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Supporting your lumberjack through joining a chapter
For parents, family members & supporters of our fraternity & sorority life community
If Fraternity and Sorority Life is brand new to you as the parent or supporter of a college student, you’re not alone. Let us assure you that joining our community gives your student a home-away-from-home and an essential network of support as they adjust to being away from family for the first time. Plus, organizations often host family weekends and events so you can join in on the fun!
Joining a fraternity or sorority? Accordion Closed
NAU students can join a Fraternity or Sorority in any academic year as long as recruitment is open. However, some of our multicultural organizations wait to take students until their second semester of the first year. They want students to have one semester of grades at the collegiate level. Depending on the council, recruitment, rush, or the intake process occurs within the first three weeks of each semester.
Benefits of joining? Accordion Closed
Fraternities and sororities were founded in the 1700s as opportunities for students to connect outside the classroom. As things evolved, friendship, campus leadership, and service to others became part of their organizational mission.
These concepts of leadership, scholarship, service, and friendship still exist in today’s fraternities and sororities. No matter what fraternity or sorority a student may join, members participate in programs encouraging academics, community support, and the chance to develop friendships and networking connections with others of like-minded values.
What is your role as a parent? Accordion Closed
Learn about the Greek community at NAU. Once your student joins, continue to be observant and ask questions. Here are a few suggestions to help ease your student’s transition to the University and their new fraternity or sorority.
- Be happy and supportive of your student’s choice of fraternity/sorority.
- Ask for details about the financial aspect of membership. If you are providing financial assistance, you have the right to know. Many one-time fees are paid during the first semester of membership, so expect the first few months to be the most expensive.
- Stay in touch with phone calls, emails & text messages.
- Attend Parent/Family weekend activities and other special events sponsored by the chapter.
- Expect to see numerous new t-shirts, photos, and Greek paraphernalia.
- Initiation is a big day. Congratulate your student and acknowledge this important milestone in their fraternity/sorority membership journey.
- Please encourage your student to be a part of the university community and to take advantage of its many resources, including making sure they are sharing support resources and educational programming and prevention.
Cost? Accordion Closed
The University does NOT fund fraternities/sororities. Each chapter is self-supported through dues charged to all members. In the first semester of membership, new members have assessed some one-time fees (pledge, initiation, badge, insurance). After the initial costs are paid, your student’s only necessary expenses will be their regular chapter dues. On average most chapters are around $650 but will lessen after the initial semester. Some chapters also do discounts for grades. But every chapter will work with your student to support a payment plan that benefits them most.
Hazing? Accordion Closed
Northern Arizona University promotes student organizations and the opportunities they provide for students. The University respects the right of each student organization to set its criteria for membership and to establish its procedures for selecting members as long as these policies are non-discriminatory and abide by the University and Board of Regents Policy.
The University stands ready to assist in any of these areas and in providing leadership training for student organizations and their members to make student organizations a more positive and enriching experience for student members. Arizona has also just established a new state law against hazing, and this will not be tolerated and could result in actions against an organization or students involved, including jail time.
Questions to encourage your students to ask during their process Accordion Closed
Important questions may include:
- What type of member is the chapter looking for?
- What values does this chapter promote?
- Does the University officially recognize the chapter? If not, why not?
- How much are dues and fees?
- What exactly happens during the New Member process?
- What is expected of chapter members?
- What kind of scholarship program does the chapter offer?
- What activities is the chapter involved with on campus?
- What is the time commitment?
- What are the service projects this chapters conduct?
- Without university housing, where do chapter members live?
- How will membership in this specific fraternity/sorority benefit me?
- What is the chapter’s policy on hazing?
Recognized and unrecognized fraternity/sorority chapters? Accordion Closed
University-recognized fraternities/sororities work closely with the Fraternity & Sorority Affairs office. They are held accountable to university policies and can participate in Greek Life and university-sponsored programs.
Unrecognized fraternities/sororities are not subject to university policy nor monitored by the University. Groups that appear on the Unregistered list do not meet the University’s standards for recognition and have lost credit for failure to adhere to university policies. We strongly discourage students from joining these organizations.
Who is in charge of the fraternities and sororities? Accordion Closed
Individual chapters have officers who manage the day-to-day operations of the branch. They are assisted by alums who act as advisors and faculty or staff member at NAU. Each chapter must also report to their inter/national organization, which offers support.
NAU Office of Leadership and Engagement houses Fraternity and Sorority Life. And helps support them in following NAU policy and procedures, facilitating structure and training with each organization. And help supports the students to be good standards of the University and City of Flagstaff. Operates the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs and employs four professional staff members to advise and support the recognized fraternities/sororities. You can contact FSL at 928-523-2362.
What sort of things might my student experience as a new member? Accordion Closed
The new member process can vary depending on the organization, but most are between 4- 6 weeks. Your student should receive a calendar of events from the New Member Educator (the student charged with the responsibility of administering the new member program) at their first meeting.
Most new members participate in an academic program through the organization (tutoring with an older member, attending study hours at the library, submitting copies of their grades throughout the semester). They are also doing community service, attending some leadership programming (a retreat, workshops, educational speakers), and are likely attending social events.
Again, none of these things are secret, no meetings or events should run past midnight or be held before 7 am, and all events should be discussed well in advance with the students so that they can adjust their schedules accordingly.