Frequently Asked Questions

What is a fraternity or a sorority?

Social fraternities and sororities are student organizations whose primary purpose is the personal development of their members, as distinguished from honorary, professional, and service fraternities. Some fraternities and sororities are culturally and/or community based. Unlike most other student organizations, membership in a social/cultural fraternity or sorority is normally a lifetime affiliation, and generally students are not permitted to be initiated into more than one social/cultural fraternity or sorority. Social fraternities and sororities promote intimate relationship bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood, and members typically refer to fellow members as "brother" or "sister". These organizations typically have rituals and creeds which promote ideals such as friendship, loyalty, academic achievement and intellectual development, service to the community and the alma mater, honor and integrity, leadership and personal responsibility.  

What do fraternities and sororities actually do?

Fraternities and sororities offer the opportunity to meet people who share similar interests and values and who will become your friends for life. These organizations bring out the best in their members through strong friendships and common goals. Most importantly, fraternities and sororities have an impact on their members' lives in many ways, offering learning and life experiences through their core values of community service, friendship, leadership, and scholarship. Fraternity and sorority members are actively involved on campus and throughout the community. Most chapters have weekly meetings and host a variety of philanthropic, leadership development, brotherhood/sisterhood and social events.

How do I go about joining a fraternity or sorority?

Recruitment is the time when fraternities and sororities seek and recruit new members. Students have the opportunity to visit the groups and see what each has to offer. Going through recruitment and its functions does not commit you to that organization. Recruitment usually occurs at the beginning of the Fall and Winter semesters.   

Intake is the recruitment term associated with the NPHC chapters, and accepting new members depends on the policies of each individual organization.

Important NoteEffective Fall 2013, all new members/initiates of Greek Life organizations must have a New Member Records Release Form on file with the Office of Student Life. Your individual membership will not be recognized by the campus until this form has been submitted.

Does it cost a lot of money to be in a fraternity or sorority?

Each organization is self-supported by dues paid by its members. In the first year of membership, a few one-time expenses are assessed such as an initiation fee. First semester costs run a little higher, but costs will typically go down for the following semesters. Dues are set by each individual organization and the funds collected typically assist in chapter operations such as community service, scholarships, intramurals, educational programming, social events, and general supplies.

What leadership opportunities do fraternities and sororities offer?

Every member will be able to take part in organizational activities as officers, committee chairpersons, or committee members. You'll be able to get involved in planning a community service project, a dinner with another fraternity or sorority, a dance or step show, and new member recruitment. The good thing is, you'll learn by doing. You will be able to put your skills to use inside and outside the classroom. The leadership skills you will learn will help you throughout your life.

What about hazing?

Hazing is absolutely forbidden. You don't have to prove yourself to anyone. Each organization does have expectations of members which vary by chapter, but often involve weekly meetings and opportunities to learn organizational history and policies. Be sure that when you are going through recruitment you ask the organization what their expectations are. If you do join an organization and feel that something is not right, contact Office of Student Life immediately!

What are the requirements to join a fraternity or sorority?

Requirements for membership vary by organization but commonly include GPA standards and certain enrollment statuses.

Important Note: Effective Fall 2013, all new members/initiates of Greek Life organizations must have a New Member Records Release Form on file with the Office of Student Life. Your individual membership will not be recognized by the campus until this form has been submitted.

I'm not a freshman. Can I still join?

Of course! Many students wait a semester or two to become familiar with campus and meeting members of Greek Life before deciding to go Greek. It is a lifetime commitment, not just for four years.

I work a lot. Are there mandatory events I have to go to?

Each organization holds weekly meetings, typically on Monday nights, as well as other events. However, each organization also has its own attendance policy and is willing to work with you to keep you as involved as possible.

I'm taking a lot of hard classes this semester. Will I be able to keep my grades up?

Academics are extremely important to every Greek organization. Fraternity and sorority members pride themselves on excellent time-management and study skills. To ensure that members stay on top of their education, Greek organizations hold study nights, create test files, book exchanges, professor recommendations and many members take classes together.

Will I have time to do other things besides being in a fraternity or sorority?

Absolutely. Our members belong to sports teams, religious organizations, honor societies, campus communities, and even work on campus in addition to being involved in their own organization. Greek Life is frequently a stepping-stone to becoming more involved as you can meet many student leaders and their organizations.

I'm interested, but I'm still not sure.

Visit the individual chapter websites or the Office of Student Life on campus with any questions or concerns. We are here to help and would love to meet you!

Do I have to learn the Greek Language?

No, the Greek community doesn’t use ancient Greek to communicate, although it may seem like it at first.  Below are definitions for some commonly used terms within the UM-Dearborn Greek community.

Office of Student Life

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