Fraternity & Sorority Life Prospective Members Frequently Asked Questions
The following questions are those we hear most often from students thinking about joining a fraternity or sorority.
What is the difference between a fraternity and a sorority?
Generally speaking, fraternities are made up of members who identify as men, and sororities are made up of members who identify as women.
Should I join my first year in school?
Many students tell us that they want to "see if they can handle it all, first," when they discuss their reservations about joining right away. The truth is that joining a fraternity or sorority will actually help students learn to better manage their time. Between classes, jobs, and other extracurriculars, our members are among the busiest students on campus. Students can join during their second semester or later, but many who have done so will tell you that they wish they had done it earlier. These organizations can help your transition into college. If you don't join a fraternity or sorority right away, join something! Those who do are more likely to succeed academically and to continue/return for their succeeding years.
What are the advantages of membership?
Advantages are numberous! Some include 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 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 college-level 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.
Check out this video that can help explain the financial obligations of joining a fraternity or sorority.
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. If you do not have a financial aid refund coming to you, you will be responsible for finding other means with which to cover the costs of membership.
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 should be able to get a feel for this and determine what chapter he or she would feel the most comfortable in during the recruitment process. While honors and awards don't tell you everything about a chapter, they can be indicators of a high-performing organization that sets high standards for itself. Check out our Honors and Awards page to see the most recent list of award recipients.
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 organization's 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.
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 Structured Recruitment but can't Make it to the required events?
The Sorority Recruitment process is more flexible than ever before, allowing multiple opportunities to attend an information session, and visit at least one event hosted by each chapter. The only required event that only has one time option is the "preference round" on Friday, September 8. Since recruitment is a "mutual selection process," meaning that both the potential members and the sororities are trying to find the best fits, it is important that all women participating in recruitment meet with each sorority. Those who know that they can't attend any of the information sessions or at least one event for each chapter, should not participate in the structured recruitment process, but should, instead, wait for informal recruitment. Those who can't attend the "preference round" should contact the VP of Recruitment for the Panhellenic Council. She will be able to determine whether there are any options. The Preference Round events are the most important ones the chapters host during recruitment, so missing them is definitely not advised.
What if I know what fraternity or sorority I want to join? do I have to participate in structured recruitment?
Men wishing to join a fraternity may do so after they have graduated high school and committed to attending MSU, assuming they meet the 2.5 minimum GPA requirement. The structured process is an option for those who would like to be guided through meeting all of the fraternities.
The structured recruitment process is the primary way women join sororities. It provides the best opportunity to meet all of the chapters and make a well-informed decision about what chapter you wish to join. Through this process, there is no guarantee of membership in a particular organization. In line with national sorority policies, our community adjusts the membership cap at the conclusion of the structured recruitment process, meaning that not all of our sororities will be able to continue recruiting members. This being said, the only way to guarantee membership in a particular sorority is to join through informal recruitment at a time when you know that particular group is able to recruit.
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 Fraternity & Sorority Life and Off-Campus Housing.
What is the policy on hazing?
The Minnesota State University, Mankato Fraternity & Sorority Life 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. It is our goal for all members of the FSL Community to have an experience free of this kind of humiliation and danger, and allegations of such conduct are quickly and thoroughly investigated. Any violation of this guarantee must be immediately reported to the Assistant Director of Student Activities for Fraternity & Sorority Life & Off-Campus Housing at 507-389-6076.
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 MSU Student Government, the chapter's governing council, or the individual chapter's judicial board.