Fraternities and sororities are groups of individuals of similar interest bonded together by common goals, aspirations, and ritual. Rituals are based on common principles such as honor, friendship, truth, and knowledge, and each group works to instill and support these ideals through everyday activities. Membership in a fraternity or sorority is a lifelong commitment. The choice to join the community means working with members who can pursue common goals and ideas while being held to a higher standard. Each chapter develops a special bond that is nurtured thorough common work, ideals, service projects, and other shared experiences.
There are many benefits of being in a fraternity or sorority. These benefits include, but are not limited to the following: leadership experiences (officer positions and conferences), academic support, friendships, mentorships, intramurals and team sports, community service, alumni networking, wider range of resources and connections on campus, lifelong memories, philanthropic involvement, time management, life skills development, and the potential to receive various scholarships.
Coming to college is one of the major life changes that your student will go through. Joining a fraternity or sorority can help make the transition easier. Developing life-long friendships with the members in their chapter (the local name of an internationally, nationally, or regionally affiliated fraternity or sorority) helps make the campus smaller. For many members, these chapters become a home away from home. In addition to the brotherhood/sisterhood, every chapter promotes the values of enhancing leadership, scholarship, and philanthropy/service to their members.
Fraternity and sorority members are very involved in other clubs and organizations across campus and in the community. In fact, many chapters expect members to be involved in at least one organization outside of the fraternity or sorority. Many of the leaders of ASI, Residence Hall Association, and other major student organizations are members of fraternities and sororities.
Academic achievement is your primary responsibility while at CSULB. In addition to minimum GPA requirements, most chapters have an academic officer and a faculty advisor whose responsibilities include assisting members in achieving their academic goals and monitoring their academic progress. If necessary, they also help connect members with academic resources such as tutoring or mentoring to help members who are not meeting expectations. Many chapters also reward members for excelling in the classroom with discounted dues and scholarships.
Recruitment is the process in which Potential New Members (PNMs) explore Fraternity and Sorority chapters and ultimately make a selection that’s a mutual fit for both them and the chapter. Recruitment events consist of learning about values and purpose of each chapter, and forming relationships with the members.
It depends on the chapter, but most can be joined by first-year students. While students are permitted to join organizations their first semester, some students choose to wait until later before joining an organization. Joining a fraternity or sorority is an individual decision and students should look to start the fraternity or sorority experience when they are ready.
The required GPA varies for each chapter and each governing council. Don't be afraid to ask questions throughout the recruitment/intake process and find out the minimum requirements.
We have four councils at CSULB; National Panhellenic Conference, National Pan-Hellenic Council, Interfraternity Council, and the Multicultural Fraternity Sorority Council. These are the governing groups of all 34 chapters on campus. Each council holds Recruitment events at various times throughout the academic year.
Joining a Fraternity or Sorority is simply a matter of personal preference. Each organization has its own uniqueness and advantages. Before deciding to join a fraternity or sorority, we always advise that you do the necessary research to learn about the organization. Regardless, you should choose the organization in which you feel most comfortable with.
Recruitment/intake is a mutual selection process. So while you are looking for an organization that is best for you, chapters are determining who they think will be best for the organization, so unfortunately bids are not guaranteed.
Dues, also known as the semester fees, will range depending on the organization, so this is an important question to ask during recruitment/intake. The dues go to cover the activities, food, t-shirts, apparel, service, philanthropy, intramural, and any other event the organization has planned for the semester. The first semester generally costs more than other semesters because it includes one-time fees, such as a new member and initiation fee, which goes directly to the national organization. Some chapters offer scholarships for members with high GPAs, abundant community service hours, or for holding various leadership positions. If you are concerned about the cost, be sure to discuss payment options with the chapter treasurer or other officers, as many organizations are able to work with individual circumstances.
Living in a chapter facility is not required by the university. However, many chapters may have their own expectations for members to live in a chapter facility, which may include a lottery system if there are not enough volunteers. This is a great topic to bring up with the chapter during the recruitment process.
The new member process, sometimes referred to as pledging or associate member process, consists of a defined period of time (typically between six-eight weeks) where new members meet brothers/sisters in the fraternity/sorority, learn about the history and values of the chapter and community, participate in service and philanthropy events, and . After completing the new member process, new members are initiated into the organization.
CSULB does not condone hazing in any aspect. Student Life and Development and FSL educates new members to recognize the forms of hazing. The department also assures student organizations will observe and fully comply with university policy and State of California Penal Code Section 245.6 requirements on hazing. Hazing is defined as any method of initiation or pre-initiation into a student organization or student body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college, college, university, or other educational institution in this state.
The first year in a chapter will take a little more time to learn about its history, organization and membership. Participating in activities to get to know the other members is a good way to enjoy the benefits of Fraternity and Sorority life as well as meet new people. After the first year, students usually figure out how much time they can put into the group without sacrificing their other commitments. Many chapters would minimally expect members to be present for a weekly chapter meeting and a weekly chapter event (brotherhood/sisterhood, fundraiser, educational speaker, etc.), about two-three hours a week.
Research their national organization, including their history and core values. Determine whether the organization has a friends and family club or friends and family events. Once your student joins an organization, encourage him or her to seek leadership positions. You can also get to know their close friends within the organization, support their chapter's philanthropic or community service events and attend their local events.