Sending a child to college can be a challenging and stressful time in a parent's life. While at the University of Central Florida (UCF), your child will encounter many opportunities to become involved outside of their classroom experience. It is important that you, the parent, be educated about the enriching experience that your son or daughter will find by being involved in a fraternity or sorority at UCF.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is being involved in a fraternity or sorority all about?
You may have seen many interesting shows on television or read numerous articles in newspapers, but in reality those particular situations are extreme cases of fraternity and sorority life. What the media does not tell you as a parent is that there are many life-long benefits to membership in fraternities and sororities. At a large university like UCF, membership in a fraternity or sorority offers a home-away-from home and makes the university setting a smaller more friendly community. Additionally, national research has shown that involvement in fraternities and sororities increases students' chances of graduating from college. As a life-long member of a fraternity or sorority, students are offered the opportunity to develop as leaders, serve the local community, and focus on academics, as well as their careers, by connecting with faculty, staff, and other students in addition; local alumni members, advisors and other Greek organizations.
My son or daughter is considering joining a fraternity or sorority, how should I advise them?
Since joining a fraternity or sorority is a lifelong commitment, and there is an expense associated with membership, it should be a joint decision between student and parent. Consider sitting down with your son or daughter and research all of the organizations that are available to join. Utilizing local chapter and national websites are a great, convenient way to gather information. Feel free to contact students who are currently involved and their parents and ask them about their experience. In most cases, both students and parents will speak candidly about their Greek involvement.
As an educated parent, consider asking the following questions before your child joins a fraternity or sorority:
- What is expected of fraternity/sorority members?
- How will membership affect my academics?
- What leadership opportunities are available to students as both new members and active members?
- Does the chapter perform hands-on community service? If so, how often?
- Does the fraternity or sorority require members to live in the facility (if housing is available)? If so, for how long?
- What are the expenses associated with membership? How does this vary as a new member?
- What type of member is the chapter looking for?
- What values does this organization promote?
- Is the organization officially recognized by the University? If not, why is this the case?
- What is the time commitment?
I am not Greek, how can I learn more about it?
Websites to take a closer look at:
What are the safety risks associated with membership in a fraternity or sorority?
It can be perceived that fraternity or sorority membership may compromise a student's safety and well-being. At UCF, we are committed to having this not be the case. In order to be recognized by the University, all Greek organizations are required to follow fairly strict alcohol and risk management policies. The policies are in accordance with the state law of Florida, and are enforced by both UCF administrators and members of fraternities and sororities themselves. In addition, all organizations should have at least one alumni adviser and university faculty or staff advisor to assist and ensure that the chapter is promoting a safe environment for its members (both on and off campus.) Hazing is both against university policy as well as state law. Hazing as defined by UCF Gold Rule/ Code of Conduct is as follows.
Any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health and/or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or admission into, or affiliation with, any organization operating under registration with the University.
Brutality of a physical nature such as whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements; forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug, or other substances; or other forced elements; or other forced activity which could adversely affect the physical health or safety of the individual.
Any activity which could subject the individual to mental stress such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced contact which could result in embarrassment, or any other activity which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual.
Any activity, as described above, upon which the initiation or admission into or affiliation with a University of Central Florida organization may be directly or indirectly conditioned, shall be presumed to be a forced activity, the willingness of an individual to participate in such an activity notwithstanding.
The university has zero tolerance for hazing! Both chapters and individuals members sign off stating they understand these rules and regulations they will not partake in any form of hazing. If you or someone you know is aware of any violations against these regulations, please contact the Office of Student Conduct or Fraternity and Sorority Life staff immediately.
Housing and Costs
Arrangements vary greatly, from fraternity chapters living in apartment style "quadraplexes" to fraternity and sorority houses in Greek Park on campus which are owned and operated by the chapter's alumni corporations. Living arrangements differ from chapter to chapter according to the number of residents and the facility. Some chapters with houses in Greek Park have meal plans and cooks; others employ caterers to serve periodic meals. Rent in a fraternity or sorority house is between $1500 and $3300, depending on the organization, a semester as opposed to the residence hall cost. Dues vary from chapter to chapter but average around $300 for fraternities and $400 for sororities per semester. Living in one of the Greek Park chapter houses in most cases in less expensive than living in the residence halls.