What are the benefits of joining a fraternity or sorority?
Beginning college is one of the major life changes that an individual will experience. Joining a fraternity or sorority chapter can help make the transition easier. The fraternity or sorority experience is multifaceted and offers numerous opportunities. Forming friendships with the members in their chapter often helps make the campus seem smaller to students. For many members, these chapters become homes away from home, and the friendships developed become life-long.
In addition to friendship and brotherhood/sisterhood, every chapter is dedicated to enhancing leadership development, promoting academic achievement, and providing service to the campus community. Students have described "being Greek" as one of the most complete involvement opportunities due to the variety and range of chapter programming. In addition, the vast majority of Greeks participate in other campus organizations, peer mentoring programs, sport teams, and other areas of campus life.
Crucial to any type of campus involvement is a primary commitment to academics and successfully developing solid time management skills. It is up to the student to determine the level of involvement that they want to have in the organization as well as what kind of experience it will be for them, both as an undergraduate and during their lifetime membership.
Will joining a fraternity or sorority adversely affect a student's grades?
Students often find managing their time difficult when moving from the highly structured high school environment to the freedom of college. Greek membership can assist in that transition by offering scholarship programs that may include study partners, mandatory study hours, and time management workshops. A student can also access the network of chapter members who already know how to use campus resources like the Van Houten Library, CAPE tutoring center, computer labs, and academic advisors. Nothing, however, can take the place of a disciplined and academically-focused student to ensure success in college. Documents and Resources.
How much time is required to be a member of a chapter?
The time commitment varies from chapter to chapter, but is time intensive as the students participate in the chapter's New Member Education Program. Therefore, we at NJIT with the support of the Inter-Fraternity/Sorority Council endorse and support deferred recruitment, which means students are not eligible to join a fraternity or sorority until their second semester freshman year. The time spent in the New Member process should provide an opportunity to develop leadership and time management skills, learn about the history of the organization, and develop friendships among the new member class, as well as the rest of the chapter. Generally the program includes a weekly meeting, a project session, review material, and scheduled study hours for coursework.
Each chapter has weekly chapter meetings and other mandatory events (philanthropic, service, initiation) throughout the year that are generally planned in advance in order to promote reasonable time management. As with any organization, the time commitment increases as a student assumes leadership responsibilities.
Aren't fraternities and sororities expensive?
Joining a fraternity or sorority does involve a financial commitment. The most expensive year of membership is the first year, during which a one-time initiation fee is paid to the national organization and the membership badge is purchased. Other fees are chapter dues or living dues in a Fraternity or Sorority house.
What about hazing?
New Jersey Institute of Technology has a zero-tolerance policy regarding hazing for all student organizations. Hazing, or any activity that subjects members to harassment, ridicule, intimidation, physical abuse, or sleep deprivation is entirely contrary to the values and purposes of Greek life. Fraternity and sorority members are educated on the dangers by both University staff and officers of the national organizations. If you ever feel that an individual is participating in any inappropriate activities, in a fraternity or sorority or any other student organization, please contact Thea Rachel Schoenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or Public Safety at 973-596-3111 or report inappropriate behavior or hazing at email@example.com.
Aren't fraternities/sororities primarily social in nature?
There is a social aspect to the Greek community but these "social" events include education programs/workshops, community service events, intramural sports, NJIT DAY, Greek Week, and dinners in addition to social gatherings and formals. While the term "social" may conjure images of "Animal House" or "Old School", the image is largely outdated and inaccurate.
What about alcohol?
At New Jersey Institute of Technology, high risk binge drinking is addressed through programs and a partnership with the Counseling Center and other Drug Services. Past events include Alcohol Awareness Programs, Alcohol Education and Prevention, and Counseling Programs.
If my student joins a Greek organization can they still be involved on campus?
Fraternities, sororities, and the Office of Greek Life encourage members to get involved. In fact, members of Greek Life hold key student leadership positions in Senate, Student Activities Council, Nucleus Yearbook, WJTB Radio, ROTC, Honors College, Athletics, and First Year Connections Miniversity. Greek Life members also assist the university with many major events including NJIT Day, Welcome Carnival, Opening Weekend, Spring Week, Alumni Weekend, First Friday, and many other campus programs.
The Office of Greek Life also provides a program called New Member 101. This chapter seminar explains the opportunities available to new members within the Greek and larger NJIT community. Students are encouraged to expand their involvement beyond their specific fraternity or sorority into the greater community by participating in numerous activities. Community Service is one of the four pillars of Greek Life at NJIT and chapters participate in numerous community service opportunities in the greater Newark area. You can learn about other Student Activities and ways to get involved at Student Life section.