. Certainly the education they receive in the classroom is the primary reason for coming to Wittenberg University. But at Wittenberg education occurs beyond the classroom walls...it includes the whole college experience. This guide is designed to help answer questions a parent might have.
What are the advantages of becoming a member of a Fraternal Organization?
Becoming a member of a fraternal organization will provide your child with skills and experiences that will help prepare them for not only a career, but for life. These advantages include:
- Leadership skills: learned through offices in the chapter, through governing Greek councils, and educational programs offered on campus and by the national organizations.
- Academic success: provided through planned study sessions, partnering with older members of the chapter, guest speakers at meetings, collaboration with faculty.
- Educational programming: each chapter hosts a number of guest lecturers on topics ranging from alcohol awareness, personal safety, to study skills and financial management.
- Enduring friendships and alumni contacts: Being in a Fraternity/Sorority does not stop at graduation. When someone joins, they are a life-long member. As such, they develop contacts and acquaintances that can help them when looking for a job or when they need advice. With over 130 years of history on our campus Wittenberg alums are there to help.
- Developing a sense of civic responsibility: Wittenberg’s Fraternity/Sorority members have worked over 14,000 volunteer hours for the for local and national charities. From tutoring children, to assisting the Springfield Food Bank, to supporting a Girl Scout Troop, or being a Big Brother our members are giving back to the community. Greek members use this experience to become active members of their churches, schools and local governments later in life.
- It is fun: The most immediate benefit for your son or daughter is the activities and social events sponsored by each chapter. Whether it is a chapter event, or a Greek Week event, your son or daughter will be around a group of students who know how to enjoy themselves responsibly.
Who is actually in charge?
Students elect their own officers from their members. These officers deal with the day-to-day operations of the organization. Each member learns cooperation and planning skills. Alumni act as advisors to the officers and general chapter members. The houses of each fraternity are owned by a "House Corporation" that manages monies, collects rent and pays bills.
Each group is governed by a national/international organization, which establishes chapter regulations and offers advice and direction through professional staff that visit the chapter at least once a year. Additionally, the University employs a Greek Life Director who works directly with the governing Fraternity/Sorority councils, as well as the individual chapters.
How does someone become a member?
During the Spring semester, the governing Fraternity/Sorority councils, the Interfraternity Council (IFC) for the men, and the Panhellenic Association (PA) for the women, sponsor what's called "formal recruitment." It is a series of planned events that provide interested students the opportunity to visit each chapter and meet the members. The NPHC or historically African -American chapters conduct intake on a individual chapter basis.
Once recruitment is over, and the chapter has offered an invitation to membership which the student accepts, they become a "new member." Each chapter has different rules, guidelines and terms for this period that lasts about 6 to 8 weeks. The student will spend time learning about the history of the fraternity or sorority, rules, history and traditions. Once the new member period is over, they will be inducted into full membership. (Be sure to have your son or daughter ask each chapter's requirements).
How much does it cost?
You may have heard the cliche about Fraternity/Sorority members "buying their friends." Nothing is farther from the truth. Like any national organization, there are bills to pay and cost to membership. When your son or daughter becomes a new member, there is usually a fee paid to the national/international organization. There also are semester dues and fees. When it is time to become a full member, there is usually a one-time fee to be paid to the national organization that covers the cost of their badge, certificate and certain other items. These fees go to keep the house and national organization running. Without them, the chapters could not function.
If your son lives in the house, there are room and board fees which are comparable to and most often less than residence hall fees. These costs vary for each chapter but the total cost is comparable to what room, board, entertainment costs are for non-greek students. Please encourage your son to ask about the specific costs when they go through Recruitment.
What are living conditions like in Fraternity/Sorority Houses
Fraternity/Sorority houses are homes. Each house has a living room, or common area, multiple bathrooms, kitchen and dining room. Most have computer facilities, phone lines in each room where students can connect to the Internet, and cable T.V. access. But the comforts of home are not what make Fraternity and Sorority houses homes--it is the brothers/sisters that flourish in an environment that promotes learning and friendship. That is the definition of a Wittenberg’s Greek homes.
What about alcohol?
The days of open keg parties at Fraternity/Sorority social functions are gone. Today's fraternities and sororities promote responsible use of alcohol. Our Fraternity/Sorority community has been on the cutting-edge of the alcohol issue. Each chapter holds seminars on responsible alcohol use. Our Fraternity/Sorority councils have adopted their own Social Event Policy, which all chapters adhere to. The Greek Standards Board takes action when the policy is violated.
What about hazing?
Undoubtedly, you've heard about hazing in the media. Wittenberg University and every national/international fraternity on campus has strict policies against it. Our fraternity and sorority members respect each other and hazing is not tolerated at Wittenberg.
If you ever feel you son or daughter may have been hazed (or harassed), Please call 937-327-7817 or click here for more information on how to report hazing.
What is my role as a parent?
As a parent, you can be supportive of your son's or daughter's efforts to join a chapter. Learn as much as you can about the fraternities and sororities at Wittenberg. Many groups provide websites and written statements concerning activities, finances and policies. Allow your son or daughter to make their own choice (especially if you were Greek). Participate in chapter sponsored events for alumni and parents. Come to homecoming, if possible. We hope your support will continue throughout your son's or daughter's years at Wittenberg.
Letter to Parents:
Greek Life Definitions:
Provides basic definitions for words you may hear or may have heard regarding Greek Life
Information on Greek Housing Regulations:
Office of Greek Life
Box 720 Springfield, OH 45501
Phone - 937-327-7817