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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Frequently Asked Questions

Page address: http://www.mnsu.edu/activities/greek/prospectivefaq.html

The following questions are those we hear most often from students thinking about joining a fraternity or sorority.

What are the advantages of membership?

Supportive friends, scholastic resources, leadership opportunities, philanthropic projects, career opportunities, and becoming a part of a national network. Fraternities and sororities are values-based organizations dedicated to the development of character and lifelong friendship.  

How do I join?

The terms "rush" and "recruitment" refer to the joining process and are often used interchangeably. The term "recruitment," however, is preferred.

Women considering sorority membership may participate in formal or informal recruitment processes. Formal Recruitment is the primary time during which women join sororities in the Fall. It is a structured process and is open to any undergraduate woman, regardless of class standing. Informal Recruitment, also referred to as "Continuous Open Recruitment," is not structured and may take place at any point in the academic year after Formal Recruitment has taken place. Due to membership caps, not all sororities may participate in Continuous Open Recruitment.

Fraternity recruitment at MSU is informal and takes place year-round, including during the summer months. There is no set time frame for men's recruitment.

Although most students who join fraternities and sororities do so during the fall semester of their freshman year, this is not the only time that students may join. Transfer students and students who have been at MSU for a number of semesters are certainly welcome!

What are the requirements for joining?

Aside from simply trying to find the members who fit best into an organization, personality-wise, there are some groups that may have specific requirements or restrictions.

For the most part, fraternities and sororities require that students be enrolled at MSU on a full-time basis.  There may be exceptions.  Interested people should ask individual chapter representatives about this.  Some may allow graduate students, while others do not.  Additionally, most of our groups have GPA requirements for joining.  If you are a first-year student, your cumulative high school GPA will be considered.  If you are a transfer student, or if you are not a first-year student, your cumulative college GPA will likely be considered.  If interested members do not meet an organization's GPA requirement, they are encouraged to perform their best during the next academic semester and to check back after that.  Often times, a student whose high school GPA is too low may do very well as a first-semester college student, making them eligible to be considered by a chapter.

How will my grades be impacted by fraternity/sorority membership?

Historically, Greek-letter organizations were founded on the principles of academic success and camaraderie. Today is no different. Our members realize that academic achievement is the main priority of MSU students. Greek-letter organizations continue to strive for academic excellence and promote scholarship by providing academic resources for their members, including tutoring, academic advisors, study groups, scholarships, and awards. Chapter members know the importance of helping new students to adjust to University academics. Many chapters have a rewards system based on GPA. Prospective members must meet a minimum GPA in order to be initiated, and then must maintain a minimum GPA to remain an active member.

How much does it cost to join a fraternity or sorority?

Like some opportunities for involvement in college, there is a financial commitment associated with a joining a fraternity or sorority. The costs go toward the Inter/National fees, chapter operating expenses, and social functions. Financial obligations differ among individual chapters, as well as living in or out of a chapter house. New members can expect to pay higher dues their first semester than in subsequent ones. When you are talking to organizations about joining, be sure to ask about the costs associated with the specific chapter.

Does financial aid cover any of the fees associated with being in a fraternity or sorority?

NO. Financial aid awards are handled directly through the University. Tuition, residence hall contracts (NOT fraternity and sorority fees), and other University fees are deducted from the amount you are awarded each semester. The remaining amount is then issued to students in the form of a check. If you live in a Greek chapter house, this cost is not deducted from your financial aid amount, rather included in your check refund from the University. You are then responsible for all payments to your fraternity or sorority.

What is the time commitment for being involved with a fraternity or sorority?

Being a Greek member can be a substantial time commitment. The time commitment is what you make of it. Some students put all of their time into their fraternity/sorority, while others divide their time between their organization and experiencing other things on campus or working while in school. There are some required events, but you can always choose which events you want to be a part of. Greek students learn quickly how to manage their busy schedules, which will help them scholastically and after graduation as they move into the workforce. The more time members spend with their fraternity brothers or sorority sisters at chapter activities, the more they will get out of their Greek experience.

What is XYZ fraternity/sorority like? What is the “best” chapter on campus?

All fraternities and sororities share the values of scholarship, leadership, service, and brotherhood/sisterhood. Each chapter has its own personality, and the student will sense in what chapter he or she would feel the most comfortable during the recruitment process.

Do all fraternities and sororities have houses?

At MSU, only four fraternities have official chapter houses. Three of our fraternities and all four sororities do not have houses.

If my mom/dad/grandparent/aunt/uncle/sibling is an alumnus of an organization, does that organization have to offer me an invitation to join?

Every inter/national organization differs in its policy regarding this matter. Check with the headquarters for information and an accurate answer to this question. You may discover that the organization your relative belongs to may not be the best fit, on this campus, for you.

Will a letter of recommendation increase the likelihood that I will be invited to join a particular chapter? 

Again, every inter/national organization and chapter differs as to how they handle letters of recommendation. If your relative feels compelled to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf, they may submit it directly to the chapter, or they may send it to the Assistant Director of Student Activities for Greek Life & Off-Campus Housing, who can then forward it to the appropriate organization.

Can I join a learning community and a fraternity or sorority?

Yes!

Can I still join a fraternity or sorority if I participate in intercollegiate athletics or am involved in other activities?

Yes!  Athletes, just like Greeks, may have significant time commitments that they may want to discuss with coaches prior to joining a Greek organization.

 What if I want to go through sorority Formal Recruitment but can't make it every night?

Those going through recruitment should plan on being available every night of the recruitment processes.  In only extreme cases can we make arrangements to accomodate conflicts.  Those who need to miss any of the Friday-Sunday recruitment "parties" may not be eligible for all organizations.

What is the difference between the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council?

The Interfraternity Council is the governing body of all member fraternities at MSU, and the Panhellenic Council is the governing body for all member sororities.

Are there any NPHC fraternities or sororities at MSU?

At this time, no NPHC fraternities or sororities have active chapters at MSU.

How do I bring a new fraternity or sorority to campus?

There are several steps in the expansion process for fraternities and sororities, but it is not impossible!  If you are interested in bringing a group to campus that currently does not exist, it is best to visit, in person, and discuss this with the Assistant Director of Student Activities for Greek Life & Off-Campus Housing.

What is the policy on hazing?

The Minnesota State University, Mankato Greek Community, its governing councils, and its member organizations are unconditionally opposed to any situations created to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harrassment, or ridicule. Freedom from this humiliation and danger is guaranteed to every member of teh MSU Greek Community. Any violation of this guarantee must be immediately reported to the Assistant Director of Student Activities for Greek Life & Off-Campus Housing at 507-389-6076. All reports will be fully investigated. 

What is the alcohol policy?

Each chapter's inter/national organization has a policy or position statement regarding the use of alcohol or the presence of alcohol at chapter events. In addition to this, MSU expects all organizations to adhere to federal, state, and local laws as it pertains to alcohol. Chapters and/or members failing to do so may be subject to criminal prosecution and/or group/individual sanctions imposed by the city or state, inter/national organizations, the university, the Minnesota State Student Association (MSSA), the chapter's governing council, or the individual chapter's judicial board.

How do we find out more?

 You can contact Greek Life by calling 507-389-6076 or by emailing maverickgreeks@mnsu.edu.