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At GSW, we understand that you may be concerned about your son’s or daughter’s experience at college and the choices he/she will make. The choice to join a fraternity or sorority may be one of those concerns. This website is designed to help answer some of the questions you may have about fraternity or sorority membership at GSW.

About Fraternities and Sororities

Fraternities and Sororities exist as a support network for your son or daughter as he or she embarks on this new period in their life. Over one million students are currently members of fraternities and sororities across the country . There are approximately 125 men in our 8 fraternities and 120 women in our six sororities. The fraternity and sorority community can help personalize your son or daughter’s experience at college by offering a scholastic support system; by providing hands-on experience in leading a small business, managing budgets, and interacting with faculty and administrators.  These organizations assist students by exposing them to potential careers through educational programming in the residence halls and through discussions with alumni who come back to campus.  Additionally, membership also affords the opportunity to service the campus and greater Americus community through service and philanthropy. 

What are fraternities and sororities really like?

The best way to learn about a fraternity and sorority is to research the organization by visiting its website, reading any publicly available books, and most importantly, getting to know members of the chapter.  Fraternities and sororities are made up of a wide array of undergraduate and graduate students, along with thousands of alumni brothers/sisters. At the heart of every fraternity and sorority is a set of value-based principles dedicated to the development of character, leadership, scholarship, service, and lifelong friendship. The code of ethics for which many fraternities and sororities strive is represented as follows:

    1. I will strive for academic achievement and practice academic integrity.
    2. I will respect the dignity of all persons; therefore, I will not physically, mentally, psychologically, or sexually abuse or haze any human being.
    3. I will protect the health and safety of all human beings.
    4. I will respect my property and the property of others; therefore, I will neither abuse nor tolerate the abuse of property.
    5. I will neither use nor support the use of illegal drugs or alcohol.
    6. I will challenge and hold accountable all of my fraternity and sorority members in the Greek Community to abide by these fraternal expectations and will confront those who violate them.

What about alcohol and fraternities/sororities?

Alcohol abuse is unhealthy and inconsistent with fraternity and sorority ideals. All fraternities and sororities are expected to uphold state and city laws, university, fraternity/sorority, and IFC/NPHC/Panhellenic (the governing boards for fraternities and sororities) policies regarding consumption of alcohol. IN addition, fraternities and sororities are not allowed to purchase alcohol for members or guests.  Any member found in violation of these policies will be subject to legal and (or) university sanctions.

What impact could fraternity/sorority membership have on grades and GPA?

Students often find it difficult to manage their time when moving from the highly structured high school environment to the freedoms of college life. Fraternities and sororities assist in that transition by offering scholarship programs which may include study partners, mandatory study hours based on GPA, and time management workshops. Your son or daughter can access and network with members who already know how to use campus resources like the library, tutors, computer labs, study lounges, and academic advisors. While Greek organizations are concerned about members’ academic achievement and progress, your son or daughter is still ultimately responsible for utilizing the resources made available to students at Georgia Southwestern. In addition to your son or daughter’s academic progress, many fraternities and sororities carry minimum GPA’s in order to remain active or be a part of that particular Greek Organization.

What about pledging and hazing?

New Fraternity and sorority members all experience a period of orientation before joining their intended organization.  The ritualistic elements of this process are necessarily secret, but no organization permits or condones any time of physical, mental, or emotional hazing as a requirement to join their organization.

What is the cost associated with joining a fraternity or sorority?

Joining a fraternity or a sorority does have a financial commitment. The chapters are self-supporting through dues paid by their members. When students join a fraternity or sorority, they also agree to pay dues and fees for the organization while they are enrolled in school and active with the organization. These fees differ by organization, and can range from hundreds of dollars paid per month or thousands of dollars paid in a lump sum for the duration of enrollment. More specific information can be obtained by speaking directly with a member of the chapter the student is interested in joining.

Doesn't being in a fraternity or sorority take a lot of time?

Participating in any worthwhile activity always requires an investment of one’s time. Research has shown that involved college student are more likely to graduate, and they report greater satisfaction with their college experience. Through his or her Greek involvement, your son or daughter will learn how to balance academics, work, campus involvement, and social commitments. Most GSW Greeks also work at least part time (around 20 hours a week)

How does my son or daughter join a fraternity or sorority at GSW?

Fraternities and sororities utilize a process commonly referred to as “recruitment” for IFC and Panhellenic organizations and “membership intake” for NPHC organizations.  Recruitment/interest meetings offer non-affiliated students an opportunity to meet a number of other people on campus who may be interested as well as learn about the history of the chapter and what the requirements are for membership.  Research should be conducted prior to, during, and after your son or daughter has chosen a specific organization to attempt to join.  Membership is a lifetime commitment, and should be treated with the seriousness that such a decision requires.

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