As parents, you are interested in your son's or daughter's experiences at the University of New Haven. If you are reading this website your son or daughter may have expressed interest in joining a Greek organization, is beginning the new member education process or has already joined an organization. As parents you may have questions regarding what it means to be a member of a fraternity or sorority. This page is designed to give you a clearer picture of what a Greek organization means. If after reading the material, you still have questions, please contact the Office of Student Activities at 203-479-4582 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to assist you.
There are many stereotypes of the fraternity and sorority experience that exist. No doubt, as a parent, you have heard all of them and like the professionals who work in the field, you don't find them very appealing. It is true that many students who don't understand the true meaning or purpose of fraternities and sororities contribute to these stereotypes through their actions and words. However, there is a great movement in the community to get back to the basics- the true founding principles upon which our chapters were founded. This renewed effort is being led by fraternity and sorority members who believe that joining can be one of the most fulfilling and beneficial experiences a college student can have.
Your son or daughter is joining a values based organization filled with social collaborations, service efforts, leadership opportunities, educational programming, philanthropic awareness, and endless networking opportunities. The network provides members to engage with current students and alumni of UNH, opportunities to travel to their organizations' district days, New England Summits, conferences, and/or conventions.
Recruitment is a time of mutual selection between students and Greek chapters. Not only do the Greek organizations select new members, but your son or daughter selects a chapter with which they wish to be affiliated. Recruitment events at the University of New Haven are alcohol-free and are held during the beginning of the fall and spring terms. Students who chose to participate in recruitment activities are under no obligation to join the Greek system. At the end of recruitment activities, the chapters extend formal written invitations (bids). If a student chooses to accept the bid, then he/she is affiliated with the chapter.
Once a student decides to accept a bid (offer to join) from a Greek chapter, he or she is oriented to the chapter through meetings, philanthropic work, social events and study sessions. Programs should be structured so as to not interfere with academic responsibilities. During this period, chapters designate new members differently. Terms include pledge, associate or new member. New member education should be informative and fun, therefore physical and mental hazing is not tolerated at the University of New Haven. The University of New Haven, national Greek organizations, and the State of Connecticut prohibit hazing.
Research has shown that involved college students are more likely to graduate and report greater satisfaction with their overall college experience. All Greek organizations are working examples of democracy in action. This is often the first time that members are responsible for their own activities and living within their means. This provides an excellent opportunity to experience leadership and the responsibility of membership. For example, the Vice President is generally responsible for managing all of the committees, delegating, overseeing their projects, and updating policies and procedures. Even the general member who participates in recruiting learns invaluable communication techniques while conversing, listening and interacting with new people day after day. The skills that can be learned in an educational setting are only useful if they can be applied in a tangible setting. Participation in a fraternity or sorority allows this practice to occur- for every member.
The first reason that most students attend college is to further their education and achieve academically so that they can move on and have a successful career. For this reason, fraternities and sororities must make academic achievement a top priority. For students to join UNH requires that students have a 2.0 GPA.
Community service and philanthropic projects provide chapter members with the opportunity to support many causes. Chapter support both the local and national charitable organizations. Greek work together on projects not only to serve the community but also to foster personal growth and greater unity among the Greek community.
One of the most mentioned aspects of Greek Life is the friendship that exists between members of a chapter. Greek Life promotes the development of close ties between members through living, studying, working, competing and having fun- together. These lifetime relationships go beyond ordinary friendships to become like that of a family.
While academic achievement is the primary reason to attend UNH, there is a time for social interaction. UNH's Greek community always provides fun activities for its members. Social and recreational activities give you the opportunity to meet a variety of people and to strengthen the bounds of friendship at the same time. Fraternity and sorority functions, date parties and formal dances are examples of these activities. Participation in traditional events, such as Greek Week and philanthropic events, demonstrates Greek unity and spirit.
Each fraternity and sorority is self-supported through a fee structure that is charged to each member. This structure supports their activities and their national commitments. Each chapter and subsequent national office collects dues and membership fees from every member. Most groups have a one-time pledge and initiation fee, plus semesterly dues. Fees vary from chapter to chapter.
A Family's Role
As a parent, you will have many questions concerning your student's involvement in a Greek organization. Be supportive and learn as much as you can by asking questions of your son or daughter throughout the recruitment process. Once your student is a member of a Greek organization, there are many opportunities for you to share in this aspect of his or her college life. Chapters recognize that when your student comes to college, you, as a parent, also become a part of the university family! Ask questions and get involved!
The University of New Haven's Hazing Policy
Hazing is any action taken or situation created which produces mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule. Such activities and situations include, but are not limited to: Paddling of any form; attempting to create excessive fatigue; physical and /or psychological stress; treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips, or any other such activities; requiring the wearing of apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; requiring participation in public stunts, buffoonery, morally degrading or humiliating games and activities as well as late work sessions which interfere with scholastic activities; abductions or forcibly restraining another individual against his/her will; any other activities which are not consistent with the constitution or bylaws of any student club/organization or the policies of the University.