Parents

As a parent, you are no doubt interested in your son or daughter getting the best education they can. Certainly the education they receive in the classroom is the primary reason for coming to Miami University. This guide is designed to help answer questions a parent might have.

Take a look at two recent webinars about supporting a student through IFC Fraternity Recruitment or Panhellenic Sorority Recruitment. 

What are the advantages of becoming a member of a Fraternal Organization?

Becoming a member of a fraternal organization will provide your child with a number of experiences that will help prepare them for not only a career but for life. These advantages include:

  • Leadership skills: learned through holding office or working with officers in the chapter, through working with or holding executive board positions with the governing Greek councils, or through leadership experiences in Auxiliary Fraternity/Sorority Organizations.
  • Academic success: provided through planned study sessions, partnering with older members of the chapter, and hearing guest professors speak at meetings.
  • Educational programming: each chapter hosts a number of guest lecturers on topics ranging from alcohol awareness, to personal safety, to study skills.
  • Enduring friendships and alumni contacts: being in a Fraternity/Sorority does not stop at graduation. When someone joins, they are a life-long member. As such, they develop contacts and acquaintances that can help them when looking for a job or when they need advice. With almost 190 years of history to draw from, Miami's Fraternity/Sorority community has an array of alumni who are there to help.
  • Developing a sense of civic responsibility: Miami's Fraternity/Sorority members regularly work over 10,000 volunteer hours per semester in the Oxford/Cincinnati area. Believing in giving back to the community, your child will have numerous opportunities to participate in helping young children, the elderly, the disabled, and their fellow citizens.
  • It is fun: your child will have the opportunity to participate in many activities and social events sponsored by each chapter. Trainings provided within the chapter and by the office strive to educate students on how to enjoy themselves responsibly.

Who is actually in charge?

Students elect their own officers from their members. These officers deal with the day-to-day operations of the organization. Each member learns cooperation and planning skills. Alumni act as advisors to the officers and general chapter members. The houses of each fraternity are owned by a "House Corporation" that manages monies, collects rent, and pays bills. All of the sororities have a suite within the residence halls.

Each group is governed by a national/international headquarters, which establishes chapter regulations and offers advice and direction through professional staff that visit the chapter at least once a year. Additionally, the University employs six professional staff members and administrative assistant and two graduate assistants, who work directly with the governing Fraternity/Sorority councils and the individual chapters.

How do you become a member?

During the Spring semester, the Interfraternity Council (IFC) the Panhellenic Association (PA), sponsor Formal Recruitment for chapters that are affiliated with the national organizations belonging to the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) and the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC). This is a series of planned events that provide interested students the opportunity to visit each chapter and meet the members.

National Pan-Hellenic Council chapters conduct intake, separately from Formal Recruitment, following a timeline chosen by each member chapter.

Once Formal Recruitment or Intake is over, and chapter offers have been given and accepted, students enter a new member period. Each chapter has different rules, guidelines, and terms for this period. The student will spend time learning about their new chapter's history, rules, and traditions. Once the new member period is over, they will be inducted into full membership. Be sure to have your child ask each chapter's requirements.

How much does it cost?

You may have heard the cliche about Fraternity/Sorority members "buying their friends." Nothing is further from the truth. Like any national organization, there are bills to pay and costs for membership. When your child becomes a new member, there is usually a fee paid to the national/international headquarters. There are also monthly or semester dues, depending on the chapter. When it is time to become a full member, there is usually a one-time fee to be paid to the national headquarters that covers the cost of badges, certificates, and certain other items. These fees go to keep the chapter house or suite and the national organization running. Without them, the chapters could not function. View a list of chapter membership dues and housing costs.

  • Sororities: New member semester dues are generally higher than active semester dues which also vary from fall to spring.
  • Fraternities: If your son lives in the house, there are room and board fees which are comparable to residence hall fees. The costs to live in the houses vary. Please encourage your child to ask about live-in cost when they go through Recruitment.

Which chapters are currently sanctioned and unrecognized by the University?

What are living conditions like in Fraternity Houses/Sorority Suites?

Miami's Fraternity houses are homes. Each house has a living room, or common area, multiple bathrooms, expansive kitchens, and dining rooms. Sororities have suites within the residence halls, and some of the chapter membership lives in corridors within the particular hall.

What about alcohol?

The days of open keg parties at Fraternity/Sorority social functions are gone. Today's fraternities and sororities promote responsible use of alcohol. Miami's Fraternity/Sorority community has been on the cutting-edge of the alcohol issue. Each chapter holds seminars on responsible alcohol use. Miami's Fraternity/Sorority governing groups have adopted their own Greek Alcohol Policy, which all chapters adhere to.

What about hazing?

Hazing is prohibited by all sororities and fraternities at Miami University, by the Miami University Student Code of Conduct, and by the state of Ohio. All new fraternity and sorority members experience a period of orientation upon joining a chapter. During this time, your student and other new members will attend meetings to learn about their organization and its history. There are leadership retreats, community service projects, and activities designed to build friendships among new members and between new members and initiated members.

If you ever feel someone has been hazed (or harassed), please call 513/529-1462.

Do members participate in service?

One of the most gratifying aspects of fraternity and sorority life is the sense of satisfaction and pride that comes with involvement in community service. Throughout the year each chapter spends time fundraising and volunteering for local and national organizations in need of aid.  In 2019 Miami’s Greek community raised $366,228 for local and national charities and volunteered for 41,112 hours of community service for charities such as the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Hole-In-The-Wall Gang, and Talawanda School District.

Will my student’s academics be affected if they join a Greek organization?

Academics are a priority in the Greek community which is why our chapters strive for academic excellence and improved scholastic achievement. Each chapter has a grade point average requirement that must be met before a prospective member can join. Chapters offer study tables, peer tutoring, time management and study skill workshops, scholastic awards, and incentive programs, as well as scholarship opportunities for their members. As a result of the Greek Community’s academic goals, the All-Greek GPA is consistently higher than Miami’s All-Student GPA.

What time commitment is involved in being Greek?

The time commitment varies from chapter to chapter and student to student. The first semester is the most time intensive. New members participate in their chapter’s educational program, during which they develop leadership and time management skills, get acquainted with the new member class as well as the rest of the chapter, and become involved in Greek activities and organizations. Each chapter has weekly chapter meetings, annual philanthropies, service projects, and chapter events. Chapter members are encouraged to become involved in campus activities and leadership positions inside and outside of the chapter while always remembering that academic commitments come first.

What is my role as a parent?

As a parent, you can be supportive of your child's efforts to join a chapter. Learn as much as you can about the fraternities and sororities at Miami. Many groups provide written statements concerning activities, finances, and policies. Allow your child to make their own choice (especially if you are a fraternity or sorority member). Participate in chapter sponsored events for alumni and parents. Come to homecoming, if possible. Your support should not end after Recruitment, but continue throughout your child's years at Miami.