Parents FAQ

What is a Greek Organization?

A Greek organization is a group of individuals of similar interests bonded together by common goals and aspirations. These bonds are created through rituals in which all members participate. Rituals are based on common principles such as honor, friendship, truth and knowledge, to name a few. Each group works to instill these ideals in their members through their everyday activities.

It is referred to as a Greek organization because the name consists of Greek letters. These letters serve as a reminder of the values of the group. Fraternity is a name applied to all Greek organizations, but specifically men's groups. Sorority is the name applied only to women's Greek organizations.

What is the difference between a University recognized and unrecognized fraternity and sorority?

University recognized fraternities and sororities work closely with the University Greek Life Office. They are held accountable to University policies and are able to participate in Greek Life sponsored programs and events. Unrecognized fraternities and sororities do not have to follow University Greek Life policies and are not monitored by the University. Visit our Organizations page for more information on the difference between recognized and unrecognized organizations and for a list of the recognized fraternities and sororities.

What will students get out of Greek Life that they would not get out of any other college organization?

Greek Life provides students with various opportunities to be involved in their chapter, council, Greek Community, and university. Some of our top leadership positions on and off campus are held by fraternity and sorority members. The Greek Community also helps its members fine-tune their leadership skills by providing leadership retreats and workshop series. Apart from the university and the councils providing leadership opportunities to the membership, the organizations' national board also provides internships, scholarships, and leadership experiences.

Most importantly, the brotherly and sisterly bonds (family) that will form and memories that will be created is what usually separate Greek Life from other college organizations.

Will my student's academics be compromised if they join a Greek chapter?

It all depends on your student’s priorities and time management skills. Like any other student organization on campus, fraternity and sorority members may have obligations to the organization (fundraising events, community service/philanthropy, chapter and committee meetings). Let us not forget the social nature of fraternities and sororities and college life in general. As long as your student dedicates time to study, attends class regularly, and uses university academic resources, his/her academics should not be compromised. Additionally, most fraternities and sororities have academic programs and encourage study hours for new members and members who may be struggling academically.

Are fraternities/sororities primarily social in nature?

Fraternities and sororities are social organizations. However, they also dedicate time to their organizations' philanthropy and adhere to their mission, values and ideals.

Is there a live-in requirement for fraternities and sororities?

Every chapter has their own requirements in regards to housing. Most encourage their chapter officers to live in. The university is not involved with live-in requirements, as it does not own the houses where the members reside. The organizations' housing corporations or alumni associations take care of filling the house.

How do I determine which organization is best for my student?

This is good question and a decision that needs to be made by your student during the recruitment process. Every chapter is unique and founded on principles. We encourage you to speak with your student about his/her experience during the recruitment process.

How much does it cost to be a member of a fraternity or sorority?

CSU, Chico recognizes 26 different fraternities and sororities. Each of these organizations has different amounts of dues associated with membership. The amount is usually shared during the recruitment process. Membership dues may go towards national insurance, housing expenses, social events, philanthropic endeavors, and leadership workshops/retreats.

What about hazing?

The California State University system has a zero tolerance for hazing (Title V California Code of Regulations). Any chapter who violates this policy will be given due process and if found responsible may be subjected to organizational and/or individual sanctions and discipline. It is also important to note that most fraternal organizations have adopted anti-hazing policies and have strict rules in regards to new member process.

Who is actually in charge of the fraternities or sororities?

University recognized fraternities and sororities (make that a link to the recognized page) are self-governing organizations that are required to adhere to their chapters', national organizations' (if national/international), councils', and the university's polices and regulations. In other words, the chapter membership is responsible for numerous standards and regulations. The chapters’ faulty/staff advisor, alumni advisors, and the Greek Life Office help the chapters meet these standards.

What is my role as a parent?

Encourage your son or daughter to attend as many Greek and non-Greek campus events as possible during the fall semester. Being involved is the best way to meet active Greek members and to learn about their chapters.

Remember to keep an open mind. Joining a fraternity or sorority is not the right fit for everyone. You may have joined a fraternity or sorority during college, but that does not necessarily mean that it is the right choice for your son or daughter. There are many other campus organizations he/she may wish to join instead.

If your child decides to Go Greek, she or he will need support throughout the recruitment process and the new member process. Be supportive and learn as much as you can about Greek Life by asking questions. Encourage your son or daughter to choose the group that he or she feels the most comfortable joining. We encourage you to have an honest conversation with your son or daughter about joining Greek Life, the benefits of joining a University recognized organization, and the financial and behavioral responsibilities of joining our Greek community.

Your role as a parent is important in all stages of your students Greek Life experience: [potential new member, new/associate member, member, and ultimately alumni]. Be supportive in every stage.

How much time is involved with being a member of a Sorority or Fraternity?

It all depends on how involved your student is with the organization. Holding an executive board member position obviously will take more time than sitting on a committee or just being a member. However, the more involved your student is, the more leadership skills he/she will attain. Being a member of any student organization is a balancing act that will need to be adjusted on a regular basis.

How does my son or daughter join a fraternity/sorority?

Joining a fraternity or sorority is a mutual selection process. First time freshman may not join a University recognized fraternity or sorority until the spring semester. For Interfraternity fraternities it is best for your son to visit several chapters during formal recruitment to find the best fit for him. After multiple visits the chapter may choose to offer your son a bid. With the Panhellenic sororities, women have the opportunity to visit every chapter during formal recruitment. After several visits to each chapter, your daughter will be matched up through the mutual selection process. For MGC fraternities and sororities…